Many patients who decide to undergo chiropractic treatment do so because they wish to treat their chronic lower back pain with spinal manipulation therapy (SMT). This practice involves adjusting a person’s spine in order to alleviate the pain that is often the result of slipped discs and other ongoing conditions. If you or someone you know is considering this form of treatment, here are a few things you should know before you consult with a chiropractor.
There are two types of spinal manipulation.
Spinal manipulation therapy comes in two main forms: spinal manipulation (also called high-velocity low-amplitude thrust) and spinal mobilization (low-force chiropractic techniques). The first involves applying controlled force to joints to change the spine’s alignment, while the second does not use forceful techniques. This second kind of treatment is preferred for patients suffering from osteoporosis or other health issues that preclude traditional SMT. Consulting with a chiropractor will help to determine which type is right for your condition.
SMT is scientifically proven to effectively get rid of back pain.
Lower back pain is effectively relieved in many patients through the use of SMT. A 2010 report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) revealed that spinal manipulation is as effective as other intervention techniques such as medication and applying heat in alleviating lower back pain. While the medical community continues to study the effects of SMT, the results of multiple scientific investigations show that it is a viable option for many patients struggling to cope with lower back pain and loss of mobility through more traditional means.
Insurance often covers chiropractic costs.
Because SMT is a viable treatment option for many lower back issues such as herniated discs and osteoarthritis, it is often covered by medical insurance. Chiropractic care coverage varies by provider, so check with your insurance company to find out if you will be expected to pay any out-of-pocket costs for your treatment.
Side effects are minimal.
Unlike the long-term use of painkillers, SMT has few dangerous health risks. The most common side effect reported by patients is slight pain or discomfort in the joints and muscles surrounding the adjustment site for one to two days following treatment. A recent study published in the medical journal Spine showed that 33-60% of patients experience these short-term effects. When practiced by a licensed chiropractic professional, there is very little risk of serious complication from spinal manipulation.
The first appointment.
A patient will generally go through a consultation appointment with their chiropractor before beginning treatment. At this time, they will be asked about the duration and location of back pain, what activities make it feel worse, and whether it is the result of an injury. After that, a chiropractic exam is conducted to check flexibility, range of motion, posture, reflexes, and muscle strength. Once the chiropractor has decided on a course of treatment, spinal manipulation therapy can begin.
To set up a consultation and find relief from lower back pain, contact Harborside Sport & Spine at (201) 433-1955.