Back pain is increasingly common today. Over 31 million people deal with back pain in the U.S. today, and as much as 50 percent of people in the workforce suffer from at least occasional back pain.
There are many different causes of back pain today. One of the most common is age-related disc degeneration, which often happens to seniors and geriatric patients. Other disc damage, such as ruptured or herniated discs, can happen to people at any age. This type of disc damage may happen after an accident or sudden trauma to the spine. People who are overweight or obese often deal with back pain, as this extra weight can easily pull the spinal column into a position of misalignment. Even the extra weight of the baby during pregnancy can cause serious back pain. Congenital diseases including spina bifida and scoliosis can be a cause of back pain for people of any age.
The exam for back pain starts with the patient's description of the pain. The patient will be given a diagram, where they can identify the exact areas that cause them the most pain and problems. Pain will be rated on a scale from 1 to 10, which allows the chiropractor to understand exactly what the patient is dealing with. The initial exam will consist of a gentle manual exam of the entire back, focusing on the areas that the patient identifies as painful. In some cases, the chiropractor will perform x-rays so that they can have a clear picture of the issues.
Chiropractic care generally focuses on gentle spinal manipulation. Many of the causes of back pain can be directly traced to spinal alignment issues, so the goal of treatment is to restore the spinal column to its proper position. This often relieves pain very quickly, and it also helps keep the entire nervous system in a balanced and happy state.
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