Chronic vs Acute Pain: How Chiropractors Help
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating pain. Whether it’s back, neck, or spinal complications, chiropractors correct ailments throughout the body. However, not all pain is temporary. Chronic pain, which the NHS defines as “persistent pain that carries on for twelve weeks” and resists medication, is a serious condition that causes unnecessary suffering. On the other hand, acute pain lasts less than three months and is typically the result of an injury. While chronic and acute pain can be debilitating, both conditions can be treated.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: What’s the Difference?
Before discussing how chiropractors treat different types of pain, we must understand the difference between chronic and acute pain. Chronic pain is constant: it can last for weeks, months, and even years. Caused by several factors, including, but not limited to poor posture, traumatic injury, spinal issues, and more, chronic pain lasts long after injuries have healed. Examples of chronic pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Nerve damage
Acute pain, according to WebMD, “starts suddenly and usually feels sharp.” Unlike chronic pain, acute pain can last moments or even months. While acute pain normally signals an injury, it disappears after the injury has healed. Acute injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
If left untreated, acute pain can become chronic pain.
How Chiropractors Treat Acute and Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from prolonged pain, there is hope. There is a wide variety of medical and holistic treatments available to help treat pain. If you’ve exhausted all your medical options, chiropractic treatment may be right for you.
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating different types of chronic pain. First, your chiropractor will perform a physical assessment to local the pain. Next, they’ll develop a treatment plan. The most popular remedy for chronic pain is a spinal adjustment – a series of firm movements that apply pressure to vertebrae. For other issues, chiropractors may use the flexion-distraction technique (most commonly used for whiplash injuries) or instrument-assisted manipulation. As the name suggests, your chiropractor will use a small, hand-held instrument to apply gentle pressure to stretch soft tissue. This, in turn, will relieve pain.
Chiropractors treat chronic pain and acute pain similarly. To treat acute pain, a chiropractor will first perform a physical assessment. Next, they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms: for example, those suffering from subluxation or joint restriction as a result of a fracture should undergo a Gonstead chiropractic evaluation. Patients with burn scars may benefit from massage therapy, which controls the development of scar tissue and helps burn victims heal more quickly.
Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic treats both acute and chronic pain using proven, natural methods. To help manage your pain, schedule an appointment with us today. Dr. Michael Hartle and his team of experts can usually see you the same day you call.
Five Types of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is one of the best holistic treatments for various ailments. A proven method of pain and stress relief, massage therapy is astonishingly popular – over 47.5 million Americans sought out massage therapy in 2018. Today, we’ll look at five different types of massage therapies and the benefits they offer.
One of the most popular therapeutic massages, the Swedish Massage is both relaxing and energizing. Using long, even strokes and rhythmic tapping motions on the outermost layer of muscles, the Swedish Massage focuses on larger muscles (i.e. legs and arms) as well as smaller areas of the body. This massage focuses on deep movements that break down scar tissue and increases blood flow. More advanced masseuses may use effleurage (gliding strokes that relax muscles) or tapotement (short taps using cupped hands.)
Hot Stone Massage
The hot stone massage is another popular therapeutic massage. Created over 5,000 years ago, the hot stone massage was “reborn” in 1993 and experienced a surge in popularity during the next two decades. This therapeutic massage uses warm basalt stones to penetrate muscles and treat stiff limbs. The warm stones are used to massage muscles and relax the body. The heat improves blood flow and circulation while releasing accumulated toxins from the body. To increase effectiveness, have your chiropractor or masseuse place stones over the most stiff muscles in your body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Perfect for those who suffer from chronic pain and tension, the deep tissue massage eases pain and releases toxins from the body. Using deep pressure to penetrate the body, it fixes spammed and knotted muscles as well as heal fibrous adhesion and trigger points. The deep tissue massage can potentially offer relief from chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia. It can also relieve chronic neck and back pain. Studies suggest that this massage can also improve posture, aid in sports-related muscle recovery, improve limited mobility, and aid in injury rehabilitation.
The Thai Massage
Dating back 7,000 years, the Thai massage is more “active” than other Western Massages. Instead of lying on a bed, customers lie on the floor and actively participate during the session. Thai massage is a combination of yoga, acupressure, and zen shiatsu. Practitioners will gently guide their clients into yoga-like poses and apply a slow, rhythmic massage that increases energy levels and blood flow. Participants can expect to transition from one position to the next to open the joints and facilitate limbering.
A Thai massage has four basic poses: lying supine, lying on one’s side, lying on the back, and sitting up. While the pressure may seem intense at first, an experienced chiropractor will adjust to their clients’ needs. The Thai massage has numerous benefits for the body, including increasing flexibility, eliminating pain, improving posture, stimulating blood circulation, and relieving swollen joints.
Meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, the Shiatsu massage is based on applying rhythmic pressure to key points of the body. By applying pressure, the massage is said to restore vital energy (chi). There are many benefits to the Shiatsu massage, including pain relief, headache relief, and improved sleep quality.
If you’re looking for massage therapy that will treat your pain, Dr. Hartle and his team of experts have you covered! The professionals at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic are fast, efficient, and can usually see you the same day you call. Book an appointment today!