Chiropractors are synonymous with treating back and neck pain. We are not the only profession that treats these types of injuries as physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others will also see patients with similar complaints. No matter whom you prefer to see for treatment of your injuries, the biggest thing that you should take away from your visits is quality advice and homework.
As a chiropractor with a professional background in exercise and rehabilitation, it is my duty and privilege to educate my patients on exercise in addition to providing actual treatment. All my patients receive homework of some sort to help them reduce their current problem and more importantly, prevent future ones. It is critical to remember that every patient is different and that each one has a unique set of challenges. A practitioner cannot be effective with the mindset of fitting the patient into your mold. We have to adapt to the patient as individuals. Not every patient with back pain needs yoga for stretching or chiropractic or acupuncture treatment. Not every patient benefits from massage or physiotherapy. Complicating the picture even more is that patients themselves change and what once worked may be ineffective for them now.
My goal is to give the patient the tools to help manage their own problems. If your practitioner does not provide you with the guidance and instruction on how to make yourself better and stay that way, find a new one. Any assessment that involves low back pain should involve not just standard orthopaedic and neurological tests to rule out specific injuries or disease but also a movement assessment to determine what day-to-day movements hurt or help. From this information, specific exercise programming for the individual can be given. X-Rays can be helpful for a small segment of the population to determine pathology or degenerative process; however they only provide a structural snapshot and give no information about how a person moves and usually nothing about what is causing their pain.
Below are two links that I provide to many of my patients:
The first one is one I send to patients who I believe may be suffering for a disc type injury. It is a self assessment and strategy for managing disc pain. This along with some well balanced chiropractic care can be extremely helpful helping you avoid the operating table.
The next video is one that I have posted in a previous article that is invaluable information regarding the do’s and don’ts of core strengthening.