A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

What to know about chiropractic care for pain relief

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care paired with lifestyle modifications can help address pain.

Neck and back pain can make a significant impact on your daily life. Having aches and pains that prevent you from doing what you love isn’t normal. Seeing a chiropractor can help address the underlying causes.

Almost everyone will have low back pain at some point in their lives. It can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Chiropractic Association, disability due to back pain has risen by more than 50% since 1990.

From pinched nerves to migraines, chiropractors treat patients for a variety of conditions.

Chiropractors can help people who have pain in the low back, neck and headaches, often related to nerve and mechanical dysfunctions from the spinal complex. They also can help with painful extremities such as shoulders, wrists and knees.

Chiropractors reduce acute and chronic pain

Depending on the condition, chiropractic care is another resource people can use during recovery. They use a range of hands-on techniques to reduce pain, improve function and restore range of motion. Your treatment plan will often include an assessment of how to improve ergonomics, therapeutic exercises you can do at home and lifestyle changes to prevent future problems.

One of the most commonly used therapies is spinal manipulative therapy, or SMT, which is a high speed, low amplitude impulse focused on the spinal column. Other techniques chiropractors may use include stretching, manual therapies, electric muscle stimulation, an impulse tool to loosen taut muscles, a traction table, dry needling and exercise and rehabilitative programs.

“We have specialized equipment and specialized treatment tables,” said Dr. Ben Shier, Marshfield Clinic Health System chiropractor. “We can frequently help you feel a pretty significant change, fairly quickly, even after a short visit.”

Chiropractic adjustments pair with lifestyle modification

Like choosing your primary care provider, it’s important to find the right chiropractor. “Choose someone who practices evidence-based care,” Shier said. In your first visit you can expect a consultation and examination. However, Shier advises you don’t necessarily need an X-ray to assess your situation.

“Through the years we’ve found that X-rays or more advanced diagnostics are only needed when we’re investigating red flags or when a patient is failing to respond to conservative measures,” he said. “If you are unsure whether a condition should be treated by a chiropractor, I encourage you to go. Chiropractors are experts in diagnosing and treating spine-related pain and will be able to help you determine if a referral is needed.”

Moreover, in addition to providing in-clinic treatment, your chiropractor will prepare you a therapy program at home, ensuring you get well and stay well. “The majority of people are able to resolve their complaints and can stay pain-free by following lifestyle adjustments,” Shier said. “Other people enjoy opting for maintenance care because it helps with minor aches and pains before those become something that decreases your quality of life.” Shier said.

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