“Conservative” Treatment for Neck and Back Pain – A Chiropractic Perspective. Part 1

Clear Lake City TX Chiropractor Comments: As a practicing chiropractic orthopedist, I am regularly asked what the difference between me and an orthopedic surgeon is. The simple answer is that I look for a conservative treatment option while the surgeon looks for a surgical treatment option. The term “conservative treatment” is used to describe any treatment option that does not involve surgery. This may be as simple as reassuring you that it is not a serious problem, and recommending that you just watch and wait. However, people with recurring back or neck problems should consider preventive measures. This includes learning how to protect your back and neck and exercising to strengthen your back and neck. Conservative treatment approaches include the use of:

Chiropractic Therapy

If chiropractic care is recommended, your Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) will start by asking you questions about your spine condition. You may be asked questions about when your pain started, where you hurt, and how your symptoms affect your daily activities. Your answers will help your DC focus on the source of your problem and what he or she will need to do to help relieve it. Your DC will then do an exam that may include some or all of the following checks.

  • Posture — imbalances in the position of your spine can put pressure on sore joints, nerves, and muscles. Improving your posture can often make a big difference in relieving pain.
  • Range of motion (ROM) — measurements are taken of how far you can move in different directions. Your ROM is recorded to compare how much improvement you are making with each treatment.
  • Nerve Tests — your DC may check your reflexes, sensation, and strength. The results can help determine which area of the spine is causing problems and the types of treatment that will be best for you.
  • Manual Exam — your DC will carefully move your spine in different positions to make sure that the joints are moving smoothly at each level. Muscle and soft tissue flexibility is also tested.
  • Ergonomics — ergonomics involves where and how you do your work or hobby activities. By understanding your ergonomics, your DC can learn whether the way you do your activities may be making your pain worse. Sometimes even simple corrections can make a big difference in easing spine problems.
  • Palpation — your DC will feel the soft tissues around your spine to check for changes in temperature or texture, which may indicate that you have inflammation or nerve irritation. Palpation also checks whether there are tender points or spasms in the muscles near the spine.

Your DC will evaluate your answers and your exam results to decide the best way to help you. He or she will then prepare a plan of care, which lists the treatments to be used and the goals that you and your DC decide on to do your daily activities safely and with the least amount of discomfort. The plan also includes a prognosis, which is your DC’s idea of how well the treatments will work and how long you will need care in order to get the most benefit.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!