What Can Chiropractic Help?
Almost everyone gets back pain at some time, but staying active, with the help of chiropractic treatment, may well be the best solution.
Chiropractors treat problems with your joints, bones and muscles, and the effects they have on your nervous system. Working on all the joints of your body, concentrating particularly on the spine, we use our hands to make gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve the efficiency of your nervous system and release your body’s natural healing ability. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.
Poor posture may cause pain
Poor posture may lead to back pain. Your chiropractor at this clinic may advise you to make postural changes if you:
- spend hours a day sitting at a desk, computer or in front of the TV
- sleep in a bed that is too hard or soft
- drive long distances in car, van or lorry
- find yourself hunching your back and shoulders in stressful situations
Daily activities, such as bending, driving, lifting, twisting and repetitive movements may result in a ‘bad back’. This is why your chiropractor will want to understand how you tackle these everyday movements. He/she will also ask about any major traumas to your back such as: car accidents falls sporting injuries lifting heavy weights.
Treat the cause of back pain, not the symptoms
Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just the pain itself. The chiropractors at this clinic will carry out a full examination and ask you questions about your pain, medical history and lifestyle, to try and discover the cause of your back pain and offer a diagnosis of your complaint.
Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) done by hand, to free stiff joints and remove spinal nerve irritation. This effective drug-free treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort if your back is very sore. Your chiropractor may recommend ice or heat treatment and specific exercises.
Is it a slipped/prolapsed disc?
Spinal discs are fibrous rings, containing a soft gel-like ‘cushion’, between each of your spinal bones (vertebrae). Discs cannot slip, because they are attached to the vertebrae, but the term ‘slipped disc’ can mean disc damage such as a bulge, a tear or rupture. The resulting pressure or irritation on the nerves that exit your spine can cause pain in your back, or ‘referred’ pain over an area, through which the nerves pass. Leg pain can be caused by nerve irritation or pressure in the lower spine. Your chiropractor will explain the cause of your pain. It may not be a ‘slipped disc’; many other problems have similar pain patterns.
How long will chiropractic take to work?
The scientific evidence and guidelines for medical practitioners state that spinal manipulation can help back pain, especially if carried out within the first six weeks. The longer you have been in pain, the longer it may take to improve with treatment. Your chiropractor will advise you of your likely recovery time, and how to minimise the chances of the problem happening again. Early treatment is important, but chiropractors are also effective at treating long-standing or chronic pain.
Is chiropractic treatment possible after surgery?
Probably. Your chiropractor has the training and experience to treat each patient as an individual. You will receive appropriate treatment and adjustments for your specific condition, while areas not suitable for treatment will be carefully avoided. Many chiropractors are able to offer post-surgical exercise, advice and rehabilitation.
Do I need an x-ray?
Probably not. Most back problems don’t show up on x-ray and are better diagnosed using a careful back examination and other tests such as muscle and nerve checks. Indeed, practitioners who advise routine x-rays, especially of the neck, upper back as well as the low back may be flouting accepted guidelines. For more information click here.
What the media says about chiropractic and back pain
- How to beat back pain What Doctors Dont Tell You
- Article on chiropractic Daily Mail
- Advice on sitting correctly from the BCA Daily Mail
- Article on how to beat back pain Daily Telegraph
- Information on chiropractic, back pain and posture
- General information on back pain, self help and effective treatments
- One man’s story of remarkable recovery using chiropractic Reuters
- Comparing chiropractic with out-patient hospital care British Medical Journal
- Study on patients’ satisfaction with chiropractic British Medical Journal
- Information on back pain with contribution from a BCA member The Sun, OUCH!
Headaches – Causes and Treatments
Headaches are common and almost everyone takes the odd one now and again for granted. You may however be suffering with more than you can cope with and chiropractors can treat many of the causes of headaches.
Chiropractic may help to relieve tightness in your neck muscles due to stress and spasm in your neck, shoulders and back. Treatment may also be effective in the treatment of headaches that are the result of an injury or repetitive strain to your neck. Migraine is a severe headache, accompanied by other symptoms. Problems affecting the bones in your neck (vertebrae) can cause headaches and be a contributory factor in migraine.
