Back pain and neck pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, and is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctor’s office. As chiropractors, treating the underlying conditions that cause back and neck pain is our primary focus. While we certainly work with patient’s to treat and alleviate other conditions causing pain, the majority of our patients visit us reporting back and neck related injuries.
Cause of Back Pain and Neck Pain
Injuries and accidents are the primary cause of back and neck related pain. Physical traumas and injuries cause everything from sprains and strains of the muscle tissue to muscle tears and extensive ligament damage. We also see back and neck related pain as a result of degenerative muscle conditions brought on by aging, poor health, and disease. Common muscular diseases we see include myositis, fybromyalgia, tendonitis, and muscular dystrophy.
Diagnosing Back Pain and Neck Pain
A physical examination of the body is almost always the first step in diagnosing muscle pain, frequently to be accompanied by X-ray and MRI imaging used to reveal detail of the musculoskeletal and neurological condition of the body. These methods are useful for diagnosing most causes of back and muscle pain not related to degenerative conditions and disease. When it comes to diagnosing more serious conditions, a biopsy may be needed, blood tests and DNA profiling are all used to help identify the disease and root cause of the pain.
Electrodiagnostic studies, such as an electromyogram (EMG) can also be used to assess the function of the nervous system by measuring the electrical activity of the muscles while at rest, and while contracted in active use. Nerves control the muscles through impulses, electrical activity that causes the muscles to react. An EMG can be used to determine if there is damage to the nervous system, which can help lead to a proper diagnosis of a muscular disorder or disease that may be present.
Chiropractic Treatment and Care
Chiropractic care is one of the most common treatments for back and neck pain. During your consultation, your chiropractor will work to assess the source of your back and neck pain via a physical examination, feeling your spine, seeking the point of vertebral subluxation, and the root cause of your painful condition.
Back and neck pain is primarily treated through spinal manipulation and adjustment, with the goal of realigning your spine to remove any impingements of your nervous system. Generally, more than one session is required to completely correct the issue, with treatment programs generally lasting several weeks, often including massage therapy for optimal health and wellness. A diet and exercise regiment may be recommended to promote long term recovery and vitality.