While chiropractic and other conservative treatment therapies have been shown to be the most effective tools for helping improve and prevent low-back pain, I am highlighting two alternative approaches. In our last post we discussed how nutrition can be an alternative approach to treating low-back pain. This post will focus on motion as an alternative approach.
One of the important benefits of the chiropractic adjustment is the introduction of motion into a region where a progressive immobility has developed secondary to acute or repetitive injury. Inflammation is a natural consequence following injury. The inflammatory response, which is the body’s initial attempt at healing, can become the culprit in perpetuating future pain and disability. If left unchecked or treated improperly, it leads to random scar tissue formation, fibrosis, and chronic problems.
In the absence of motion, soft tissues will heal with an inferior grade of tissue. This tissue is usually less elastic, weaker, and more prone toward exacerbations with use or stress resulting in future chronic pain and disability. Scar tissues in muscle can result in a phenomenon of super sensitivity, a result of the excess proliferation of nerve fibers around the region of the scar. Poor healing, then, will lead to altered biomechanics. That can result in aberrant neural reflexes, scleratomal, or myofascial-pain syndromes, forming the vicious cycle that we are well aware of.
If the proper joint adjustment, soft-tissue treatment, and rehabilitative exercises are given, adhesions and scar tissue formation will be minimized. Tightness of adjacent muscles will be minimized, leading to improved muscular circulation and reduced pain. This returns the patient to work, the athlete to the field, and everyone back to normal life, reducing disability and the overall cost to the patient.
Assuming there are no life-threatening situations or unstable conditions, the best time for a patient to be in the chiropractor’s office is immediately after the initial injury. We can treat the patient with conservative care, help reduce dependence on medications, and make it more likely that the tissues will heal with good functional repair. Initiation of treatment with an adjustment may be the most useful tool in keeping an acute low-back injury from becoming a chronic one.
The adjustment isn’t the only way that motion can be restored to the injured area. Simple movements like walking, cat/camel, prayer stretch, hands to the ceiling, and the lunge stretch can be good initial exercises to return the low-back-pain patient to health.
If you are seeking chiropractic treatment for your low-back pain, don’t hesitate to call us at 540.344.1055, or visit our Roanoke, VA office.
And plan now to join us for our FREE low-back pain class happening Thursday, June 19, at 6:00pm. Email us to reserve your spot.
Dr. Daryl Rich, DC, CSCS