Back Pain Treatments: Topics and Resources

Today, there are hundreds of back treatments out there, in addition to the ones available to you in the conventional medical establishment that may get you back onto the road of recovery and comfort. You are likely exposed to ads for some of these treatments every day, though it is likely that you won't notice many of them unless you experience back pain yourself. Common sense may tell you that many of the treatments offered to you in commercials and newspaper ads don't work any better than a common placebo, but you may be vulnerable to half-believing their treatment claims if you have been in pain long enough. In this section, we will discuss some of the most commonly used back pain treatments today, and what we think we know about them. Additionally, we will discuss various topics and resources related to the most common back pain treatments.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Your Treatment Options: Between the internet, TV, and other media you will likely be aware of many other treatments options available to you other than physical therapy and back surgery. After researching the treatment options that you feel seem the most promising, you are going to want to turn to an expert who actually known something about them, other than what's available in the promotional brochure. Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor about your back pain prognosis and what treatment options may be best available to you.
  1. How often should I schedule office visits to re-evaluate my condition?
  2. What resources are available to me to learn more about coping and living with back pain?
  3. Is my back pain a symptom of a serious back problem or other medical disorder. If so, which ones?
  4. How will having back pain affect me? Will other medical problems develop as a result of chronic back pain?
  5. What activities will make my back pain better or worse?
  6. Are there things I can do at my work or home to provide me with some back pain relief?
  7. Will medications make me feel better? What treatment options are available other than medicine?
  8. If I am prescribed medications to treat my back pain, how will they work?
  9. How long should I take my medicine? What are the side effects? Does the risk and severity of side effects increase the longer I use my medications?
  10. What special accommodations do you recommend for work, home, and school to manage my condition?

Treatment Options: Chiropractor Vs. Doctor - When you add in the practitioners of the eastern and holistic health sciences, there are probably over 100 different types of experts out there who are specialized in healing the back, body, and mind. That being said, physicians (including medical doctors and osteopaths) and chiropractors handle the lion's share of the services to treat back pain cases. Other holistic doctors might get on the case later when the treatments provided by the big two have failed. What are some of the key differences between physicians and chiropractors in the back pain diagnostics and treatments. Here's one key difference between a medical doctor and chiropractor. Medical doctors may be involved in the diagnostic process of back medicine, but not the treatment process - unless the treatment involves surgery. Often a doctor will use the various resources available to him or her to try to correctly determine the source/cause of the patient's pain symptoms. These diagnostic resources include the patient's medical history, X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs, discography, and the patient's physical examination. Once the doctor arrives at the most probable diagnosis, he or she will direct patients to the most appropriate treatment option provided by western medicine, such as massage therapy or physical therapy.

Chiropractors, on the other hand, are trained in not only diagnosing the cause of back pain, but also in treating patients using hands on therapies. Chiropractors may use their hands, among other tools to correct muscle tension or anatomical misalignments of the spine. Manual manipulation of the spine performed by chiropractors is also known as spinal manipulation. These movements involve high-velocity, short lever arm thrusts which are designed to pop or shift the vertebra back into their proper position in the spine. Serious misalignments of the spine are recognized by doctors under the medical term spondylolisthesis. More subtle misalignments of the spine that may only be recognized by chiropractors are known as vertebral subluxations. Chiropractors try to correct these types of abnormal vertebral placements using these types of chiropractic adjustments.

Mobilization is another type of chiropractic treatment that may be performed to heal injured muscles and soft tissues associated with the back. Chiropractic mobilization involves low velocity movements and manipulation to gently and gradually stretch the joints and muscles. This low velocity stretching of these soft tissues may increase circulation to the soft tissues to accelerate the healing process, as well as break up scar tissue fibers that have developed around the painful structures affected by injury.