Relief from Neck Strain

Why You Should Make Spinal Manipulation Part Of Your Back Pain Management

by Sophie Hill

Back pain is an incredibly common problem in the United States; in a period of 90 days, around a quarter of adults have at least one day of back pain. And one of the difficulties with back pain is that it can have so many potential causes. That means many people must both spend time managing symptoms while also trying to find or treat the underlying cause of their pain.

Why A Combination Approach Is Best

Your body relies on your spine to help keep your entire body supported and balanced, and that means that spinal problems can cause a cascade of other pains and problems. By approaching back pain from multiple angles, you are both more likely to affect the underlying cause of the back pain and to affect more of the cascading symptoms.

Trying to simply manage the pain itself through a single approach, on the other hand, can lead to all sorts of problems. Techniques that can be helpful as part of a larger treatment plan, such as stress-reducing massage or a more supportive mattress, will seem ineffective used on their own, causing some people to give up on them entirely.

And pharmacological pain management has its own very serious issues. Whenever possible, back pain should be treated without medication. If medication is needed, over-the-counter options are preferable; however, they can cause liver problems when used constantly. Prescription pain medication, with its risks of building tolerance and addiction, should be a last resort; luckily, when back pain is managed in a combination approach, it is much less likely to be necessary.

What Makes Up An Effective Combination Approach

You can think of a combination approach to back pain as a three-pronged attack: physical, environmental, and psychological. Physical treatment includes treating the underlying cause, if it's known; it also includes things like spinal manipulation, massage, and acupuncture, which all physically affect the spine or muscles.

The environmental approach means making changes like purchasing a new mattress or work chair, finding ways to strain your back less at work, and avoiding parts of your routine – such as gardening or home improvement work – that may strain your back, or at least finding new ways of doing them.

The psychological approach focuses on stress reduction, which has a big impact on pain. Some physical treatments, such as massage, also work to reduce stress. Meditation and relaxation training is another popular psychological part of pain management.

How Spinal Manipulation Can Help

Spinal manipulation involves using pressure to realign the bones of the spine. It affects both the skeletal system as well as the surrounding muscles, and many people find the manipulation to have some of the same stress-reducing muscular effects as a massage. However, unlike a massage, manipulation also works to bring your back into proper alignment, reducing both pain and the cascading effects that misalignment can cause.

For more information, contact North Star Chiropractic Center or a similar location.