If you struggle with lower back pain, one of the best options is to see a chiropractor. As experts in all things back and spine-related, they can generally get you feeling looser and more comfortable with just a few treatments. But how, exactly, do chiropractors treat lower back pain? While there are a variety of movement and manipulation tactics they will use throughout your session, most of these fall into two key categories of treatment: spinal manipulation and mobilization.
To understand how spinal manipulation works, it is helpful to first understand how your spine is put together. Between each of your vertebrae, there are soft discs known as intervertebral discs. As you move around throughout the day, these discs can become compressed and compacted as your vertebrae come closer together. This can have a pinching effect, putting pressure on various nerves in and around your spinal column. It also tends to pull on various muscles in the area.
A chiropractor can perform a technique called spinal manipulation to change where the vertebrae are placed in relation to one another. They apply pressure in very specific areas, which causes your vertebrae to shift. This creates more space between key vertebrae, essentially stretching out your spine. As more space is created, pressure on nerves and muscles is released, and your lower back pain subsides.
Generally, you will lie on your front while the chiropractor adjusts your spine. You may hear a pop as they move certain vertebrae, but there should not be any pain.
The other key component of chiropractic treatment is called mobilization. This part of the treatment centers around improving mobility in the muscles and ligaments in your back. Essentially, it stretches out the muscles around your spine. For this part of the treatment, your chiropractor will generally have you move and twist your body into various positions. For instance, they may have you reach over to your side as they apply pressure along your back. Then, they may have you bend forward as they press on another area.
Sometimes, mobilization also involves some massage to warm and loosen the muscles. Many chiropractors use percussion massagers for this purpose.
If you go to see a chiropractor for lower back pain, you can expect your treatment to focus on the two core components discussed above. Talk to them if you have any questions; most are happy to explain their techniques to customers. For more information on lower back pain treatment, contact a professional near you.