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.
Why NFL Teams Use Sports Chiropractic Care
American football is one of the most dangerous contact sports to date. According to the Seton Medical Center, over 1.2 million young men are injured while playing football per year. The most common injuries players experience are concussions, overuse, and heat injuries. As players – especially the pros – are vulnerable to injuries, more and more coaches require their team to visit chiropractors. The NFL considers chiropractors essential to a team’s health and well-being, and all 32 teams have chiropractors on staff. As players consider longer careers and spend less time off the field, chiropractors have become a vital part of the NFL.
Proper Joint Function
Many athletes’ careers end prematurely due to improper joint function. Our joints are made of fibrous materials, with a piece of cartilage in the middle. Synovial fluid, a type of liquid found in our joints, ensures smooth and easy movement. Through a series of chiropractic adjustments, professionals help players prevent common joint injuries. These adjustments also have the added benefit of reducing pain and tension in muscles, which ensures that NFL players can run, jump, and tackle with ease.
To prevent injuries, many NFL players will see a chiropractor before or after a game. In fact, a chiropractor performs thirty to fifty adjustments in a regular season. Jerry Rice, a former wide receiver who spent twenty seasons in the NFL, had this to say about the importance of chiropractors: “I did a lot of things to stay in the game, but regular visits to my chiropractor made all the difference.”
Muscle and Joint Maintenance
Football is a brutal sport. From drills to practice to preseason games, players are putting constant stress on their bodies. This leads to wear and tear on the joints, muscles, and spine. Even if players aren’t injured, they may still feel pain and soreness all over their bodies. Through spinal alignment and manipulation, chiropractors reduce pressure on the body’s nervous system. This, in turn, relieves pain without the use of addictive medications. Continued work with a chiropractor helps players perform at their highest level.
As an added bonus, many players have reported increased strength and endurance on the field. The Excellence in Health Chiropractic & Rehab Clinic reports that chiropractic adjustments have been shown to increase endurance and stamina.
Sports Hernia Relief
Athletic pubalgia, also called “sports hernia,” is another common injury athletes suffer from. Sports hernias occur when tears or dilation occurs near the superficial ring of the inguinal canal. These injuries are incredibly painful and can prevent an athlete from participating in games and practice. Thankfully, chiropractic treatments have been shown to improve pain and range of movement for those suffering from sports hernias within eight weeks.
It Treats Symptoms at the Source
Chiropractic treatment has rightfully gained a reputation as a natural, holistic way of treating injuries. Chiropractic care treats pain at the source by applying slight pressure to painful areas. This can aid in the healing process and even reverse some of the causes of pain. For NFL players, chiropractic treatment is non-invasive, meaning they can return to the field and never miss a game.
Whether you’re an NFL player or a fan cheering a touchdown, the Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic in Fort Wayne, Indiana, can treat your sports-related injuries. Dr. Hartle and his team of experts are fast, efficient, and can usually see you the same day you call. Book an appointment today to relieve your pain.
Happy holidays from the Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic team!
What Athletes Use Sports Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic services aren’t limited to just those who suffer from acute or chronic pain. Chiropractors use their techniques for specific issues on people of all ages and walks of life. But one of the most popular services is sports chiropractic, which can help boost athletic performance and prevent injury. There are many athletes and sports fields that utilize the methods of chiropractic care.
Sports Chiropractic Favored by Athletes
Do your favorite all-stars see a chiropractor? You may be surprised to learn many famous and successful athletes use sports chiropractic care to maintain and boost athletic performance. They also use it to:
- Enhance flexibility
- Reduce pain
- Increase recovery
- Prevent or lessen injury
All of these benefits are why stars like Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and others relied on sports chiropractic care to help them achieve goals and win championships.
Benefits of Sports Chiropractic Care
Let’s dive a little deeper into some of these benefits so you can fully understand why these athletes — and many sports teams, including 32 NFL and 28 MLB teams — use chiropractors on-site.
Flexibility and Injury Reduction
Do your muscles ever feel tight, and your movement limited? This issue can be detrimental to an athlete. Not only will their athletic performance drop, but stiff, locked muscles and joints make them more vulnerable to injury. Chiropractic services focused on sports aim to enhance an athlete’s flexibility. By correcting alignment and encouraging movement in our joints, athletes can safely move and twist their bodies (and come into contact with others or hard surfaces) without the same risk of injury.
Enhanced Recovery Time
Nothing can prevent injury completely. Even if I ran behind Michael Jordan and checked him after every slam dunk, he could still suffer an injury! However, sports chiropractic services invigorate our body’s systems to speed up healing time when damage does occur. By aligning your spine and lessening the irritation and inflammation between the vertebrae, the body gets a significant boost that allows you to perform better overall. When your body is optimized, and the injury is less impactive, you shorten the healing time.
