Chiropractors are health care professionals who can treat a range of spine, nerve and muscle-related conditions, primarily through the use of manual spinal manipulation and adjustment. Here is a brief guide on how a chiropractor would treat a patient suffering from lower back pain.
Lower back pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions (including, for example, sciatica and herniated discs). As such, the first step a chiropractor will take when handling this type of case will be to determine the condition that is at the root of the person's pain.
They will begin by asking the patient details about their medical history; the chiropractor may ask their patients whether they have suffered back or neck injuries in the past or whether they suffer from inflammatory diseases which could affect their back (such as arthritis).
Following this, they may then conduct a physical examination; this will enable them to check for signs of underlying tissue or muscular damage, abnormal joint movements, poor posture or weakness in the muscles that support the spine.
Many chiropractors will also make use of certain types of medical technology to obtain a diagnosis. They may, for instance, have the patient undergo a CT scan, an MRI or an X-ray.
The primary form of treatment used by chiropractors is spinal manipulation. This involves using their hands to manually correct misaligned vertebrae within the spinal column and make adjustments which will help relieve compression of the sciatic nerve, ease muscle spasms and reduce inflammation.
Many chiropractors choose to use other types of treatments alongside the aforementioned adjustments. If, for example, the patient's lower back pain is being caused by an inflammation of their muscles, they may provide cold therapy.
Cold therapy consists of applying an ice-pack to the lower back and leaving it there for several minutes at a time. The ice-pack helps to constrict the blood vessels; this slows down blood flow to the affected area which, in turn, reduces the inflammation and swelling that is causing pain.
Some chiropractors also use ultrasound therapy to relieve lower back pain. The research into this form of therapy indicates that ultrasound waves can transmit heat to damaged tissues and, in doing so, can improve circulation and mobility and ease pain and stiffness.
To perform this treatment, the chiropractor will apply a conduction gel to the lower back. They will then place a small probe onto the injured area to transmit the ultrasound waves from the machine to the tissues in this area.
For more information, contact local professionals like Advanced Chiropractic Clinic.