Chiropractic Back Pain Treatment for Low Back Pain, Upper Back Pain
CHIROPRACTIC BACK PAIN RELIEF IN CHICAGO, IL
If you are suffering from back pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common ailments suffered by people of all ages and abilities. Whether it is a chronic pain or acute symptoms due to an injury, most people have experienced some back pain in their lives. Back pain can result from repetitive stress injuries or simply bad posture habits, or it could arise from an accident or sports injury.
Treating your back pain requires an understanding of the source of your pain. Here at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center, our patient care team is dedicated to developing a treatment plan customized to your back pain to help you find relief. Our experienced chiropractor, massage therapists, and acupuncturist are here to help you realize a life beyond your back pain so you can get back to what you love to do.
Back pain relief is possible. But the first step in developing a treatment plan for you is to determine what type of back pain you are experiencing.
What Type of Back Pain Do You Have?
Lower Back Pain (L1-L5 + Sacrum)
Lower back pain is one of the most common types of back pain, with over 80% of adults experiencing some lower back pain in their lives. Because the lower spine flexes and extends more than the upper back, it is more vulnerable to injury. The heavier workload of the lower back also explains why lower back pain can be so debilitating and painful.
Over one-third of adults with lower back pain can trace their symptoms to some form of disc injury. Other causes of lower back pain include pain from facet and sacroiliac joints, as well as muscles in the back. Compression fractures and canal stenosis are other, less common causes of lower back pain.
Thoracic Spine (T1-T12)
For easy reference, we have divided the thoracic spine into Upper Back and Mid Back.
Upper Back Pain (T1-T6)
Spine pain in the upper back is no less common than lower back pain. Upper-back pain can cause chest pain when taking deep breaths and might become more intense when you cough or sneeze. You may also experience sudden pain in the ribs. Further, upper-back pain can extend to the shoulder blades and neck area and can even cause headaches. Upper back pain is usually a result of poor posture. Compression fractures and muscle spasms are other possible causes of upper back pain.
Mid Back Pain (T6-T12)
Middle back pain is discomfort in your spine between the region that extends from the base of your scapula and continues to the bottom of your ribcage. An injury can cause pain in the middle back area, as can a ruptured or herniated disc or spinal stenosis, among many other reasons.
How We Treat Back Pain
At Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center, we take a holistic and evidenced-based medicine approach to pain treatment. What does this mean? A medical approach to a condition—let’s say for instance lower back pain—would be to identify the disorder and then most likely prescribe a medication such as a muscle relaxant or opioid painkiller to treat the symptom. We take a different approach. Instead of focusing on alleviating the symptoms of a condition by say, prescribing a painkiller, we take into account the entire health profile of the patient, such as nutrition, current medications, exercise habits, past injuries, and other information we use from our exam findings to help alleviate your pain and prevent it from recurring.
By applying this comprehensive approach, our team here at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center focuses on all aspects of your health, which makes us uniquely equipped to help you find relief for not just back pain, but a solution for the cause that led to the pain in the first place.
What does back pain care at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center entail? Let’s take a look at the treatment options we have available to help you find out how to get rid of back pain. To set up an initial appointment, call us today at 773-878-7330.
Chiropractic for Back Pain
Chiropractic adjustment has been found to be an effective treatment for both the symptoms and the causes of back pain. In fact, chiropractic care is seen as the best option for initial treatment by many experts.
In fact, New guidelines from the American College of Physicians issued in February of 2017 in The Annals of Internal Medicine recommends for all M.D.’s is to treat lower back pain by addressing the problem itself before issuing dangerous and addictive prescriptions for pain-killers.
The new treatment guidelines for lower back pain now include as a first line therapy:
Spinal Manipulation (Chiropractic Adjustments)
Moist Heat Therapy
These guidelines follow the Department of Health and Human Services similar recommendations, “Chiropractic treatment is recommended for acute low-back pain and should be pursued before pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.”
Other studies demonstrate that patients who were classified as “totally disabled” and had not responded to other types of treatment, including operative treatment, found that visiting a chiropractor for their chronic back pain finally found relief. In this study, “81% became symptom-free or achieved a state of mild intermittent pain with no work restrictions” after receiving spinal manipulations.
