How to Know If You Need a Chiropractor: 8 Signs to Look For
Over 80% of the US population will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes, it's only temporary. For example, maybe you slept in an awkward position or strained yourself working out. Any number of things can cause pain and irritation in the back and neck. But at what point does the pain become such a burden that it's time to see a professional?
Unfortunately, your back can not speak for itself, so you need to understand the warning signs that your back pain is something that needs to be treated. Here are eight signs that you might need a chiropractor.
1. You Have Chronic Muscle and Joint Pain
When we experience pain, we often turn to the medicine cabinet. However, pills will only treat pain temporarily and can be dangerous if you become dependent on them. Taking pain relievers is like trying to mop up a puddle under a leaky pipe: it works momentarily, but you're not addressing the source of the issue.
Instead, a chiropractor provides a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that tackles the root of pain rather than just the pain itself. Although chiropractors are primarily thought to treat spinal issues, chiropractors can also treat muscle and joint pain throughout the body. In fact, some muscle and joint pain are caused by spinal misalignments. Chiropractic adjustments can help improve blood flow and circulation to the affected areas.
2. You Experience Radiating Pain
If the pain in your back or neck travels down your arms, legs, or lower back, or if you experience numbness/weakness in your feet or legs, you could have irritated nerves. Your spinal cord houses the central nervous system, which is the powerhouse of the many functions of your body. A slipped disc could cause a pinched nerve, leading to pain and other irritating sensations in your extremities.
3. Your Pain Worsens at Night
If your pain worsens at night, that is not normal and could indicate serious health issues such as disc degeneration, spinal fractures, or even spinal tumors. The worst thing you can do is take sleeping medication or painkillers. This only addresses the issue on a surface level when real problems could be at large.
4. You Have Difficulty Walking
If you suffer from back or neck pain and you're changing how you walk to avoid it, a trip to the chiropractor is long overdue. For example, if you have difficulty walking more than a block and find that you are leaning a certain way to alleviate the pain, there is a chance you have stenosis, which causes your spine to narrow, putting extra pressure on your nerves. Again, treatment is vital if you've been experiencing this for extended periods of time.
5. You’ve Had a Recent Trauma or Injury
If you have recently been in a car accident or a situation that caused strain on your body and new back pain occurs, it’s best to see a chiropractor. Even if you experience little to no pain immediately following an accident, you may start experiencing problems at a later time. The sooner you make an appointment, the better off you will be in the long run.
6. You Have Frequent Headaches
Many different factors can cause headaches, but if you experience frequent headaches, a chiropractor may be able to help. Your headaches could be caused by misalignments in the neck or spine that limit the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
7. You Have an Office Job
Although office jobs are typically not physically intensive, sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day can have a significant impact on your spinal health. Many of these negative effecs are the result of poor posture which puts excess pressure on the spine, shoulders, neck, and upper back and leads to misalignments and degeneration.
8. Your Range of Motion Is Limited
Although it’s natural to lose some degree of flexibility and range of motion as you age, a drastic reduction in range of motion is likely a sign of a more serious underlying issue. For example, maybe you’ve noticed your neck feels stiff and you can’t move it as far in one direction or another as you used to. Or, maybe you struggle with everyday activities like picking up objects or putting on your shoes. These examples of limited mobility are signs that it’s time to see a chriopractor.
Ready to See a Chiropractor? Contact Petrak Family Chiropractic
If one or more of these signs apply to you, then you’ll likely benefit from receiving chiropractic care. Contact Petrak Family Chiropractic Center today to schedule a consultation and see how chiropractic can benefit your long-term health.