Will chiropractic help back pain? That’s a question we get asked quite frequently.

So really, to answer that question, it really depends on what type of back pain we’re talking about. Let’s say you go out and you spend a whole day, maybe three or four hours or more, raking leaves, something you’re not used to doing. You don’t do a whole lot of physical activity and all of a sudden, that night, the next day, your back aches, and it’s sore. Well, in that type of situation, it’s more muscular and so you’re probably better off just taking a hot Epsom salt bath, applying ice if necessary, and resting, and just allowing those muscles to heal, and it should go away.

Now, if it’s the type of back pain that, after a few days doesn’t go away, or it keeps coming back week after week, month after month, year after year even, then there’s probably a bigger problem somewhere else that needs to be addressed.

Or you’ve heard of people who bend down to pick up their toothbrush and “Oh”, their back went out. Well, obviously it wasn’t the weight of that toothbrush that through the back out. There was a weakness that was created because of a problem somewhere else, and it just took the right movement, the right direction, and it got you. In that situation, chiropractic works better than anything out there. Right?

Medications just mask the problem. They don’t fix it, so you don’t feel it. But then the next time you go to bend down and pick up something, like you shouldn’t, Bam! It could have even ruptured a disc or created something that might need surgical intervention.

So how does chiropractic actually work with back problems? Well, I’ll tell you. As an upper cervical chiropractor, we have found 99% of all back pain actually starts somewhere else – not in the back, but actually in the neck. The reason is because your brain is designed to be level…always. It has to be. It has its own reflex called the righting reflex, and the whole purpose is to make sure that your brain is always level.

Maybe years ago, you had some sort of a fall, a car wreck, a sports injury, even birth trauma can cause one of the top two bones in the neck to get out of line. When that happens, the head sitting on the bone goes with it and it throws the brain out of balance. In this situation, let’s say the bone went this way, taking the head that way. Well, now the brain’s not level. The brain isn’t going to put up with that.

What it will do is that it can’t move the bone that got out of alignment, but it can move other bones down below there to get the head level again. It might cause you to pull down one shoulder or pull up one hip. It will contort your body to level the brain. If this happens early enough, while you’re still growing, that’s where scoliosis comes from, almost 100% of the time.

But what will happen is, as the body compensates, it will drop one shoulder or raise one hip and make one leg short. Now you have stretched, contracted muscles in the neck, the upper back, the lower back, all the way down, even into the legs. Over time, with gravity pushing down, that creates weaknesses that can turn into neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and back pain. It can create pain down the leg, it can affect your knees, your hips, and your feet.

If you imagine, you’re designed to be symmetrical with everything balanced while gravity pushes down. If you lose some of that symmetry, let’s say you put a high heeled shoe on one foot and a flat shoe on the other. Don’t you think after a few hours of walking around that your back may start to hurt a little bit, when that leg is shorter than the other one? Of course, it will. It’s going to create those compensations. At the very least, it creates a weakness somewhere, so that when you make that right moment the right way, bam.

What we do as Upper Cervical Chiropractors is we find the problem, the effect, then we go to the cause. We make sure we address the cause, get this corrected, and then what’ll happen is everything will start unwinding all the way down your spine. That’s how chiropractic can help back pain.