Chiropractors can help manage chronic pain for certain conditions. If you are searching for chiropractic care for chronic pain conditions it is important for your chiropractor to know what is causing your pain. You may need to have imaging tests, x-rays and MRIs, before being treated. Even if your have a diagnosis, the chiropractor may find something to add to your diagnosis or determine a different condition is causing your pain.
When first meeting the chiropractor you will have a typical medical intake. This is a discussion of your medical history – past surgeries, illness, injuries, and any allergies. The doctor will also give you an physical examination. He or she will watch how you walk, stand, and move to determine how your skeleton moves.
Once the doctor has examined you, viewed any imaging material you have brought, and completed the total intake you will discuss potential treatments. It will take some time to determine the exact treatment plan as your chiropractor may need more than one visit to be sure that your diagnosis is exact.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Pain from degenerative disc disease can last a lifetime. Chiropractic manipulation of the spine can help relieve this pain and reduce abnormal movement. There are a few ways to manipulate the spine – specific manipulation, flexion-distraction, and instrument assisted.
Tight, painful areas may benefit from manual therapy. Trigger points are manipulated with direct pressure, joints are stretched, massages release pressure and calm muscles.
A disc that is bulging, ruptured, or herniated can cause a significant amount of severe pain. A common tactic for treating herniated disc pain is for he chiropractor to use a series of treatments with felxion-distraction. This treatment utilizes a table that the patient (you) will lie on while the chiropractor gently manipulates the spine. Pushing on the spine to carefully stretch it can improve the height of damaged discs.
Other techniques to draw the vertebrae apart and reduce pressure on the discs include pelvic blocking. By using pillow wedges under the hips, the spine can be stretched and help the discs stop hurting as badly.
Nerve compression is the cause of sciatica. There are many causes of nerve compression – injury, disease, herniated discs, and even constipation. When the nerves are compressed you may lose sensation or have shooting pains. Insomnia is another symptom.
Your chiropractor will try to pinpoint he cause of your sciatica before beginning treatment. Manual treatment is used to help reduce the pressure on nerves or ‘open’ the vertabrae that are pinching a nerve.
Along with the manipulation and manual therapy, your pain can be reduced by other methods used in the chiropractic practice – TENS units transmit an electrical signal through the tissues. Muscles contract and help control nerve pain.
Ice or cold therapy reduces the amount of inflammation in muscles and joints. When inflammation is reduced then any swelling may also be reduced and help remove pressure.
As we age it is almost inevitable that at least one joint in our bodies will be affected by osteoarthritis. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis forms over time from injuries or wear and tear. The structures inside the joints can degrade which contribute to pain. If this affects the back and neck a chiropractor may be able to help relieve this chronic pain by manipulating the spine.
The manipulation can reduce the pressure as with other disorders and decrease the amount of damage from continued use of the joint(s). If caught early enough then the reduction of pressure may help the back begin to heal and compensate for the arthritis without resorting to surgery.