We can identify stiffness in the joints of the neck and by treating them, improve their movement and relieve the muscle spasm and nerve irritation that may be causing the problem.
Treatment consists of specific adjustments done by hand to free stiff joints and reduce spinal nerve irritation. We may also recommend ice, heat or massage treatment amongst other things. We also support the treatment with individual advice about the your lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.
Your neck supports the weight and movement of your head and also contains the vast majority of nerves that connect from your brain to the rest of your body. With the amount of driving, computer work and other daily activities that most of us do, it is not surprising that we can need a little chiropractic help keep our necks doing their job.
Neck pain can be caused by the long-term effect of poor posture from bending, repetitive lifting or manual work. Losing the proper movement in the joints of your neck may interfere with the healthy working of the nerves that run through it causing irritation to these nerves. This, in turn, can lead to pain where the nerves end – ‘referred pain’.
We may treat your neck for problems with your head, neck, shoulders and arms.
Treatment consists of specific adjustments done by hand to free stiff joints and reduce spinal nerve irritation. We may also recommend laser therapy, ice, heat or massage treatment amongst other things. We also support the treatment with individual advice about the your lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.
Whiplash injuries need not be the result of car accidents. A slip or fall can give you a whiplash-type injury and sudden movement, especially if repetitive, may cause injury as well. Normally, the joints at the back of your neck glide over each other and are self-lubricated but a whiplash injury forces them together, damaging the surrounding area, which includes nerves, muscles, ligaments and discs.
Damage from a whiplash-type injury can give a variety of symptoms including: dizzyness – light headedness – neck pain – headaches – arm pain – fatigue – poor concentration.
A BCA chiropractor will carry out a full examination (which may include an X-ray) and take a thorough history before advising an appropriate treatment programme for you. Treatment for these kinds of injuries involves often gentle, specific adjustments to your neck. This will decrease pain and restore normal movement to the area, aiming to ensure that each joint is working at its best. Some chiropractors use rehabilitation techniques to retrain those receptors that may have been damaged through a whiplash injury, as well as doing supervised neck strengthening exercises.
They also support the treatment they offer with individual advice about the patient’s lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.
Arthritic Pain in the spine
It goes by many names, most of them pretty scary – spondylosis, arthritis, degenerative joint disease, osteo-arthritis or just plain wear and tear. They are all the same. It surprises most people to learn that almost everyone gets it.
It has always been around; even Egyptian mummies have these changes. Most of the time it is painless and most people are completely unaware of it. The earliest signs are decreased range of movement, sometimes with a feeling of stiffness, especially in the mornings. Sometimes it can become painful though. If severe, it may cause pressure on nerves with subsequent pain, pins and needles or numbness in the limbs.
Causes of osteo-arthritis
Osteo-arthritis is thought to be caused by mechanical problems with the joints and surrounding muscles. Rather like a car with faulty suspension, the frame gets shaken about too much. All the usual suspects such as being overweight, having a poor diet and inadequate exercise play a part. Previous injury, like whiplash or previous low back strains may also make matters worse.
The first sign of arthritis in the spine is often seen in the discs. They crack, lose fluid and collapse putting more pressure on the back joints which then also wear out. The slippery lining of the back joint breaks down rather like the coating of an old non-stick pan. Inflammation sets in and pain soon follows.
When the space between two adjacent vertebrae narrows, compression of a nerve root emerging from the spinal cord may result in radiculopathy (sensory and muscle system disturbances, such as severe pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, back or leg, accompanied by muscle weakness). Less commonly, direct pressure on the spinal cord (typically in the cervical spine) may result in widespread weakness, problems walking, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control. If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is called cervical spondylosis and lumbar spondylosis in the low back.
Although there is no cure, the pain and stiffness of arthritis can respond well. Treatment is usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from your GP, chiropractic and physio, and lifestyle modifications. Surgery is rarely necessary. If you think you may have arthritis in the spine and would like a check-up then get in touch. We have x-ray facilities to help with the diagnosis and a range of professionals to help.
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