Should I Visit my Doctor or a Chiropractor for my Back Pain?

May 17, 2018

When someone mentions back pain it could mean anything from a slight stiffness in the lower back to a sharp pain in the upper shoulder area.

Below are a few typical types of back pain.

Slipped disc This occurs when one of your soft discs between your vertebrae protrudes over the edge.

Pinched nerve A pinched nerve occurs when the nerve is pressed against the bone of your spine.

Arthritis. The discs in your spine can lose the ability to absorb pressure causing the bones to rub together and create bone spurs.

Osteoporosis Smaller bones become weak and break creating compression fractures.

Sciatica When the sciatic nerve is pinched it creates lower back pain and a sharp pain in one of or even both your legs. It is more pronounced while sitting.

Pregnancy Extra weight from the baby causes pressure and pain on the back.

Ways to Reduce Back Pain

  1. Exercise
    Nothing crazy, just get up and go for a walk. It will get you out of a sitting position and naturally straighten your body.
  2. Fix your Posture
    Bad posture adds pressure to your spine that can add up over time. Fixing your posture can relieve pressure and help reduce the pain.
  3. Strengthen Your Core
    If you’re suffering from lower back problems you would probably benefit from abdominal exercise. When your abdominal muscles are week other muscles like your lower back have to pick up the slack. By strengthening your core you will relieve the stress on your lower back muscles.
  4. Improve Flexibility
    If your back muscles are too tight it can cause excess pain and can makes injuries more likely. Do some basic exercises to increase your flexibility and stay limber.
  5. Apply Ice and Heat
    Cold and heat have therapeutic qualities. A cold pack, or ice will reduce swelling and is most useful right after an injury. A hot pad or heat helps to relax an injured muscle.
  6. Sleep the Right Way
    It’s not all about the amount of sleep you get. Remember you want to get the highest quality of sleep. Some things to remember. If you sleep on your back put a pillow under your knees to relieve stress on your spine. If you sleep on your side put a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position. Try to reduce stomach sleeping. It puts pressure on your neck and spine.

When to see a Doctor about your Back Pain

If you have pain in your back for longer than a week without any improvement or if you experience any of the following conditions call your doctor:

-A constant pain, especially if it is intense.

-If your pain spreads down one of your legs. Pay special attention if the pain goes below your knee.

-If you have weakness in your legs or if they are numb.

-Pain is paired with redness of the skin in your back.

As you can see a chiropractor and a Doctor may have some similarities, but have different approaches to accomplishing their goals. Sometimes a doctor who can perform a surgical operation is necessary, but more often than not a visit to your local chiropractor is your best option.

Click here to learn more about chiropractic care for back pain. 

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