For many people, back pain is a fact of life. That doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t be alleviated with the proper treatment. In the United States alone, millions of adults who suffer from chronic back pain have found relief by visiting a chiropractic specialist.
A chiropractor can assess if (and how) misalignments and imbalances in your spine are causing to pain, swelling and other symptoms. Specific adjustments are then used to alleviate restore your spine to its natural position and allow the body to heal naturally. Experienced chiropractors will also provide care and guidance through the healing and maintenance phases (see below) of your treatment to ensure that your body adapts to the new adjustments — and to minimize your need for additional care down the road.
If you’re considering seeing a chiropractic specialist for the first time due to chronic back pain (or related health concern), read on for more information about what to expect from each of the three phases of chiropractic care. When followed correctly, these three phases will help ensure that chronic back pain is a thing of your past.
1. Restorative phase
The initial work of a good chiropractic specialist will be to assess the misalignments of your spine and return the spine to its natural position. This may take any number of appointments, depending on factors like the current position of your spine, your age, and your overall health. As a chiropractor restores the spinal alignment, patients will begin to feel a reduction in pain — and the body’s ability to heal itself will be enhanced.
2. Healing phase
This is also referred to as the monitoring phase. In this cycle of chiropractic care, your specialist will be monitoring how your body is taking to the new alignment — and to what extent it is healing on its own. While initial restoration can happen quickly, it’s important that the correction is maintained so that your body can readjust and heal in a holistic way.
3. Maintenance phase
Finally, the maintenance phase should see patients returning to optimum spinal health. During this phase, patients may achieve ranges of motion they had forgotten were possible, and may be able to take part in activities that were previously off-limits due to back pain. While patients must learn to be self-aware of their mobility and discomfort, occasional appointments may be needed with a chiropractic specialist to ensure proper maintenance over the long-term.
Choosing a Qualified Chiropractic Specialist
If you believe you might benefit from seeing a chiropractor, start by asking your primary care physician (or friends and family members) for a recommendation. You also might want to check with your insurance provider to see what chiropractic services or doctors are covered by your insurance plan. When narrowing down your options, look online for patient reviews to get a sense of overall satisfaction and trends. Taking the time and effort to choose the right specialist for you will help assure that you are satisfied with both the initial and the long-term care you receive.