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What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of healthcare profession that centers around the relation between the body and its structures, majorly the spine and the way it functions. The function of the chiropractor is adjustments or manipulations to the spine or some other part of the body with the aim of correcting problems that have to do with alignment, relieve pain, function improving, and give support to the natural ability of the body to heal itself. Physical therapy which is commonly referred to as physiotherapy is a medical profession which uses mechanical force and movements, exercise therapy, electrotherapy and manual therapy, to correct deformations and encourage mobility and function. By the use of physical therapy, the quality of life of the patient is significantly improved by examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.
What Is the Cause of Lower Back Pain?
There are various causes of lower back pain which may lead to acute pain which does not cause long-lasting pain or chronic pain which may last for more than three months and the natural healing process of the body is exceeded.
- Straining of the muscles and spraining of the ligaments: Sprain or strain of the lower back can be a sudden occurrence or may develop gradually over a period of time due to repetitive movements. The pain is usually acute but can also be quite severe. The reason for a strain is due to overstretching of the muscles which lead to its tear and damage. A sprain occurs when ligaments which link bones together are affected by overstretching and tearing.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of both strained muscles and sprain ligaments are the same. Sprains and strains can be caused by different factors such as:
- Having a poor posture for a period of time
- Lifting heavy weights or twisting the spine during lifting of weights
- Sports injuries, commonly seen in sports which involve twisting or large forces of impact
- Any sudden movement that stresses the lower back like a fall
- Lumbar herniated disc: A nearby nerve root can be irritated when the center of the lumbar disc, which is like jelly, breaks through the tough outer layer. Inflammation is caused when the herniated portion of the disc reaches a nerve root as the disc is loaded with proteins. This inflammation together with the compression of nerves results in nerve root pain. Also, severe pain can occur if there is a tear in the disc wall as it is richly supplied by nerve roots.
- Spinal stenosis: Pain is caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal where nerve roots are situated.
- Spondylolisthesis: This happens when one vertebra slips over the one which is adjacent to it.
- Trauma: Pain may be caused due to acute fractures or dislocations of the spine.
- Deformity: Scoliosis and kyphosis are types of curvature of the spine. If these deformities lead to the breakdown of the discs, sacroiliac joints, and facet joints or stenosis, then, lower back pain can occur.
- Compression fracture: This is mostly seen in the elderly as it is the type of fracture associated with weak bones as in the case of osteoporosis. This fracture occurs when a bone essentially caves in on itself, and it leads to sudden pain.
- Infection: also referred to as osteomyelitis. This is maybe as a result of injections, surgical procedures or spread through the bloodstream.
- Tumor: Most times it is due to metastasize to the spine caused by cancer in another part of the body. Mostly it metastasizes from a tumor of the breast, kidney, prostate, lung or thyroid.
How Can Chiropractic Help Reduce Low Back Pain?
In chiropractic, different methods of treatments created to manipulate the spine, tissues, and joints of the body to alleviate pain and promote functional ability are used. Most often chiropractors make the approach to treatment on the basis of individual needs of the patient, starting off with therapies which are more natural, less invasive before proceeding to methods which may be aggressive.
First of all, the practitioner documents the medical and health history of the patient, lifestyle factors, and carries out an extensive physical examination including diagnostic imaging to know what treatments are ideal. In the end, manual cervical and lumbar adjustments may be involved in the chiropractic treatment plan in which manipulation of the joints will be done by the chiropractor to restore range and quality of motion. A lot of practitioners in this field, faithful to the holistic nature of this discipline, also combine counseling based on nutrition, stretching and exercises for the patient to carry out at home.
How Can Physical Therapy Increase Mobility?
Physical therapy is essential when it comes to full recovery after an injury, most people make the mistake of assuming the body will return to normal eventually but in order for it to happen, and physical therapy must be included. The body is strengthened by physical therapy, specific muscles are targeted in the areas that support the back. Unlike the gym exercise that helps in muscle growth through targeting particular regions, the health aspect of an individual is neglected, but with physical therapy, the body is being supported to heal. Various injuries may lead to permanent changes in the body, further complicating mobility issues that may lead to new health problems.
Physical therapy helps to avoid these issues entirely through regimen and exercises. The physical therapist makes a plan of activities to be done by the patient and with every appointment, helps and assists the patient. If the patient is dedicated and committed, the joints and muscles will remain active, and mobility will be preserved and increased.
In chiropractic and physical therapy, the patient gets to move muscles and joints. Most of the procedures or exercises help to reduce pain and increase mobility thereby avoiding disability and the frequent use of opioids. The patient just has to be determined.
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