80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at one point in their life. Chiropractic can be a safe and effective treatment for many types of back pain. Dr. Travis Dockery dives into two of the most commonly asked questions in our office:
“What is a chiropractic adjustment?”
“Can it help out with my back pain?”
To better understand how the body works, we’ll want to take a step back and look at the spine as a whole. The spine is comprised of 24 individual bones we call vertebrae, sitting on top of our pelvis. Each of these bones has a pad in between them called a disc. In a perfect world, each section will move fluidly.
Unfortunately, that is not’ always the case. We can experience large traumas, like a car accident or a slip and fall injury. Or we can experience repetitive smaller injuries that build up to a larger injury. This can consist of things like sitting too long or bending forward improperly. These traumas can cause the joints of the spine to “jam up.”
When the bones of the spine don’t move well, your body doesn’t like this. You can experience many different symptoms:
- Inflammation of the joint – as the surfaces of the joints of the spine aren’t moving, they can draw inflammatory chemicals to the area.
- Tight muscles – the muscles around the joint contract to ‘lock-down’ and protect the area.
- Loss of motion – the individual joints of the spine not moving will create larger, global loss of motion of the neck, midback, or low back
- Pain in the arms or legs – the nerves that travel down the arms and legs exits the spine near these joints. The joints can either directly put pressure on the nerve in some instances or draw inflammation to the area to irritate the nerves. In either instance, the results are problems elsewhere in the body.
If this is the cause of your back pain, a chiropractic adjustment is the perfect treatment for you. A Doctor of Chiropractic will scan your body to determine these fixated segments. Then, using either an instrument or their hands, deliver pressure to that joint to get it moving.
A byproduct, in some instances, can be a ‘popping’ noise from the spine. This isn’t anything to worry about, as it’s created by the gapping of the joint. A great analogy is when you open a can of soda. If there is enough pressure built up in the can, the carbon dioxide goes from liquid to gas form very quickly. This creates the fizz noise that you hear. However, you don’t hear that sound every time you open the can, just like the popping noise isn’t always heard when adjusting the spine.
After the adjustment is applied to the spine, the body can MOVE better. This allows you to FEEL better and gets your body on the path to healing.