You are not alone if you suffer from chronic or acute backache, neck pain, or sciatica. These pain conditions are the most common reasons for doctor visits and missed work, with about 80 percent of Americans dealing with back pain at some point in their lives.
Most of us know that rest can help alleviate pain and even ease tension. But there is a new treatment for these pain conditions that many are discovering which is more effective than staying in bed and resting as a temporary fix: exercise.
Acute back pain and neck pain heal through a series of movements and stretching that strengthens muscles and restores elasticity. Chiropractors have been conducting this type of treatment for more than 30 years. Acute and sub-acute neck pain may respond favorably to this approach.
There is a new emphasis on using this type of treatment as the primary form of treatment for neck pain and back pain. The rationale for this is that pain is often caused by a muscle imbalance that may be due to muscle weakness or laxity. This approach uses a specific exercise protocol to restore flexibility in the neck and back muscles, increasing range of motion, strength, and endurance.
Treatment may include three to six 20 to 30 minute sessions three to four times a week. The exercises are designed to be performed while standing, seated or lying down. The exercise protocol is designed to target those muscles most commonly involved in pain, reducing risk for recurrence. The goal of the exercise program is to help restore function and mobility, to reduce pain, and to improve range of motion.
It is important that you consult with your chiropractor and physician to determine your exact condition and the best treatment plan for you. When looking at treatments for neck pain and back pain, be sure to get a second opinion as the first doctor may have prescribed a treatment or just ignored it. Your physician may not know of all the treatments available.
Treatment – Acute and Sub-acute neck pain should be treated as a whole and have a similar approach. The emphasis is on restoring range of motion, strengthening muscles, increasing endurance, and helping prevent recurrence of pain. They should be treated together to best benefit the individual.
Chiropractic care is best provided by a chiropractor. They are the primary care physician to patients with neck and back pain. Their approach is gentle, with a specific adjustment to relieve nerve pressure from a trigger point. Pain medications are not the first option, but may be included if pain allows. The primary focus is on pain and discomfort, but with the guidance of your health professional they may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, or corticosteroid.