By Dennis Lopez, D.C., Faculty Clinician, Palmer Chiropractic Clinics
If you’ve ever had neck pain or low back pain then you know that it can vary in duration and intensity. Some people have minor aches that subside after a few days of rest, while others have severe or chronic back pain. Whether the neck and back pain comes from an injury or feels like it just started one morning, you want relief.
Chiropractic is a proven and effective treatment for musculoskeletal conditions including neck and low back pain. Millions of people suffer from neck and low back pain every year and they seek several different types of treatment. Chiropractic offers an alternative that has been proven safe and effective without the use of drugs or surgery.
Chiropractic uses orthopedic and neurological exams to develop an individualized care plan based on each patient’s needs. During the examination, the doctor will discover any decreased range of motion with or without pain. The neurological exams help the doctor to find any loss of function, sensation or numbness. After determining the cause of a patient’s low back pain, chiropractors can instruct and guide each patient through a plan that includes chiropractic techniques or co-management with a specialist or physical therapist. The chiropractic profession has numerous techniques that offer different approaches for neck and back pain patients.
Pain is often the first symptom a patient notices, but what most patients don’t know is that neck and back pain starts with muscle imbalances that lead to dysfunction of the spinal joints. Spinal dysfunction can lead to greater conditions such as a herniated disc or degeneration of the vertebral bones of the spine. Pain can occur at any point during this cycle, but it isn’t uncommon to start having pain after a more serious condition has developed. Chiropractic looks to treat and prevent the underlying causes of neck and back pain through specific adjustments of the spinal bones.
During a specific chiropractic adjustment there may be a release of nitrogen gas when a spinal joint is gapped. This “pop” or “crack” is a normal response to chiropractic adjustments.
In the early 1960s, James Cox. D.C., developed a technique that combines chiropractic principles and osteopathic principles by Allan Stoddard, D.O. The Cox Technic uses a specially designed chiropractic table that performs specific flexion and traction of the spine. This technique decompresses the spine and restores motion to the vertebral joints.
There are many ways to treat neck pain and back pain, from low force instrument adjustments to
mechanically assisted adjustments with a drop tables or the flexion-traction table for individuals
who are concerned about the” pop” or “crack.” Chiropractic is a safe and effective option in
today’s health care environment.