As long as there has been life, there has always been pain; the most prominent of which being physical. Physical pain is a daunting force in all those who live, and it takes many forms and affects many areas of the body, the feet, the hands, the neck, or the stomach. But one of the most common causes of pain, especially for adults, is back pain.
Back pain, also known as backache or lumbago, is pain that is focused on the back itself, specifically and usually the lower area of the spine. The pain can vary, being something as minor as an ache to something more serious like a sensation of being burned or stabbed. It is one of the most common reasons for someone seeking medical help and attention and one of the leading causes of disability.
Treatment for back pain has many options, many of which come in the form of medication and medically advised bed rest. While all of these are well and good, there is a better method, one that aims to stop back pain at the source. This treatment comes with a name known by many, and that name is chiropractic.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic (see more here), as defined, is a form of alternative medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and hopeful prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In simpler terms, it is the medically approved method for diagnosing, treating, and preventing back pain. Chiropractic is generally known as complementary and alternative (CAM) medicine.
It was first founded in the late 19th century, under the hands of one D.D Palmer, who called the method “a science of healing without the use of drugs”. Its origins come mainly from those of folk medicine and setting bone, and eventually involved other aspects as well, the likes of which include rationalism, spiritualism, and spiritual inspiration. Though not at first recognized as a viable treatment, it did over time through deduction, political, and legal defense become known as a recognized profession and treatment.
What is it Used For?
Though used mainly for back pain, chiropractic has uses in other forms of pain as well. These can include places like the head, the neck, and even the legs. If it’s pain that involves the spine, chiropractic can be used.
How Does it Work?
Chiropractic therapy involves performing adjustments and manipulations to the spine. This process helps correct possible alignment problems, helps ease pain in places of moderate to severe tension, and supports the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Of course, there are other methods of chiropractic that are less hands-on, such as which include:
- Heating and icing of the affected area
- Electrical stimulation of the affected area
- Relaxation techniques,
- General exercise
- Rehabilitative care
- Exercise and weight loss
- Dietary supplements
Now the method may sound simple, but its execution is something that’s left better in the hands of a professional than a novice. These professionals who specialize in chiropractic are named chiropractors.
What are Chiropractors?
A chiropractor is a professional who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal disorders, especially in the areas in or around the spine. They offer They do this through a hands-on method of treatment, using pressure and placement to help manipulate and adjust the spine and other joints around it, by using techniques like spinal manipulation, and schroth method exercises. Through this, they help to alleviate pain, improve overall mobility, and bring overall better function to the human body.
To go into further detail, chiropractors focus on the relationship between the vertebrae and the nervous system surrounding it. They do what they do with the knowledge that misaligned vertebrae or dysfunctions within it can impede the body’s ability to correct and heal itself. Some methods chiropractors use to help combat back pain include the likes of:
- Spinal adjustment
- Rehabilitation and exercise
- Soft tissue therapy
- Lifestyle counseling
- Hot and cold treatment
The Job of a Chiropractor
You would think that one who’s given the title of chiropractor is one who only deals with spinal pain, but you would be wrong. Chiropractors in truth, like any doctor, have a responsibility and duty to uphold within the healthcare profession, whether it’s documentation, referrals, or sound counsel and advice. Some of these responsibilities are listed below, but others can be found on sites like the one listed below as well.
- Patient Assessment- conducting thorough and precise assessments of a patient’s medical history. These include the likes of physical examinations and forms detailing their medical history among other things. This helps the chiropractor be informed of their patient’s outlying problems and physical status that may impede or help improve their treatment.
- Diagnosis & Treatment- they are responsible for developing a treatment plan for their patients and the diagnosis they have given them. Some treatment plans for chiropractic issues are as listed above, such as spinal manipulation and adjustment, soft tissue therapy, joint mobilization, and more. These treatments and more help to minimize and eventually eliminate the pain from the area bothering the patients.
- Patient Education- ensuring that your patients are informed of what’s affecting their health is important. It helps them know what they are up against along with knowing how to best manage and treat their health problems, whether they involve a health professional or themselves. This also makes them more involved and active in their healing progress.
- Pain Management- like any doctor, chiropractors also employ methods for their patients to help manage pain levels that are both acute and chronic. Some of these methods involve hot and cold therapy, electric stimulation, massages on the back and areas around the spine, trigger point therapy, and more. These methods help to reduce pain levels and inflammation.
- Referrals- it is of course a chiropractor’s responsibility to make referrals to other companies or professionals when necessary. These can include the likes of orthopedists, physical therapists, or primary care professionals and physicians.
- Documentation- one of the most important aspects of any medical profession is record keeping, and chiropractic professionals are no exception to the rule. Keeping detailed information on patient assessments, progression notes, insurance history, and medical history among other things, is crucial to effective communication with healthcare teams and patient progression.
Where You Can Find a Chiropractor
Chiropractors are easy to find and locate. They can be looked up on the web under certain companies or even as freelance professionals, or through yellow pages and references from other current doctors. Such is no less the case in the Virginia Beach area, as there are many Virginia Beach Chiropractor that make their claims in the area and around. Whether it’s a drive, phone call, or referral away, chiropractors are not in short supply.
Back pain is the cause of many people’s discomfort and physical limitations. Knowing when to address them is important, and having the licensed professionals on hand to do so is even more important. Whether in Virginia, the rest of the United States, or anywhere else in the world really. Back pain does not discriminate, nor does it favor one over another. It is the chronic pain that affects many and all, and having the treatment necessary to combat it is as important as maintaining your physical health.