Q&A- Lower Back Pain Causes & More
What kind of education and training do doctors of chiropractic have?
Before entering Chiropractic college, one must complete, at a minimum, a 2 year pre-professional study with many chiropractic colleges and universities requiring a 4 year undergraduate basic science degree. Chiropractors receive a post-graduate education that includes evaluation and care for the entire body with special emphasis on neuromusculo-skeletal diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas of learning; basic training in the biological and health sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, clinical and radiological diagnosis); specialized training in the chiropractic discipline (theoretical studies, practice, specific technique, diagnosis and applications); and extensive clinical and practical training with patients with lower back pain, neck pain, etc.
Have any studies been published showing for what chiropractic is effective?
Several studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic in back pain relief, neck pain relief and lower back pain relief. More recent studies have shown chiropractic to be effective in treating 9 variety of conditions.
What can I expect on my first visit?
The first procedure your doctor will do is take a complete history of your complaints – when did it start, what happened, when does it hurt, etc. In addition your chiropractor will ask about your family history, dietary habits, previous injuries, other care you may have had (chiropractic, osteopathic, medical, etc.), your job, and other questions designed to help determine the nature of your illness and the best way to go about treating the problem. This one-on-one talk is very important in making a diagnosis.
A physical examination will be performed in accordance with your doctor of chiropractic’s clinical judgement, which may include x-rays, laboratory analysis and other diagnostic procedures. In addition, a careful spinal examination and analysis will be performed to detect any structural abnormalities which may be affecting or causing your condition. All of these elements are important components of your total health profile, and vital to the doctor of chiropractic in evaluating your problem.
What is the treatment like?
The Chiropractic “adjustments” are short gentle thrusts delivered to specific areas of the spine or other joints. These adjustments correct misalignments, reduce joint fixations, and improve mobility and flexibility of the spine and relieve pressure on sensitive irritated tissues which in turn helps reduce and give you relief of the pain and other symptoms such as nerve “pinching”.
In addition to the specific chiropractic adjustments, a patient may receive physio-therapy to the affected soft tissues (e.g. muscles, ligaments and/or tendons) in an effort to reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasm, and also to promote soft tissue healing.
How long will it take?
Each patient is different. Some people have had their problem for a long time, and others have only recently begun to experience their pain. Depending on the severity and duration of the conditon and its underlying causes, you may be under care for as little as 2 weeks or as long as 3 months or more. Again, it depends on the nature of the condition, what the x-rays show, what the exam findings were, your overall health and fitness level, and how you respond to care.
Other than Chiropractic, what else do you do?
We believe that no one can truly be healthy without good nutrition. In additon to our extensive nutritional training, we offer patients nutritional analysis allowing us to make specific vitamin, mineral, herbal, diet and nutritional recommendations. Who better to talk to about nutrition than your doctor?
We may also recommend supportive products to assist in maintaining proper posture and body mechanics. These may include custom-made orthotics, cervical pillows, neck, mid or low back supports, home rehabilitation units or simple home exercises.