If you have ever experienced that familiar but unwelcome twinge in the back after sitting in a desk chair too long or lifting something heavy, it is essential to understand why chiropractic care should be the first choice for low back pain.
It is projected that more than eighty percent of the population will be negatively impacted by back pain during the course of their lifetime. Over the last twenty-five years the number of adults worldwide that have lived with some form of disability caused by low back pain is estimated to have increased to more than fifty percent.
Do not wait. Find the right chiropractor for you today.
3 of the Top Reasons Patients Visit a Chiropractor for Low Back Pain
Low back pain can affect a person of almost any age and at any time, but it is often a tell-tale symptom of a connected problem that may manifest itself well after the inciting incident. For example, some of the top reasons patients visit a chiropractor for low back pain include:
- It affects their daily activities. For back pain that is more nagging and persistent than painful, it can impact some of an individual’s daily activities. Whether it is keeping up with the kids, working, or playing golf or tennis, those suffering from back pain are generally looking for relief so they can get back to their normal life.
- The pain becomes debilitating. At some point, low back pain that is left unattended can become so painful that it affects even simple movements, as well as sitting and standing. This situation causes an individual’s life to come to a virtual standstill and often requires immediate attention.
- Chiropractors typically offer pain improvement without medication. One of the top reasons individuals visit chiropractors over other providers is their reliance on spinal alignment versus medication. Patients want to know how to fix their spinal alignment and stay pain-free moving forward, without relying on prescription or over the counter medication.
Why Chiropractic Care Should Be the First Choice for Low Back Pain
Patients are not the only ones who understand why chiropractic care should be the first choice for low back pain. An increasing number of scientific studies have been done, many of which lend even more credence to choosing chiropractic care as the first line of treatment for low back pain.
Some key findings of recent studies have found:
- Just over twenty percent of patients who chose to first visit their primary care doctor received a temporary opioid prescription. Patients who visited a physical therapist or chiropractor first were generally up to ninety percent less likely to receive an opioid prescription for treatment.
- Initial treatment costs were typically lower, and patients were more often satisfied with their care at a chiropractor than a primary care physician.
- Patients who saw a chiropractor first were overall less likely to undergo surgery for back pain. One study examining worker’s compensation cases found that just over forty percent of workers with back injuries who first saw a surgeon went on to have surgery. Of those patients who saw a chiropractor first, just over one percent who received treatment also had surgery.
A Word About Back Pain and Its Potential Ties to the Opioid Epidemic
Because back pain is a chronic condition for many who do not seek assistance from a chiropractor, the result is that they then experience these problems on an ongoing basis for months or even years. Dependence on medication or opioids for that length of time could potentially become an addiction in some situations.
Many patients have found non-drug related treatments such as spinal manipulation and heat therapy or massage to have an equal or better effect than some muscle relaxants or ibuprofen. The freedom to receive spinal manipulation without having to depend on medication is why millions of individuals are turning to chiropractic offices for help with low back pain.
What to Expect If You’ve Never Been to the Chiropractor
For the most part, chiropractic offices resemble doctor offices in that you will likely require an appointment for treatment. On the day of your appointment be sure to arrive a few minutes early to fill out any necessary paperwork while in the waiting room.
Once a patient’s name is called, they are taken to a private room where they will wait for the chiropractor. While every professional’s patient intake process is different, most chiropractors follow the below steps:
- Get patient history. The best starting place is to learn the patient’s history in terms of their back pain, lifestyle, and what brought them in that day for an appointment.
- Identify the problem. A patient will be asked to describe their current problem in detail including where the pain is, what it feels like, and how long it has been that way. It is important for patients to also specify what, if any, activities make the pain feel better or worse.
- Have the patient rate their pain. On a scale from one to ten, chiropractors will ask patients to rate their pain to better communicate how they are feeling. Equally important is finding out how or if that pain scale for low back pain changes during certain activities.
- Identify the treatment goal. This is key for a patient to identify because it can be an integral part of determining the course of their treatment. For some patients this will look like the complete absence of pain, for others it might be mitigating the pain enough to be able to get back on the golf course or go dancing. Then there are those athletes that may have even grander goals, such as being able to run a marathon.
- Map out treatment. With the goal established and in mind, a chiropractor should be able to present the patient with a treatment plan that will help them get to their customized finish line.
The entire process of a first-time appointment generally takes about a half hour and can give patients a better idea of what to expect in their treatment from the chiropractor going forward.
Now that you know why chiropractic care should be the first choice for low back pain, it is not worth the risk to wait until you need this care to find a provider. Take some time to find a reputable chiropractor that meets your specifications and then make an introductory consultation.