If your lower back has bothered you, you are not alone. Eight out of ten adults will experience low back problems at some time in their lives. Most symptoms of low back pain (LBP) are blamed on poor muscle tone in the back, muscle tension or spasm, ligament or muscle tears, and joint problems.
In the past individuals have subjected themselves to prolonged bed rest, uncomfortable traction, heavy sedation, injections, and surgery. But there is a safer, more natural approach to healing the back: Chiropractic.
What Is Chiropractic?
Doctors of Chiropractic medicine (D.C.s) adjust the spine with easy, manual thrusts to move the spinal vertebrae back to their normal positions. A chiropractor will sometimes also adjust the joints of the neck, arms, and legs. Spinal adjustments may relieve a spectrum of ailments such as headaches, certain types of migraines, menstrual cramps, allergies, asthma, stomach disorders, spastic colon, and arm, hand, and leg pain that's due to dysfunction of the neck or lower back. Some patients with asthma and emphysema turn to chiropractic care to release tension in the chest. Research is helping to determine if manipulation of the neck helps the ears drain properly, thus alleviating otitis media -- the ear infection that plagues children.
What Happens during a Chiropractic Examination?
A chiropractor will take a medical history, conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations. Chiropractic physicians spend a considerable amount of time assessing posture, examining the spine, testing reflexes, joint motion, and muscle strength. X-rays and other diagnostic images are often used to locate vertebral dysfunction and to rule out disorders like tumors or fractures, which require the attention of other healthcare experts.
What Training Do Chiropractors Have?
Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A rigorous course of study is necessary to receive a degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.). According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are over 60,000 D.C.s practicing in the Untied States. All state licensing boards require two to four years of undergraduate education, and completion of a four-year chiropractic college course.
Doctors of chiropractic are uniquely trained in structural health and are highly skilled in spinal manipulation.
When you visit a doctor of chiropractic, you will know that your doctor is qualified to perform the procedures skillfully and safely and that your chiropractor is concerned about your health and wellness.
Is Chiropractic Care The Right Choice?
A recent federal study by the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research concluded that spinal manipulation was one of the preferred early treatments for LBP. Doctors may refer patients to chiropractors or work in conjunction with a chiropractic practitioner to give patients optimal care. Many insurance companies cover chiropractic care, and hospitals are offering access and/or staff privileges to chiropractors.