Chiropractic is a health care profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and/or musculoskeletal system. Generally, chiropractors maintain a different focus on spinal manipulation and treatment of surrounding structures.
Many studies have assumed that manual therapies commonly used by chiropractors are generally useful for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as for treatment of lumbar herniated disc for radiculopathy and neck pain, among other conditions.
In fact, when subjects with non-specific chronic low back pain are treated by chiropractors, the long-term outcome is enhanced by obtaining maintenance spinal use after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.
Core Chiropractic Treatment
The core of chiropractic usually involves treatment of common lower back pain conditions through manual therapy:
Spinal manipulation and manual manipulation. This type of manual manipulation refers to a high-velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to the abnormal vertebra with the goal of improving functionality, reducing nerve irritability and restoring range of motion in the back. It is also commonly understood as “chiropractic adjustment“.
There is firm literature support for chiropractic treatment of lower back pain. Many of the published guidelines suggest chiropractic manipulation be included in the custom plan early in the care of the lower back pain.
Mobilization. Chiropractic mobilization refers to low-velocity manipulation, action, and stretching of the muscles and joints, with the goal of increasing the area of motion within those areas.
Chiropractic Treatment Plan
Goal setting for the chiropractic treatment plan is driven by the patient’s pain and disability issues and activity intolerance.
Consistent with all guidelines for low back pain treatment is the prevention of chronicity. The use of active care (care that is patient-driven such as exercise, activity modification, ergonomic modifications, etc.) is emphasized to accomplish this goal.