Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) is an option that many patients choose when they make the decision to seek chiropractic care. The treatment involves spinal adjustment that relieves pain resulting from chronic conditions such as slipped discs or other spinal problems. If you or a loved one are investigating the benefits of SMT for the relief of chronic pain, here is some important information to consider before visiting a chiropractor.
Spinal manipulation happens two ways.
Spinal manipulation therapy is administered in two ways: spinal manipulation (known as high-velocity low-amplitude thrust) and spinal mobilization (low-force chiropractic techniques). The first type of treatment uses the careful application of force to change spinal alignment, while the other treatment uses more low-impact methods. Spinal mobilization is often prescribed for people with conditions such as osteoporosis that make traditional SMT inadvisable. A chiropractor will take medical history and existing conditions into account when deciding which course of treatment to use.
SMT is an effective treatment for back pain.
Patients report that SMT relieves lower back pain as effectively as medication in many cases. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) showed that spinal manipulation works as well as other treatments in 2010, measuring chiropractic techniques against pain medications and heat therapy. Medical research continues to explore the effects of spinal manipulation therapy, but several new studies show that patients who undergo chiropractic treatment experience positive results without the health risks that are often associated with prescription drugs and surgical intervention.
Chiropractic expenses may be covered by insurance.
Insurance providers often cover chiropractic treatments because they have been proven effective for certain lower back conditions. Osteoarthritis and herniated discs, for example, respond well to SMT. Check your healthcare plan to ensure that chiropractic care is one of your available treatment options, and learn how much, if any, copayment you will be expected to make at the time of your visit.
There are few side effects.
SMT does not present severe health risks, making it safer than using painkillers for extended periods of time. Patients report that the side effect they experience most frequently is discomfort at the manipulation site in the days immediately after the treatment. Spine, a medical journal focusing on spinal health, recently reported that temporary side effects affect 33-60% of patients. Apart from the risk of these minor effects, spinal manipulation therapy is a safe and effective form of treatment when performed by a licensed chiropractor.
What to expect from your first visit.
Before starting a course of SMT, a patient will consult with their chiropractor about the pain they are experiencing and any relevant medical history. For instance, it is important to note whether the pain was caused by an injury, what actions trigger it, and how long it has been an ongoing problem. Next, the chiropractor will test the patient’s posture, reflexes, range of motion, and muscle strength to determine the best way forward.
Lower back pain doesn’t have to be permanent. Find relief by contacting Hudson Sport and Spine at (201) 222 – 3400.