Do nothing – it may get better on its own, however, this is generally not recommended as you are much more likely to re-injure yourself and develop long-term problems which are usually more complicated to treat due to compensations that your body may make in this time.
Rest – it is often helpful to avoid aggravating movements and activities. It is important with rest, not to stay immobile in bed (unless really necessary) because this can make back pain worse.
Ice or Heat? Ice wrapped in a thin tea towel for 15 minutes on and one hour off can provide pain relief for acute injuries. Heat is good on tight and achy muscles, but can make sprains, infections and fractures worse.
Exercise – some exercise can actually help speed up the recovery of back pain and is extremely important in chronic cases. Make sure you get advice about which exercises are best for your type of back pain, for example exercises for disc injuries can aggravate facet joint sprains (back joints)
Back Supports and taping – may provide benefit during acute phases or heavy lifting, however, if used all the time the muscles that stabilise the area can become weaker.
Professional Help – Chiropractic provides a specialised assessment, diagnosis of the problem and a treatment or management plan. In most cases of back pain we can help you achieve a full recovery with chiropractic, rehabilitation and reconditioning advice. In some cases your chiropractor will give you advice regarding referral for other types of care such as orthotics, GP, physiotherapist or surgical opinions.
Treating the cause, not the symptoms
It is worth stressing that chiropractors do not just manipulate – they manage back pain and have, for a long time, been aware of the need for exercises in the more chronic conditions. These can often be provided simply in the clinic setting and specially designed for the patient’s specific needs and problems.
Rehabilitation does not just mean attending a gym, although there is evidence that general exercise improves well-being and pain tolerance. Maximum benefit is gained from specific exercise prescriptions under the guidance of a trainer.
As you go through life, a slight loss of proper movement of the bones/joints can interfere with the healthy working of your spine, and the nerves that pass through it. This can lead to pain. Chiropractic, unlike analgesics (painkilling drugs), treats the cause of the pain, not just the pain itself.
Is chiropractic treatment possible after surgery?
Probably – your chiropractor has the training and experience to treat each patient as an individual. You will receive appropriate treatment and adjustments for your specific condition, whilst areas not suitable for treatment will be carefully avoided. Your chiropractor will also be able to offer post surgical exercise, advice and rehabilitation.
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