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It is estimated that 80% of all adults will experience lower back pain at some stage in their life (backcare.org). Therefore, this tends to be the most common area that Chiropractors treat.
Some episodes begin unexpectedly as a result of an injury, and others have built up gradually over time. The symptoms may vary from low back to leg pain or both.
Some patients also suffer from pins and needles or sensory changes. Regardless of the symptoms, until a full case history and examination is carried out, a diagnosis cannot be made. For example, if you have pain down your leg, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is nerve entrapment. In fact, most cases of lower back pain stem from a biomechanical origin (i.e. no injury to discs or nerves).
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can then begin. This will consist of deep tissue massage and chiropractic manipulation of the joints (where appropriate). You may also be given stretches and exercises to do at home, and sometimes ergonomic advice.
Of course there are cases where chiropractic care is not appropriate, and chiropractors are fully trained to recognise the symptoms of a non-biomechanical cause of the pain. This is quite rare, but if another cause is suspected, you would be referred to your GP for further investigation.
When it comes to long-term or preventative care, it is dependent on each individual case. Lifestyle and job roles also play a part here. Not everyone needs it, but if you have a long-standing history of back pain, then you are likely to be a good candidate for preventative treatment. This varies from person to person, but is on average once every three months.