"Does Chiropractic Treatment Work?"
I think chiropractors have their place within the medical field and can certainly do an excellent job of manipulating the spine when needed. However, it has been my experience that just likes any other course of treatment; chiropractic care is not always such a great fit.
One thing to consider is how a chiropractor establishes his/her plan of care. Most times, the assessment is done with only an x-ray. And as any knowledgeable health care provider can tell you, lumbar discs are transparent on x-ray films. In my mind, performing a spinal manipulation can be downright irresponsible without an MRI for those people presenting with a herniated or bulging disc(s).
I would use extreme caution for those back pain conditions such as a herniated or bulging disc when under the care of a chiropractor. It is quite possible to experience a worsening of symptoms after a manipulation when the presence of a herniated disc is at hand. This may happen because of the shearing force used during the manipulation is over the torn or herniated annular fibers.
Did you know you could do your own "adjustments?"
Use self adjustment techniques as a viable option for one’s own self treatment.
Back pain therapy done in this way can greatly increase healing response time, and ease back pain symptoms by loosening up “stiff” and “stuck” segments of the lower lumbar spine.
Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain
I was never quite sure how chiropractors could justify an "adjustment" to the spine with the presence of a herniated disc anyway, as it is not possible to "manipulate" a torn or herniated disc back into place. Sort of like trying to manipulate toothpaste back into the tube.
When back pain symptoms are the result of stiff or stuck facet joints, then chiropractic care is one way to quickly get those joints moving again. In this case, results can usually be felt within a relatively short period of time. Often, this can be achieved in less than a week.
As you feel spinal adjustments are the right course of treatment for you, then perhaps you will benifit from self-adjustments? Check out the green box!
Chiropractor Care - Team Approach
When patients come to me having failed with chiropractic treatment, I see very little in the way of "self management". Not to mention little if no exercise program. Maybe this is because patient independence is not something they truly want to achieve? Maybe they are afraid the patient will fall off "program" as they are able to manage by themselves?
As anyone is considering chiropractic care, talk first to your medical physician (chiropractors have a Doctorate degree, not a Medical degree). Use a team approach when possible to include a physician, chiropractor, physical therapist and others to heal back pain.
By Tommy Hoffman, Licensed Physical Therapist