Chiropractic Care for Chronic Pain: What You Need to Know

relaxing_chiropractic1If you’ve ever suffered from chronic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Areas of your body might constantly feel sore, tight, or stiff. The sensation might be shooting, burning or aching. You find yourself highly sensitive to pain, and it doesn’t seem to get any better. The pain continues for weeks, months, or sometimes even years.

You may have tried various medications and medical procedures. You may also be familiar with alternative approaches to relieving chronic pain, including meditation and acupuncture.

You may not, however, be aware of what chiropractic care can do for chronic pain. A licensed chiropractor can help reduce acute and chronic symptoms. They can also address mechanical dysfunctions and recommend exercises to help alleviate the pain. How can chiropractic treatment help manage and treat your chronic pain? Read on to find out.

1. Depression and chronic pain

Research has found that depression and chronic pain are related. Depression, anxiety, and stress can make pain worse. The body has natural painkillers, and depression can reduce these painkillers and increase sensitivity to pain. It’s easy to get trapped in the pain cycle. You’re in pain, so you’re less active and you exercise less. This can increase your perception of pain. You may also sleep less, which can make your depression and the feeling of pain worse.

So how exactly can chiropractic care help with depression? It’s been found that nerves in the spinal cord may influence depression and the emotional triggers caused by both depression and pain. Chiropractic adjustments can help boost the immune system and send messages to the brain that help ease depression and pain.

2. Musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain

There are, of course, several things that cause or worsen chronic pain. One of these is musculoskeletal (MSK) pain—and it’s quite common. Studies show a strong correlation between chronic pain (especially in the back, head and joints) and MSK issues.

A qualified chiropractor can assess and diagnose musculoskeletal disorders and help locate the origins of pain. Conditions that lead to chronic pain include:

  • Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal which can compress nerves)
  • Osteoarthritis (joint pain and inflammation)
  • Inflammatory arthritis

A reputable chiropractor can create an individualized treatment plan that may involve manipulating and mobilizing your spine, ultrasound, traction or other therapies. He or she can also counsel you on lifestyle changes and teach you exercises to strengthen core muscles that support your spine. All of these interventions can help alleviate pain.

Is it worth a visit to the chiropractor?

If you’re looking for a respite from chronic pain, a licensed chiropractor is a worthwhile consideration. Whether your pain is influenced by depression, caused by a musculoskeletal problem, or related to another cause altogether, chiropractors are highly trained to be able to assess and diagnose the origin of the pain. Compared to the risks and costs of more invasive treatment, chiropractics can offer a lot of pain relief with a minimum of intervention.