It’s hard to maintain a reasonable quality of life when someone finds themselves having to deal with chronic pain issues. The quality of life is affected by the inability of the pain sufferer’s body to function as it would normally. Unfortunately, most of us will have to deal with some kind of significant pain issue at some point in our lives. How should we proceed?

Making Choices Regarding the Management of Pain

You wake up in the morning to the aches and pains that were there yesterday and the day before. It’s something you have been having to deal with every day. At some point, you’ll begin to realize you can’t go forward any longer with things as they are now. At that time, you will need to make a decision about how you want to deal with your pain issues.

Your first instinct might be to go visit your primary healthcare professional. It’s a reasonable choice, but you will likely find yourself having to choose between more invasive pain treatment options.

Sans a significant injury that might permanently affect your personal welfare, your doctor will likely start treating your pain issues with medicine. That might include anything from prescribed pain medication to steroid epidural shots for pain relief. While medication would certainly offer you some level of pain relief, that relief would most likely be temporary. Remember, pain medications can be addictive, which makes their use somewhat dangerous over the long term. Steroid epidurals are only intended to last a couple of months at most.

If your pain results from a significant injury or the medicinal approach is lacking, the next step on your doctor’s checklist would likely be surgery. As you probably know, invasive procedures come with risks, risks you might not want to take until it is absolutely necessary.

Given the risks associated with a medical approach to pain management, you might want to opt for a tried and true option like chiropractic care. Yes, chiropractors have vast therapeutic resources they can use to help people like you manage pain. Think about it. Would it not be preferable to deal with your pain issues with the least invasive pain management option if it’s going to give you the pain relief you need?

How Chiropractors Help Patients Manage Pain

The primary objective of any reputable chiropractor is going to be helping patients obtain and maintain a better quality of life. They do that by helping patients manage pain issues. To be clear, chiropractic care focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

To better understand what a chiropractor does, here’s a textbook chiropractor definition as presented on the WebMD website: “A chiropractor helps manage back and neck pain through the use of spinal adjustments to maintain good alignment.”

What chiropractors understand is that the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. With that said, the body does sometimes need a little help with the removal of obstacles to the healing process. Chiropractors exist to remove those obstacles.

How do chiropractors remove these obstacles? In their little black bags, they keep a hefty roster of muscle massage and skeletal system adjustment therapies. Each of these techniques can be employed to address very specific pain and injury issues.

Here is a partial list of the chiropractic therapies that a licensed chiropractor will typically have at their disposal:

  • Ultrasound Therapy – using sound waves to increase blood flow and prompt the healing process
  • Interferential Current – using electrical currents to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Low-level “Red Light” Laser Therapy – promotes the generation of a healthy body and blood cells to quicken the healing process and lessen pain
  • Cervical Traction – spine adjustment technique that stretches the spine and loses the grip on pinched nerves that cause pain
  • Flexion-Distraction Therapy – use of slow manual traction techniques to adjust the alignment of the skeletal system
  • Activator Method – activator is a spinal adjustment instrument that allows a chiropractor to relax/manipulate spinal tissues without harming muscles
  • Massage Therapy – a therapeutic process by which a chiropractor will manipulate muscles to increase blood flow to areas where pain exists

All of these therapies can be used to target areas where the pain is prevalent. Chiropractors can identify those target areas with X-rays and ultrasound images. Once they find the source of a patient’s pain, they can then choose the adjustment therapy or therapies that they believe will offer pain relief.

Eliminating Pain Versus Managing Pain

The ultimate objective of every doctor and chiropractor is to eliminate their patients pain issues. They often succeed but there are circumstances that will require a lot of time to eliminate said pain issues.

Eliminating and managing pain are very different objectives. Eliminating pain is a long-term process that requires the healing of an injury. If the injury is minor, chiropractors can use their therapeutic techniques to quicken the healing process. That is typically done by increasing the flow of healthy blood to the injured area. If an injury is quite significant, a good chiropractor might well suggest the patient see an orthopedic surgeon, knowing their therapies might not help.

Managing pain focuses more on the short-term. You might want to think of it in terms of a chiropractor buying time to allow the healing process to take hold. While the healing slowly moves forward, the chiropractor will employ their adjustment and massage therapies to eliminate pinched nerves, loosen pain caused by stressed muscles, and realign the patient’s body to increase the patient’s flexibility and mobility.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

If you need further motivation to consider seeing a chiropractor, you can get that motivation by understanding all the ways you can benefit from chiropractic care. In fact, there are many benefits to chiropractic care that go above and beyond pain relief. Let’s discuss some of these benefits.

Avoiding the Need for Pain Medication

As we mentioned above, it’s never a good idea to become overly reliant on pain medications. Since pain medications are typically made with opioids, they can be highly addictive. That becomes an issue as the body’s dependence on opioids increases from extended use. If chiropractic care can give a similar level of pain relief without the risk of addiction, that would be the way to go, right?

Body Maintenance

While chiropractic care is generally used as a pain treatment option, it works equally well as a body maintenance option. With regular adjustments/alignments to keep the skeletal system in its proper position, there is a good chance that injuries and pain issues could be held at bay. What’s the saying? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Improves the Body’s Immune Response

The body’s immune system only works well when there are plenty of red and white blood cells running through the body to fight bacteria and viruses. Contracted muscles and a misaligned spine can serve to restrict the flow of healthy blood throughout the body. That will not only affect the body’s immune response, but it will also affect the body’s ability to heal itself. Massage and adjustment therapies are excellent ways to clear obstacles that restrict blood flow and improve the immune system.

Helps relieve Mental Health Issues

When the human body feels out of sorts, the human mind will usually follow suit. When a patient allows a chiropractor to improve the way their body is functioning, it stands to reason that it will also improve the patient’s mental state. More than a few people are using chiropractic therapies to aid in the relief of mental health issues like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Helps Improve Athletic Performance

If you live an active lifestyle as an amateur or professional athlete, your body is your temple. Your athleticism depends on your body having proper balance (good posture), flexibility, and mobility. These are athletic attributes that can be enhanced with the right chiropractic alignment adjustments and muscle treatments. These adjustments/treatments can also serve to strengthen the body, which will aid in the prevention of performance injuries.

Reduces the Symptoms Related to Conditions Like High Blood Pressure, Allergies, and Asthma

At the far end of the spectrum, increasing the flow of blood throughout the body can help with other conditions. That includes serious conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, allergic reactions, and stomach conditions that can adversely affect the digestive system.

Improves the Overall Quality of Life

At the end of the day, all any of us really want is to optimize the quality of our lives. That will usually require us to stay as healthy as possible. Chiropractors can help us in this endeavor on two levels. First, they can use chiropractic maintenance therapies to help keep our bodies and minds healthy. Second, they can serve us when health issues arise by making sure our neuromuscular skeletal system isn’t interfering with the way our body is functioning.

As you can see, the priority of chiropractic care is helping patients manage pain until it’s gone or another solution becomes necessary. What’s really good about chiropractic care is it offers so many other health benefits.

If you are dealing with chronic pain issues and want to manage them better, we suggest you contact us as soon as possible.