How Your Chiropractor Can Help with Chronic Pain
When chronic pain becomes part of your life, it may seem as if your options are limited. Over-the-counter and prescription pain medication only offers short-term relief, while surgery may involve a long recovery period. Fortunately, all-natural chiropractic treatment could help you reduce your reliance on medication or even avoid or delay surgery.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Any type of pain that lasts longer than three months is considered chronic, according to StatPearls. Chances are you know at least a few other people who experience pain every day. In fact, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research study revealed that more than 20% of Americans suffer from chronic pain.
Chronic pain is typically caused by an injury or illness, although sometimes it occurs for no apparent reason. Once you're in chronic pain, your symptoms may be difficult to treat. The NIH notes that 61% of Americans still had chronic pain symptoms one year after their symptoms first appeared.
Irritated nerves and inflamed tissues are often triggers for chronic pain. Inflammation helps your body repair itself after an injury or illness. Although inflammation normally subsides as you recover, it may linger in some cases.
Unfortunately, long-term inflammation may mean that your neck still hurts even after you've healed from a car accident. Or, inflammation might be the reasons that the symptoms of a chronic condition, like lupus, worsen.
Your nerves also play a part in chronic pain. Even minor pressure on your nerves can irritate them, causing pain in the part of the body they serve. Nerve irritation may be caused by inflamed tissues, pressure from bulging spinal discs, or tight muscles and tissues. Misaligned vertebrae in your spine can also be the source of your pain.
The vertebrae are a series of small bones that protect your spinal nerves. Misalignments of the vertebrae can press on the nerves as they exit the spinal cord. As long as this misalignment, also known as a subluxation, remains, you'll feel pain.
Should You See a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic care offers hope for many people who've been living with chronic pain. It may be helpful in easing symptoms related to:
- Low Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Knee, Hip, Elbow, and Shoulder Pain
- Headaches and Migraines
- Herniated Discs
- Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
- Plantar Fasciitis
What Do Chiropractors Do to Treat Pain?
Spinal adjustments, a chiropractic treatment used to realign the vertebrae, may be part of your treatment plan. The therapy reduces inflammation and eases pressure on spinal nerves caused by tight tissues or subluxations.
Spinal adjustments also improve blood flow, which is often restricted in painful areas due to inflammation or injury. Blood supplies your body with oxygen and nutrients and removes waste products from your cells. Improving blood flow to injured areas offers a simple way to restore your body's natural balance and reverse pain.
Your treatment may also include one or more treatments that relieve pain and inflammation, soothe sore tissues, improve flexibility and range of motion, and promote healing, including:
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Cold and Heat Therapy
- Ultrasound Therapy
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Chiropractic care can be helpful even if you've experienced chronic pain for years. A case report published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine described the benefits of chiropractic treatment for a patient suffering from chronic pain due to a motor vehicle accident. Although the accident occurred three years earlier, the woman still suffered from limited mobility and neck, back, and leg pain. Chiropractic treatment, in addition to weight loss and dietary changes, improved the quality of her life. After one month of treatment, the woman's pain began to ease, allowing her to decrease the dosage of her opioid pain medication. At six months, she stopped taking the medication and reported better mobility and improved quality of life.
In addition to relieving your chronic pain symptoms, chiropractic care could save you a little money. A comparison published in Healthcare noted that the average total cost of chiropractic treatment was $48.56 less than physical therapy.
Wondering if chiropractic treatment could help you manage your chronic pain? Contact our office to schedule a visit with the chiropractor.
NCBI: StatPearls: Chronic Pain, 7/21/2023
National Institutes of Health: NIH Study Finds High Rates of Persistent Chronic Pain Among US Adults, 5/16/2023
NCBI: Healthcare: Treatment of Patients with Low Back Pain: A Comparison of Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Manipulation, 3/2020
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: Chiropractic Management of a Patient with Chronic Pain in a Federally Qualified Health Center: A Case Report, 6/14/2018