The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also referred to as an “adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become biomechanically restricted. This restriction is often the result of tissue damage secondary to a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses. These repetitive stresses include, but are not limited to, sitting with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time, repetitive bending and twisting, and repetitive overhead activities. Inflammation, pain, and diminished function often develop as a result of the injury. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic manipulation is considered a safe and effective treatment for spinal pain. A federal government research organization, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.
A patient information article published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.
Although Doctors of Chiropractic treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, low-back pain remains one of the primary reasons patients seek out chiropractic care.
Some interesting facts to consider:
- Approximately 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.
- According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease, low-back pain is the single leading cause of worldwide disability.
- Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office.
- Americans spend greater than $50 billion each year on back pain.
- It is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience back issues at some point in their lives.
Reference: American Chiropractic Association