Should I see a Chiropractor for niggling back pain?
One of the most common things a patient might say when they come into the clinic with severe back pain is, "It only started with a niggle!" There's nothing worse than suddenly finding yourself unable to move well, with pain that stops you in your tracks. Thankfully, the causes of back pain are often not serious and can be relieved with chiropractic treatment.
But there are lots of things you can do when you get that niggling pain to prevent finding yourself in a crisis situation; all things that your Chiropractor will discuss with you in a check-up appointment when your symptoms are still mild.
There are two common responses we may have to niggling back pain and stiffness:
- Sometimes, we may try to ignore back pain and carry on. We may modify our activities or take painkillers to mask the discomfort. We may experience relief after a few days and then continue to ignore it every time we get a recurring episode, because "last time it went away on its own", and we hope the same thing will happen again.
- Another common response to back pain and stiffness is to accept it as a part of life, something that just happens as we get older. We may then stop doing activities we normally really enjoy in order to avoid pain and discomfort - but this is often not the best approach.
What should I do when I get niggling back pain?
If an episode of back pain is fleeting and doesn't become a recurrent theme, it's not something to worry about. But if you get regular episodes you should definitely seek advice.
You may be tempted to take a few pain killers, try a massage, or refrain from activities that bring it on, but this is NEVER the answer.
"The pain, stiffness, or muscle spasm you experience is almost always a symptom and not the cause."
What causes niggling back pain or stiffness?
In the majority of patients we see here at The House Clinics, back pain is caused by the following things:
- Poor posture
- Poor mobility
- Poor core strength
- A stuck joint, an irritated disc, or a trapped nerve
All of the above issues can be diagnosed and treated by a qualified Chiropractor. Chiropractors always look at your posture and the way you move, and they will be able to give you expert advice to make improvements. They will give you an exercise programme to improve your posture, the way you move, and to strengthen your core.
Chiropractors also use a range of highly specialised techniques (known as 'adjustments') to free the joints of the spine, relieve pressure on discs, and release trapped nerves, to improve pain and mobility.
- Regular check-up appointments with a Chiropractor (from once a month to once every 3 months, depending on your situation) can help you avoid yo-yo-ing in and out of episodes of back pain.
- By addressing the issues causing the back pain, Chiropractic treatment can enable people to continue living a healthy, active lifestyle, which has immeasurable benefits for their long-term health.
6 Top Tips for when you experience niggling back pain:
1. Keep a diary of your daily activities and try and pinpoint what seems to bring on the pain. Is it brought on after a long period of sitting down at a desk, or after driving? Is it when you do some gardening? Is it after you've been to the gym?
2. Try gentle stretching to relieve back pain and stiffness. Aim to get up from your desk every 30 minutes or make regular stops on long journeys, to walk about and stretch.
3. You can try applying an ice pack, wrapped in a tea towel, for 20 minutes at a time - frequently throughout the day. Ice treatment is very effective for reducing any inflammation in your muscles.
4. Focus on exercises that strengthen your core (the muscles supporting your spine) such as yoga or pilates
5. Stay hydrated
6. Keep active. When your back is sore, you may be tempted to stop moving altogether. But this can make the problem worse. It's better to keep mobile with a gentle walk and avoid staying static for long periods.
If you're unsure whether Chiropractic is right for you, we offer a FREE telephone consultation service. You can speak with one of our expert Chiropractors to find out how it may benefit you.