Chiropractic Treatments for Common Back Issues and Pain

Chiropractic Treatments for Common Back Issues and Pain

Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly, and is considered to be the single leading cause of disability worldwide. 

It is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. 

Low-back pain costs Americans $50 billion annually in health care costs, and if you factor in lost wages and decreased productivity, that figure is doubled. Many experts consider chronic low-back pain to be a growing epidemic that will continue to steadily rise. 

Whether you are experiencing back pain within the acute period (4 weeks), the subacute (4 -12 weeks), or have chronic symptoms (lasting longer than 12 weeks), your condition can be treated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are skilled at determining the underlying cause of your back pain, applying a variety of techniques to address the issue, and helping realign your spine’s natural curvature so that your body’s natural ability to heal from trauma, injury, and/or poor posture is optimized. With the goal of helping you return to a healthy, active lifestyle, chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and drug-free approach to treating common back issues and pain. Find a chiropractor near you to feel better and live your best life today.

The Spine and Its Natural Curves

The back, aka the spine, is a complicated structure that is designed to act as your body’s center of neurological and structural support. There are 33 stacked vertebrae within the spine that form 3 normal curves called the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), and lumbar (lower back). From top to bottom, these curves form an outward-inward-outward S-shaped pattern that allows for greater flexibility, distribution of weight, and natural shock-absorption. Intervertebral discs lie between each vertebrae and act as mini-cushions, whereby ligaments hold the vertebrae together, stabilize the spine, and protect the discs. 

When abnormalities of the spine occur, vertebrae become misaligned and the spine’s curvature can be exaggerated in certain areas. Three main types of spine curvature disorders are kyphosis, lordosis, and scoliosis, all of which can contribute to common back pain, irregular body movements, and decreased range of motion. 

  • Kyphosis, often referred to as a hunchback, consists of an excessive forward curvature of the upper back. Shoulder, neck, and upper back pain are often associated with a kyphotic posture, as well as headaches.
  • Lordosis, commonly referred to as a swayback, is defined as an excessive inward curve of the lower back. Although some lordosis is healthy and normal, an increased curvature can cause varying degrees of instability and low back pain. Note, lordosis can occur in the cervical spine as well and is common amongst rock climbers or professions that require the individual to look up for long periods of time. 
  • Scoliosis is a spinal disorder characterized by an abnormal sideways S-shaped or C-shaped curvature of the spine and is typically associated with uneven shoulders and/or hips. See The Most Effective Chiropractic Treatments and Adjustments for Scoliosis to learn more about scoliosis.

Spinal curvature can occur as a result of a birth defect, growth patterns as one ages, injury, prolonged periods of poor posture, and obesity. Correcting one’s posture through chiropractic work and addressing several aspects of an individual’s overall health can help minimize the pain caused by irregular curvatures.

Chiropractic Treatments for Upper Back Pain and Kyphosis (aka Hunchback)

Chiropractic Treatments for Upper Back Pain and Kyphosis (aka Hunchback)

Kyphosis is often associated with an exaggerated hunchback and aging, as it is commonly caused by osteoporosis. Milder forms of the curvature can be attributed to poor posture whereby the individual slouches or leans their head forward for extended periods of time to look at a screen or a phone. Regardless of the severity, chiropractors can help manipulate the vertebrae back into partial or full alignment so that the patient experiences muscle and nerve pain relief. In addition to the adjustments, they can help prescribe top stretches to fix neck hump or exercises to do at home that will strengthen the muscles that have become weakened due to the misalignment. In some cases utilizing a back brace may be preferable to relieving painful symptoms. 

Chiropractic Treatments for Lower Back Pain and Lordosis (aka Swayback)

Chiropractic Treatments for Lower Back Pain and Lordosis (aka Swayback)

An exaggerated curvature of the lower back also called lordosis or a swayback commonly causes low-back pain due to the pull and strain it creates for the musculature. Pregnant women, obese patients, individuals that wear high-heeled shoes, and those with weakened hip muscles from sitting long hours may experience back pain, sciatica, or tingling and numbness from severe lordosis. Chiropractic care can help counter the negative impact lordosis and bulging or herniated disc issues, which also are frequently to blame for lower back pain, have on your life by correcting misalignments in the spine, tractioning or stretching (see two stretches for low back pain), and providing postural awareness for long-term relief.

Do Chiropractors Recommend Back Braces?

Do Chiropractors Recommend Back Braces?

Posture is incredibly important in alleviating back pain as it reduces stress on your ligaments, prevents muscle strain or overuse, conserves energy, and decreases abnormal joint wear. In some cases, a chiropractor will recommend a back brace to help improve a patient’s posture and act as a supplemental treatment. Lightweight, easy-to-use lumbar braces are designed to prolong the beneficial effects of your adjustments and help address habitual movements that may be contributing to the pain.

Chiropractic Care to Alleviate Common Back Issues and Pain

Chiropractic treatments can be as conservative as you need, customized to alleviate your discomfort, and targeted to help you return to a healthy, active lifestyle. By determining the underlying cause of your back pain, applying a variety of techniques to address the issue, and helping realign your spine’s natural curvature, a chiropractor can help your body heal from trauma, injury, and/or poor posture.

Make an appointment with a chiropractor near you to learn more ways they can reduce and help manage your back pain so that you experience lasting results.