When it comes to pain, the standard in traditional medicine is to get rid of it as quickly as possible without addressing the root cause. While having immediate relief from pain is obviously appealing, taking a pill is not always the most sensible course of action for long-term care. While painkillers may temporarily help the pain, painkillers only address the symptom; they won’t help heal you. In contrast, using chiropractic care instead of medication to manage your pain can help ease or eliminate the cause of your pain. Chiropractic care goes beyond treating the symptoms of a health condition to actually address the cause of your pain, providing greater short- and long-term relief.
Intractable and Chronic Pain
There are three types of pain when we are talking about pain management: intractable, chronic, and acute. Intractable pain refers to constant pain; people with intractable pain are always in pain, and their lives are dictated by pain. In general, this pain can only be treated with medications and surgery; chiropractic care is not usually used to treat this type of pain. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is pain that persists beyond what is expected for the condition. Chiropractors can and do treat chronic pain, offering these patients pain relief without the need for medications or surgery.
Common Sources of Pain
If you have chronic pain, there are a variety of health conditions that may be the source of your symptoms. In this section, we will go over different sources of pain that we often see in our Jacksonville chiropractor’s office, and the research that supports chiropractic care’s effective treatment of them.
According to research by the European Spine Journal, chiropractic adjustments are effective for treating sciatica, pain that is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The study found that participants who received chiropractic care had a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica, as opposed to a 20 percent success rate from PT and 50 percent from medication.
Chiropractic care has also shown to be helpful with neck pain. One study from the British Medical Journal followed 183 patients with neck pain, splitting them into three groups: those who received chiropractic care, those who received physiotherapy, and those who received pain medication. The people who received chiropractic care recovered faster than either other group, and their costs were about one-third that of the other groups. This shows that visiting your Jacksonville chiropractor for neck pain can be not only effective, but cost-effective.
Low Back Pain
Research has also shown that chiropractic care effectively treats low back pain. A recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that people who visited a chiropractor were more satisfied and showed more improvement after a month of treatment than those who were treated by general practitioners. Half of chiropractic patients saw an improvement in their back pain, as opposed to 13 percent of medical patients. Additionally, one-third of the medical patients reported that their pain had actually gotten worse.
Headaches are very commonly treated with chiropractic care, which means there is extensive research into its effectiveness. Hundreds of studies support the use of chiropractic care to prevent, manage, and eliminate chronic headaches. For example, one study found that 22 percent of participants who sought chiropractic care saw their headache frequency drop 90 percent, and 49 percent of participants saw a decrease in the intensity of their pain.
People with multiple sclerosis experience a variety of symptoms, including pain in their backs and eyes. Fortunately, there is new research being conducted right now that has exciting implications for multiple sclerosis patients. Using an upright MRI machine, researchers are finding that with chiropractic adjustment, patients with MS are seeing improved blood and spinal fluid flow. Researchers are also seeing a decrease in brain plaquing in MS patients who receive chiropractic care. More research needs to be done, but chiropractic care may be able to help MS patients manage their pain and may have other benefits as well.
Frozen shoulder refers to a condition in which there is pain and stiffness in the shoulder. Recently, a study was conducted on patients with frozen shoulder who received chiropractic care. Of the 50 patients who participated, 16 were completely cured, 25 had 75 to 90 percent improvement, eight improved by 50 to 75 percent, and only one had less than 50 percent improvement.
Scoliosis is characterized by a curvature in the spine that, when severe, can be debilitatingly painful. There is evidence to suggest that chiropractors can help people with scoliosis manage their pain and may prevent further progression of scoliosis. There have now been many studies done into chiropractic care for scoliosis that show from a 10 percent to a 30 percent decrease in curvature of the spine.
Ear Infections and Colic
While more research must be done on chiropractic care for children, the benefits of the research so far are clear. Case studies show that children who suffer from ear infections, colic, and acid reflux may find symptom relief with the use of chiropractic care. After just a few visits, these issues were completely or almost completely resolved. One 2012 study from the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics showed that chiropractors may be able to help significantly reduce colic symptoms.
There is a reason why so many professional athletes regularly visit a chiropractor; more than half of NFL teams have a staff chiropractor. This is because chiropractic care has been shown to improve athletic performance, and effectively treat sports injuries. Chiropractic care relieves muscle tension, enhances the immune system, increases blood flow, improves mood, and decreases stress, all of which can help the healing and management of sports injuries.
At Schilsky Chiropractic, we want to everything we can to ease your pain, regardless of its cause. Chiropractic care has proven to be an effective treatment for a variety of painful conditions. If you believe that you may be able to benefit from chiropractic care, contact our Jacksonville chiropractor for an appointment today.