Lumbar pain (pain around the lower back) is not only the commonest type of pain that humans suffer but it’s also the most debilitating. There are so many risks associated with it. Studies show that it can lead to physical disabilities since the spine is affected. In other cases, it leads to nerve impairment. That’s why you need to seek treatment fast when you start experiencing some signs of discomfort along the lower back. While there are so many treatments for lumbar pain, a good number of people are opting for chiropractic care. Actually, a 2015 study by the National Institute of Health shows that about 27 million individuals visit chiropractors yearly in the US for lumbar pain and other similar conditions.
Role of Chiropractic Treatments
Chiropractic care generally operates on the assumption that lumbar pain results from the misalignment of the spine (often known as subluxation). So, a chiropractor performs a spinal manipulation technique on you to treat the subluxation. The technique may involve physical pulling and pushing of the back, shoulder, and hip to try to relive you from lumbar pain. Chiropractors normally apply a holistic approach when dealing with a patient suffering from lumbar pain. Other than performing spinal manipulation on you, the expert will also offer you advice relating to maintaining a healthy spine.
In the recent past, more medical experts are recommending spinal manipulation for lumbar pain management. This is because of its effectiveness in treating the ache. For example, the American Pain Society has included spinal manipulation in their treatment suggestions for lumbar pain treatment. This is also the case with the American College of Physicians. However, both are advocating for spinal adjustments in uncomplicated lumber pain conditions. They recommend it for acute lumbar pain (up to 6 weeks).
Spinal Manipulation Techniques for Lumbar Pain Management
Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic will use a hands only approach, or get help from a device to manage lumbar pain. It depends on your condition and what the chiropractor prefers. In spinal manipulation, the goal of a chiropractor is to apply a controlled force to the lumbar region using non-surgical means. At the end of the day, the force applied will reposition and readjust the spine, thus treating subluxation. Some of the commonest spinal manipulation technique that a chiropractor may opt for are:
- Table adjustments – This is a gentle way to manipulate the spine and it involves the use of a special chiropractor table. The table features a drop piece that releases a gentle force to the spine when the chiropractor applies some pressure on you.
- Myofascial release – The fascia is a thin membrane that covers the muscles of your body. In case it’s tight at the lower back, a subluxation occurs and this leads to unmanageable lumbar pain. With the release technique, however, a chiropractor is able to relax the tensed fascia. By loosening them, you are able to get relief from lumbar pain.
- Muscle energy – When the lumbar pain has resulted into lack of mobility, a chiropractor will ask you to resist the direction motion when your body is pulled. This is what the muscle energy technique is all about. It helps you generate muscular strength needed to overcome lumbar pain.
- Direct thrust – This technique involves the application of a high-velocity thrust to the lower back. It’s meant to quickly and safely align the spine. Most people will describe the session as a cracking one because of the high-velocity thrust. It’s normally done by very experienced chiropractors since there are spinal risks involved.
Spinal Manipulation Risks
Chiropractic treatments like other treatments have risks. However, they are low when the procedures are done by certified chiropractors. The major risks in most cases come in form of side effects like dizziness, numbness, and headaches. These issues are normally temporary and so shouldn’t be a major concern. Though rare, there are a few reports showing serious risks such as an injury to the spine and leakage of the spinal fluid. As sad as it sounds, such risks are associated with untrained and unlicensed chiropractors. Therefore, it’s important to first check for certification before allowing a given chiropractor to perform spinal manipulation on you. As a treatment option, a spinal manipulation technique is not for everyone and thus you should check with your doctor before attempting it.
Other Chiropractic Treatments
- Massage Therapy
Chiropractors normally combine spinal manipulation technique with therapeutic massages such as trigger point release (TPR) and active release technique (ART). For example, they can use ART to break up scar tissues which may have developed in the lumbar region because of spinal discomforts. As for TPR, it’s used to break muscle knots that are causing lumbar pain. Once the knots are broken up, then the chances of suffering lumbar pain are reduced.
- Physical Therapy
After spinal manipulation, it’s advisable to go for physical therapy as a way to strengthen the lower back muscles and the spine. Though you can have the sessions at any clinic offering physical therapy, you can still come back to your chiropractor for the treatments. A majority of them offer the service but it’s not a guarantee. Talk to your expert about it and ask for a recommendation if the therapy is not offered there.
- Lifestyle Advice
Lastly, a chiropractor may go as far as helping you live a healthier life after the spinal manipulation technique. The expert will offer you advice on:
- Proper nutrition – You’ll be advised on what to eat and drink so as to improve your spinal wellbeing.
- Weight management – You’ll be advised on how to watch your weight so as to improve spinal health.
- Staying active – You’ll be advised on what aerobic routines are good for your spine and lower back.
- The right posture – You’ll be directed on how to sit and lie down properly without damaging your spine.
Lumbar pain generally can be devastating to your health and wellbeing. It’s one of the conditions that can rob your joy and peace of mind. You need a practical approach to manage it. Chiropractic treatments fit the bill. They’ll help you address the main problem (the subluxations) while promoting spinal health and flexibility. Contact Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic, located in Murfreesboro, TN, today!