Depending on the cause and severity of your lower back pain, a chiropractor may recommend treatments other than spinal adjustments as part of your overall treatment plan for managing chronic low-back pain. Therefore, it helps to know more about the range of therapeutic methods that a chiropractic treatment program may offer.
The pressure the practitioner applies may be slow or rapid and gentle or strong. Generally, chiropractors use low speed, high force thrusts
Manual therapy alone doesn't always work for some individuals, but may prove more effective when used in combination with exercise and other treatment methods. Manipulation of the low back generally is safe, but you may feel tired or sore for a brief period afterward.
Your chiropractor may suggest passive and/or active physical therapy for your low-back pain in addition to spinal adjustment. The goals of physical therapy are to reduce pain, improve joint range of motion, increase flexibility and muscle strength, and teach you ways to help prevent problems in the future.
Passive Treatment Techniques
Passive physical therapy techniques a practitioner may use include heat application, cold therapy, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation. Heat therapy improves circulation and blood flow to the area, helping to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Cold therapy reduces swelling and has a temporary numbing effect on pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound is another method for increasing heat within soft tissues, increasing blood flow, and reducing back pain. Some practitioners use ultrasound to relax tight muscles and increase the range of motion of the lumbar spine. A chiropractor may also use electrical muscle stimulation to increase range of motion.
Active physical therapy focuses on specific exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the spine. Strong muscles put less stress on the joints of the spine. Exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles contribute to providing support from the front of the spine. Like manual manipulation, you may feel achy or sore following a physical therapy session.
Some chiropractors include massage therapy as part of treatment to improve pain and physical function. Many health care professionals recommend massage in combination with active exercise for long-term benefits.
Low back pain makes it hard to move, contributing to inactivity. Unfortunately, too little movement can make back pain worse. But massage as a treatment modality may help you move better so that you can exercise. Like other treatment techniques, massage improves blood circulation and relaxes muscles, leading to