What Does a Chiropractor Do for Lower Back Pain?

what does a chiropractor do for lower back pain

Lower back pain (LBP) is among the most prevalent pains globally. Almost every one of us has experienced LBP at some point. Of course, the pain’s intensity and duration differ for everyone. 

You can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication to relieve the pain, but it’s a temporary solution. It’s not even a good temporary solution, especially for people who suffer from chronic pain. 

Chiropractic care is a popular alternative to opioid medications. People are comfortable with chiropractors because manual therapy is a non-invasive treatment with good results. 

Given the increased interest, we thought we’d explain what a chiropractor does for lower back pain sufferers. 

Therapies for Lower Back Pain

Experienced chiropractors use multiple techniques for lower back pain treatment. Your chiropractor will use a treatment option that’s effective for your symptoms. Some of these treatments include:

Spinal Manipulation

Think of spinal manipulation as cracking your spine. The technique is also used in physical therapy. The chiropractor will apply sudden thrusts to the joints in the spine. You might hear some popping sounds, but that’s okay. The method helps relieve pressure on the vertebral joints and relieves lower back pain. 

For more severe cases, your chiropractor might use anesthesia before starting. But that requires medical oversight. That’s why it’s only reserved for people with severe pain. Your chiropractor can also use this technique to relieve neck pain. Your chiropractor may use a decompression table for this technique.

Pelvic Blocking

Pelvic blockage helps realign slipped spinal discs and relieve spinal decompression. The chiropractor will place special wedges on both sides of the pelvis. Afterward, gravity works in the patient’s favor and helps move the disc away from the compressed nerves, lessening the inflammation. 

Flexion-Distraction Treatment

Flexion-Distraction Treatment requires a unique table. The table is designed to stretch your spine. It’s suitable for people with a compressed spinal cord. The chiropractor compliments the table’s movements with gentle pumping movements on the affected area. 

This treatment method is slow and will take multiple sessions. It can also help with leg pain and other discomforts related to your lower spine. These chiropractic adjustments also help improve poor posture. 

Lumbar Roll

The lumbar roll technique is great for people with back pain due to dislodged vertebrae. The chiropractor has the patients lie on a table. Once the patients are in the correct position on their sides, he applies quick thrusts to return everything to its proper alignment. 

Other Treatments

Chiropractors also use massage therapy and these techniques to help their patients feel better. Plus, soft tissue therapy is supposed to help with muscle strains and inflammation in the ligaments. 

Like physical therapists, chiropractors also recommend exercises, wall pilates for instance, and diets that can help improve the overall integrity of your musculoskeletal system.. The chiropractor will decide on the length and intensity of your treatment after seeing your condition.  

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment isn’t just about pain relief. It can help maintain your body, preventing you from developing degenerative diseases as you age. If you already have some chronic issues, these spinal adjustments will improve your symptoms and help you lead a better life. 

Pain Relief

Chiropractic care is used to help your spine return to its original shape. Once that happens, it reduces the pressure on the surrounding nerves and muscles. Overall, the process relieves lower back pain in both acute and chronic cases. That’s especially true if you couple chiropractic treatment with exercise and massage therapy. 

Increased Range of Motion

If you have a herniated disc, a compressed nerve, or aching joints, you won’t be able to move comfortably. That’s because everything is out of place. So you feel a burst of pain every time you try to move. Things feel worse if you try to bend or stand for extended periods.

Chiropractic care can help you with these issues. Once you’ve had a spinal adjustment, it realigns everything. You’ll see some improvement in your movements. It may not be perfect, but you’ll see increased movement. 

Improved Nerve Function

Compressed nerves are painful and lower your quality of life. They also ruin your ability to move around. Chiropractic care can relieve this compression. It gives you some relief from the constant discomfort. 

Better Posture

Chiropractic care aims to return the spine to its original curved shape. Your caregiver will perform the necessary adjustments for that purpose. They’ll also recommend some exercises and stretches you can do at home to help with everything. 

Side Effects of Chiropractic Care

Once you get an adjustment, you may be sore for a day or two. However, that’s not something to worry about. Other than that, there are hardly any side effects, especially if you visit a licensed practitioner. 

If your chiropractor isn’t experienced, they can make things worse. Improper force or the wrong technique can worsen the issue or start a new one. The possible side effects can be:

  • Herniated discs, 
  • Compressed nerves, 
  • or even a stroke. 

You can even risk paralysis. That’s why going to a chiropractor with good reviews is essential. 

Who Should Seek Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is suitable for people with back and joint issues. Chiropractic care is a good idea if you have bad posture, aches, or messed-up joints. These days, most of our work is done in front of a screen or on a chair, so it isn’t uncommon to suffer from these issues. 

You can also seek chiropractic care if you’re an athlete or have had a traumatic injury. You’d have to consult your doctor to see if it’s okay. Chiropractors can help speed up your recovery and get you back on your feet.

You can also see a chiropractor if you have the following issues:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Strained back muscles
  • Scoliosis
  • Sciatica

What Should I Do After a Chiropractic Adjustment?

You might feel a little sore in the area where you’ve gotten the treatment. But don’t worry; it’s normal. Don’t lie down and wait for everything to feel better. Movement is good for lower back pain and helps you heal faster. 

Of course, you can’t just start heavy lifting as soon as you get back. Take things easy, but not too easy. Continue doing things as you always do. Plus, you should do all the stretches and exercises your chiropractor recommends. 

What to Expect During the First Appointment

Don’t go in expecting to receive treatment as soon as you go in. Your chiropractor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical examination. They’ll take your medical history, so take any relevant X-rays. 

You may need extra X-rays to help them understand your condition. Once they have all the information, they’ll devise a game plan to treat your symptoms. Your actual therapy might not start until the second appointment. 

Talk to the chiropractor about the treatment plan and overall cost. If you want good results, keep going to the appointments regularly. Follow the chiropractor’s advice and do everything they tell you to do. 

Finding the Right Chiropractor

When it comes to chiropractic care, the quality of the treatment you receive primarily depends on how skilled the chiropractor is. To get better results, look for an experienced practitioner. 

Ask your doctor if they can recommend one, or visit a local chiropractic association to find someone nearby. You need to be comfortable with your caregiver to get the best results from the treatment. Don’t hesitate. Do your research and background checks before giving your consent!

About the Author

Picture of Dr. Logan Osland

Dr. Logan Osland

Dr. Logan Osland, D.C., is a Doctor of Chiropractic deeply rooted in the principles of hard work and community service. Beginning his career in construction, Dr. Osland’s early encounters with back pain led him to chiropractic care, sparking a passion that directed his educational and professional journey. He earned his Doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic and has been an active member of the chiropractic community in Ventura, California, since opening his own practice in 2004. Not only does he hold multiple certifications, including in sports medicine and as a strength and conditioning coach, but he has also served as a team doctor for various local sports teams. When not in the clinic, Dr. Osland enjoys an active lifestyle with hobbies like surfing, hiking, and spending quality time with his family.