Chronic back pain and severe back pain can be treated effectively with chiropractic adjustments. Study after study has provided plenty of evidence that chiropractic care is one of the most efficient, conservative, and drug-free back pain treatments available.
When you first visit us at Ravenswood Chiropractic in Chicago, you will receive a consultation designed to assess your current pain level and condition as well as a thorough physical examination. Additional tests such as MRI, X-rays or blood tests may be ordered. Once our chiropractor has gathered all of the necessary information, we will go over your recommended back pain treatment plan, which is individualized and may layer one or more therapies such as physical therapy, orthotics, massage therapy, or acupuncture in addition to chiropractic treatments into a combination that is most effective for your condition and that will help prevent a recurrence.
Physical Therapy for Back Pain
Our back pain management team has seen plenty of success pairing chiropractic care with physical therapy. While chiropractic adjustments can improve joint restrictions by returning joints into a healthy position and maintaining proper biomechanics, the passive and active treatments that our team recommends will help you keep your back pain in check.
Passive physical therapy treatments might include heat and cold therapy to reduce inflammation, electrotherapy to override pain signals and ultrasound therapy for episodes of acute pain. These passive treatments might be combined with active physical therapy elements such as stretching and exercising to improve your overall strength, coordination, and range of motion. Active physical therapy plans like all our treatment plans are tailored to the individual. In this case, the patient’s physical therapy program is customized based on the patient’s functional loss determined by the exam as well as other factors. By isolating specific stretches and exercises that will help reduce your particular back pain symptoms, our physical therapy team can help you learn to reduce back pain now and prevent additional injury in the future.
Your Team at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center is here to help you understand how to relieve lower back pain and other types of back pain. In conjunction with chiropractic care and other kinds of therapy, physical therapy is often an essential element in treating back pain.
Orthotics for Back Pain
What causes back pain? The answer to that question depends on each unique situation, but for some of us, back pain has its origins in our feet. Your feet absorb the shock of your weight with each step you take. Problems with your feet can lead to problems elsewhere in your body, such as your knees, hips, and your back. As you walk, the arches in your feet raise and lower, which causes the bones of your legs and thighs to rotate. If your arches begin to flatten, the bones in your legs and thighs can rotate too much, putting more stress on your knees, pelvis, and lower back. Flat feet, a single flat foot, and anatomical short leg (leg length discrepancy where one leg is shorter than the other) can all be addressed with customized foot orthotics.
Have you ever noticed that you have more back pain when wearing different shoes or while walking in bare feet? This could be an indication that your feet are causing your back pain. Foot orthotics, combined with other types of treatment, may be a straightforward yet effective treatment for reducing your back pain. By providing proper support for your feet, customized foot orthotics can help correct posture to alleviate back pain while promoting the health of your feet.
Our chiropractor has advanced training in biomechanics and custom foot orthotics. Call our Andersonville location today at 773.878.7330 to schedule an appointment and see if custom foot orthotics would be a helpful tool in your fight against back pain.
Medical Massage for Back Pain
Massage therapy is an important and effective treatment for many types of pain, with lower back pain and upper back pain being no exception. One convincing study of the effectiveness of massage at treating back pain published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that ten weeks of massage treatments reduced symptoms of lower back pain, fewer instances of restricted activity, and less dependence on pain medication.
Much like the stretches and exercises employed by our physical therapists, massage therapy helps to increase your range of motion while improving blood flow, which promotes muscle relaxation and a decrease in chronic back pain. Some types of massage that we may use to treat your moderate to severe back pain include Swedish Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Deep Tissue Massage.
Our clinical massage therapists will consult with your chiropractor and other members of your back pain management team to determine which massage will be the right course of action for you.
Acupuncture for Back Pain
With an ever growing number of people suffering from lower back pain, acupuncture is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional medical practice for those seeking relief.
The subject of numerous research studies, acupuncture is gaining optimistic support as an effective treatment for relieving pain in all regions of the back. In fact, research results have been so positive they have garnered recommendations from such prestigious medical bodies such as Harvard Medical School and The Mayo Clinic. As early as 1998 the National Institute of Health indicated there was enough evidence demonstrating acupuncture’s pain-relieving qualities to enlist it in the treatment of low back pain. And, in an official report issued by the World Health Organization, the use of acupuncture showed adequate evidence in controlled clinical trials to effectively treat low back pain, including sciatica.
