Did you know that 40 million American workers suffer from chronic lower back pain? That means 1 in 4 Americans suffer from back pain.
Chronic pain can prevent you from living a fulfilled, happy, and comfortable life. Chiropractors can help to align your spine and other body parts, which in turn helps to ease chronic pain.
Keep reading to find out more about chiropractic sessions, including what you can expect from them and how many sessions you will need to help chronic pain.
Everything You Need to Know About Chiropractic Sessions
The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with what is a chiropractor. Chiropractors are health professionals who can diagnose and treat problems with your joints, bones, muscles, and nerves. Using a variety of techniques, a chiropractor will adjust your body to ensure it heals properly.
Your doctor might refer you to a chiropractor for chronic pain, such as lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches. You may also have to visit a chiropractor if you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, disc herniation, or muscle pain.
What to Expect When Visiting a Chiropractor
Most first-time visits to a chiropractor last between 30 and 60 minutes. Your chiropractor will assess your health and talk to you about a treatment plan.
During your first visit, your chiropractor might ask about:
- Any past illnesses or injuries
- Your current health
- What medication you’re currently taking
- Your lifestyle, including sleeping habits, exercise, and diet
- Your mental health and stress
- Your use of alcohol and drugs.
All of the above will help to form a clearer picture of the problems you are having. Your chiropractor might also ask if there are any activities that you struggle to do. If you have experienced numbness, weakness, tingling, or other nerve problems in the past, make sure you tell your chiropractor about it.
Then your chiropractor will conduct a physical examination. They will check your spine’s mobility and see how well it moves. They might also check your blood pressure and do an x-ray, to get a better idea of your health problems.
Your treatment might then start during your first visit. Alternatively, your chiropractor might schedule treatment to start on your second visit.
What Are the Different Types of Treatments?
There is a range of different treatment options that your chiropractor might choose from. Commonly, chiropractors use spinal manipulation to adjust the body.
However, they might also use other techniques, depending on your pain and condition. For example, your chiropractor might use joint manual therapies to reduce pain and restore joint motion. Your chiropractor might also use physical therapy modalities or exercise and soft-tissue therapies.
Spinal manipulation treatment will require you to lie on a table, while your chiropractor adjusts your spine. To do this, your chiropractor will move a joint in your spine and then gently thrust it. This process helps to realign and straighten bones in your spine.
Your chiropractor might also use massage techniques to loosen the nerves in your body and to help you relax. After a session, you might experience stiffness or achiness for a few days after, because of the body realigning. However, you shouldn’t experience more pain from the therapy than before.
How Many Chiropractic Sessions Do I Need?
Often those who have to visit a chiropractor will need more than one session. Most treatment plans come in programs, depending on the severity of your pain and condition. Your chiropractor will be able to talk to you about how many sessions you’ll need.
Most chiropractors suggest 2 to 3 short sessions a week, which will last up to 20 minutes each. These sessions will usually go on for 2 to 4 weeks, at which time your chiropractor will re-evaluate your needs.
To begin with, your chiropractor will use passive techniques, such as non-exercise therapies, to help relieve pain and improve your muscles and joints functions. Once your aches and pains start to decrease, the chiropractor will then start to use active therapies. Active therapies will aid in your recovery and allow you to get back to doing everyday things.
When the treatment seems to be working, your treatments could be reduced to just once a week. After this, your chiropractor might refer you to self-help and home-based exercises or therapies that you can try.
What Self-Help and Home-Based Exercises Do Chiropractors Suggest?
Depending on your condition and pain, your chiropractor may suggest a range of exercises and stretches for you to try at home. These are designed to help improve your posture and keep your spine aligned in the correct place.
Your chiropractor will give you a list of exercises and stretches, based on your abilities and pain, that you can do at home. Often these will be given around the third visit and are a crucial part of your recovery. Remember that the exercises will be patient-specific, so don’t try to do any exercises or stretches that your chiropractor hasn’t recommended.
You might also be guided on how you can improve your posture. This will likely involve completing stretches with a foam roller and exercises with elastic bands. Your chiropractor might also examine the way you walk and sit and give you pointers on how to improve these.
Another self-help thing that your chiropractor might suggest is getting specialized shoe insoles. Specialized insoles might help to improve your postural balance.
And finally, your chiropractor might also suggest ways for you to improve your diet. Healthier diets can lead to less pain and chronic inflammation, as well as improving your overall wellbeing.
Get Back to Normal With Chiropractic Sessions
Living with chronic pain or constant back and muscle pain can stop you from enjoying everyday things. So stop letting your pain rule your life and get back to normal with chiropractic sessions. Follow our guide on what to expect from visiting a chiropractor and get yourself booked in to see a professional as soon as possible.
If you found this article insightful, don’t forget to check out some of our other health and fitness articles.