The overall goal of chiropractic care is whole-body treatment that offers a variety of alternative health care approaches. Therefore, in addition to chiropractic adjustment and manipulation, chiropractic treatment often includes posture education, exercise programs, and nutrition advice.
Upon examination, a chiropractor may identify postural alignment problems, which can lead to back pain. The good news is that by catching the problem early on, the right exercise regimen can help relieve or even prevent the onset of pain. Proper posture not only keeps the curves of the spine properly aligned, muscles can return to their original length after contracting or extending.
Good posture helps make your stomach muscles strong. Likewise, strong core muscles, which include the abdominal, buttocks and hip muscles, contribute to good posture. When you maintain proper posture, you continuously work your core muscles that hold your body in the proper position when you sit, stand, or bend.
If bad posture is contributing to your back pain, a chiropractor will work with you to correct it and decrease stress on your joints. Proper body mechanics help protect the bones of the spinal column and the muscles supporting them.
Tight and stiff muscles can contribute to bad posture as well. But along with teaching you exercises to stretch and strengthen your core muscles, a chiropractor may need to perform chiropractic adjustments to realign your back so that there is less stress on your spine.
If you suffer from chronic low back pain, a chiropractor may recommend strengthening and stretching exercises for the back as part of your chiropractic treatment. Weak muscles can cause pain, but a back conditioned through exercise allows the spine and supporting muscles and tendons to endure more stress without causing discomfort.
Strong core muscles help keep the spine in alignment, providing relief from back pain. Core strengthening exercise also helps you avoid back strain since you need strong muscles to support your spine.
Tight hamstrings—the muscles at the back of your thigh—can cause low back pain too. Therefore, a chiropractor may instruct you on stretching exercises that may help relieve your back pain.
When your hamstrings are tight, you need to bend your lower back more when bending forward. Hamstring stretches lengthen the muscles, reducing stress on the muscles in your lower back. Less muscle stress in any part of your body can help you better manage chronic pain.
Good nutrition helps reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer. A healthy diet along with regular exercise contributes to maintaining a healthy weight to reduce strain on back muscles and weight-bearing joints.
Depending on your specific needs, a chiropractor may provide nutrition counseling and treat nutritional deficiencies with supplements. For example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, which causes weak bones, increasing the risk of fractures, including spinal fractures.
Sudden back pain or a dull, aching pain that persists for more than a few days may be a sign of a spinal fracture. Aside from chronic back pain, common symptoms of spinal compression fractures include hip pain and loss of height. A chiropractor can recommend dietary supplements, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, to help build bone mass and reduce the risk of vertebral fractures.
Poor nutritional choices can also lead to obesity, which may contribute to a number of chronic pain conditions including back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Although the relationship between pain and obesity isn't clear, one study found that individuals with higher BMIs (body mass index) reported having more pain than individuals with normal BMIs. Of those who participated in the survey, the more overweight a person, the more pain he or she reported.
If you need relief from chronic low back pain, the staff of Corner Chiropractic Center can recommend a treatment option that will best fit your particular situation.