Today, more and more physicians are recommending acupuncture either alone or in cases where prescription pain medications have not worked, are no longer as effective as they once were, or have caused unwanted side effects. In Fact, the World Health Organization recommends that “Because of the side-effects of long-term drug therapy for pain and the risks of dependence, acupuncture analgesia can be regarded as the method of choice for treating many chronically painful conditions.” Additionally, the use of acupuncture among pregnant women who are unable to take prescription pain medication for persistent back pain has proven for some to be especially beneficial.
How Does Acupuncture for Back Pain Work?
How acupuncture works to offer relief from back pain seems to lie within the biochemical effects it produces by stimulating the body’s central nervous system. When special acupuncture needles are placed at specific target points on the body, along what are called meridians, or pathways on which qi (pronounced chee), or “life energy” flows, electro-magnetic signals are triggered which increase the body’s production of certain biochemicals, including pain-blocking opioids and endorphins. Endorphins, which are among the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, are the body’s natural painkillers.
Interesting Note: The World Health Organization reports that the “proportion of chronic pain relieved by acupuncture is generally in the range 55–85%, which compares favorably with that of potent drugs (morphine helps in 70% of cases) and far outweighs the placebo effect (30–35%)”
How Does Acupuncture for Back Pain Work at our Andersonville Acupuncture Clinic?
At Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Andersonville, Acupuncture has also proven to be a successful treatment for many people in relieving back pain, including chronic back pain in the upper, mid and lower back.
At our Wellness Center, the first step in treating your back pain begins with an in-depth patient health history. Acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment or often in combination with our chiropractic care plans. When you meet our licensed acupuncturist, she will complete a comprehensive examination. This initial examination will indicate a number of your body’s target points, where very thin acupuncture needles are to be precisely inserted at various depths using traditional acupuncture either alone or in conjunction with a method called “trigger point dry needling.” The aim is to increase circulation and unblock meridians to allow for the free flow of energy or qi.
Other Traditional Chinese Medicine methods of pain relief, such as cupping, gua sha, electrical stimulation or moxibustion may also be used during treatment to relieve your back pain and other symptoms such as stiffness, sharpness, weakened muscles and referral pain.
Call Today to Schedule Your Initial Consultation
We are experts in figuring out the cause of the issue so we can design and implement a plan to fix it quickly. We have been especially successful in treating patients with chronic and recurrent back pain. In the past, some of you may have tried one or more of the approaches discussed above and may not have found it as effective as you had hoped. When used in the right combinations and at the right times of treatment phases, our unique and multifaceted treatment approach can provide lasting results.
The first step to back pain relief is to call the Chicago back pain specialists at Ravenswood Chiropractic & Wellness Center. Our unique practice blends the advantages of many different types of care available to treat your specific type of back pain. To set up an initial appointment, call us today at 773-878-7330.
References and Additional Information
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (US Dept. of Health and Human services) 1994
West J Med. 1989 Jul; 151(1):83-4
Cherkin DC, Eisenberg D, Sherman KJ, et al. Randomized trial comparing traditional Chinese medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and self-care education for chronic low back pain. Archives of internal Medicine 2001:161, pp1081-88
Reimer M.D., Ronald. “Acupuncture Becoming More Mainstream in Western Medicine.” Chicago Tribune 1/6/2015 http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-health-natural-med-acupuncture-story.html
Alderman, Lesley. “Acupuncture is popular, But You’ll Need to Pay.” The New York Times 7/5/2015 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/health/08patient.html? r=0
Pendrick, Daniel. “Acupuncture is worth a try for Chronic Pain.” Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical school 1/04/13 http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-is-worth-a-try-for-chronic-pain-201304016042
NIH Consensus Development Panel on Acupuncture. Acupuncture. JAMA. 1998;280(17);1518-1524 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/42414/1/9241545437.pdf?ua=1
Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Mashino AC, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Arch Internal Med. 2012;172(19):1444-1453. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357513
Vickers, Andrew J., and Klaus Linde. “Acupuncture for Chronic pain.” JAMA: The Journal of The American Medical Association 311.9 (2014): 955-956 PMC. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4036643/