October is Chiropractic Health Month – Here are Five Conditions Chiropractors can Treat
By: Brian Acton
October is Chiropractic Health Month, and during this time, the American Chiropractic Association and chiropractic doctors around the nation will focus on raising public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. Chiropractors focus on neuromuscular health, and treat their patients primarily through spinal manipulation and adjustments. This treatment is often viewed as alternative or complementary to more mainstream treatment, but many believe the practice is a natural alternative to addictive pain medication or invasive surgery.
To do our part for the month, we’re listing five common conditions or disorders that chiropractic care can help to treat.
Sports medicine and chiropractic don’t always go hand in hand, but for many athletes they’re a natural fit. Chiropractic sports medicine is a specialty of chiropractic treatment, and focuses on pain management and rehabilitation of neuromuscular and skeletal health for both pro athletes and athletic people of all levels. As of 2015, every NFL team and many MLB teams have an official chiropractor. These chiropractors focus on spinal manipulation for injuries sustained during athletics and focus on joint manipulations that help to improve strength and flexibility.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care can help with a condition commonly experienced by most people from time to time: headaches. Many factors can cause headaches, but one of the primary causes is overly tense muscles in the neck, which is a frequent condition in the era of the desk job. Chiropractors can assist with spinal manipulations or adjustments to relieve tense muscles and spinal pressure in the neck. They can also advise on posture, stretches, and exercises that will help to prevent headaches from developing in the neck and upper back.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is one of the most well known reasons to visit a chiropractor. For many, lower back pain goes away after a brief time. But for those with chronic lower back pain, the condition is recurring and can last for months or even years. Chiropractors treat lower back pain through spinal manipulation, using their hands or tools to apply force to spinal joints with the goal of pain relief. Studies have shown that this treatment is fairly low-risk and is one of the most popular “alternative” treatments to back pain.
Spinal Disc Conditions
There are a number of conditions that can befall the discs in your spine and cause severe back pain, leg pain, and other symptoms. Usually, these conditions come down to either a pinched nerve (material is leading from inside the disc and pinching a nerve) or disc pain (the disc itself is in pain). Chiropractors may take passive approach to treatment – for instance, exercise and stretches. Depending on the condition, they may also suggest spinal manipulations as well. In the case of a herniated disc, it’s important to note that they can only treat pain relief and not the underlying cause.
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden forward and backward movement of the neck (a common cause is a car accident). This can cause severe pain and restricted mobility in the neck. Chiropractors treat whiplash by evaluating the entire spine and identifying areas of joint, disc, muscle or ligament injury. Treatment involves a mix of spinal manipulation, inflammation treatment (if the injury is very recent) and stretching.
Chiropractic medicine is a respected and legitimate option for treatment of many spine-related injuries and conditions. It’s commonly popular as an alternative to medication-based pain relief. While in all cases we recommend consulting your primary care doctor or other specialists in the case of injury or illness, a chiropractor can potentially help you with your pain in many instances. If you’ve been considering chiropractic treatment, Chiropractic Health Month is the perfect occasion to research your options!