Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive form of healthcare that aims to improve musculoskeletal function and alleviate pain. This approach is based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself, and that by removing any interference in the nervous system and improving mobility the body can function optimally.
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat pain and improve the function of the musculoskeletal system, including joint manipulation, soft tissue therapies, and exercise recommendations. In this article, we will explore how chiropractic treatment improves pain and affects pain pathology.
What is pain?
Pain is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by both physical and psychological factors. It is a protective mechanism that signals the presence of tissue damage or injury and is essential for survival. However, chronic pain can be debilitating and have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It is estimated that chronic pain affects approximately 1 in 5 people in South Africa alone. Chiropractic treatment is one of the many approaches used to manage chronic pain, and it has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and improving function in many patients.
How do Chiropractors treat pain?
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat pain, including joint manipulation, soft tissue therapies, and exercise recommendations.
Joint manipulation involves the application of a controlled force to a joint to restore proper function, and yes chiropractors can treat any joint not just the spine. This technique is based on the belief that misalignments in the spine (subluxations) can interfere with the nervous system and lead to pain and dysfunction. By correcting these subluxations, chiropractors aim to improve nerve function, mobility and reduce pain.
Soft tissue therapies are another important component of chiropractic treatment. These therapies include massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy. Soft tissue therapies aim to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation, which can help to reduce pain and improve function.
In addition to joint manipulations and soft tissue therapies, chiropractors also provide exercise recommendations to help patients improve their strength and flexibility. These exercises are tailored to the individual patient’s needs and are designed to support the body’s natural healing process.
How effective is chiropractic treatment in managing pain?
The effectiveness of chiropractic treatment in managing pain has been studied extensively, and the results are promising. A systematic review of 26 randomized controlled trials found that chiropractic care is effective in reducing pain in patients with low back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. Another systematic review of 32 randomized controlled trials found that chiropractic care is effective in improving function in patients with low back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Chiropractic treatment has shown to affect the nervous system, including the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. These systems play a role in the body’s response to stress and pain, and by modulating their activity, chiropractic treatment may help to reduce pain and promote healing. In short chiropractic treatment improves pain by reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and restoring proper joint function. Exercise recommendations may also help to improve muscle strength and flexibility, which can reduce the risk of future injuries and pain.
Dr. Marike de Klerk