Lastly, chiropractic services can assist athletes by reducing pain. Many athletes are just like you, and experience bouts of acute flareups or chronic pain. These conditions can be due to injury or strain, or directly from daily stress, lack of sleep, or dehydration. Athletes also suffer from things like headaches or neck and back pain. Traditional chiropractic adjustments correct misaligned or stuck bones and decompress joints.
Ice Baths, Heat, and Massage
Athletes can use other techniques to help with stressed bodies. You may see movies showing ice baths and heat applications to help relieve muscles, injury, and pain. Chiropractic services often include these techniques. Massage can be particularly healing, as it removes “knots” (aka tense muscle fibers and fascial tissues) to reduce trigger points and tightness. Massage can reduce pain and make your muscles more loose and agile.
Types of Chiropractors
Visiting a chiropractor is often a result of some pain in the body. When deciding which type of chiropractor to see, it’s essential to understand which variety of practice is best for your situation. In general, there are a few types of chiropractic methods: symptom-relief, sports, and wellness. Your symptoms, kind of pain, and treatment goals will all determine which approach is best for you.
It’s also essential to consider the purpose of your treatment. Are you interested in relieving symptoms or healing the body? Are you hoping to enhance sports performance and daily life, or do you need simple adjustments? Whatever your goals for recovery, there is a different type of chiropractor for you.
For those that need to decrease symptoms of pain, such as headaches or neck and back pain, musculoskeletal treatment may be best. This method involves traditional chiropractic adjustments focused on painful areas set within the spine. Symptom-relief chiropractors temporarily reduce pain, free misaligned or stuck bones, and decompress joints.
One reason why patients gravitate toward symptom-relief chiropractors is that they tend to work with more insurance companies. So check your policy because it may cover these types of traditional adjustments. However, remember that to remain pain-free requires regular visits and an extended treatment plan. Many chiropractors advise against only persuing symptom-relief practices. Instead, many practitioners recommend combining regular adjustments with wellness therapy.
Wellness chiropractors use traditional adjustments and techniques to relieve pain, but they also focus on long-term healing of the body. Daily life can stress the body, specifically the spinal column. After so many weeks or years of built-up pressure, small misalignments or fixations can occur. These issues result in pain that can lead to more severe symptoms if left untreated.
Unlike a symptom-relief-only focus, wellness chiropractors continue treatment beyond feelings of pain to keep the body regenerating and healing itself. They also use healthy eating, exercise, hydration, and mental health to support the body. If you’re looking to relieve symptoms of pain quickly, but also help the body in long-term healing, then wellness chiropractic care is the better choice.
You’ll often find other professionals in wellness chiropractic offices, such as a dietician, a massage therapist, or a personal trainer. Additionally, you may use tools at home, such as foam neck extenders or specialized pillows. All-in-all, wellness chiropractors use a more holistic view to heal the entire body.
Those who are athletes can visit a chiropractor specific to sports. Sports chiropractors work with those who develop pain and injury from their careers in athleticism. You may be surprised to learn that many professional teams use sports chiropractors to assist with injuries on and off the field. That’s because they can use symptom-relief techniques immediately, while also focusing on wellness methods.
Sports chiropractors use their knowledge to focus on sports performance. They are well-informed about how different wellness benefits, such as diet, exercise, training, and conditioning, can enhance athletic achievement. They also use adjustments for symptom relief and to encourage natural healing and regeneration in the body when injuries occur.
Sports Chiropractors – Facts vs. Myths
If you’re a professional sports player or athletic trainer, chances are you’ve heard of – if not been to – a sports chiropractor. If you’re not one of those two groups (like the rest of us), you might have never heard of this type of chiropractic physician before. As such, we wanted to get you in the know one of the best ways we know how – busting myths and telling facts.
Are Sports Chiropractors Doctors?
Yes! Just like all other types of doctors, a certified chiropractic sports physician is required to go to chiropractic college and obtain a graduate-level degree. This enables them to practice and ensures that they can do everything in their power to heal their patients while keeping them safe.
Are Chiropractors Legitimate?
This (annoying) myth claims that chiropractic care is nothing but a scam. In reality, these doctors are real and helpful without a doubt. Trusted by NFL teams, world-class athletes, and many Olympians – these doctors know how to help your body stay in top shape. They don’t “crack bones.” They help to manipulate your spine to heal you without medicine – something everyone should love.
Do they really boost athletic performance?
In some cases, yes! While a chiropractic sports medicine doctor’s real goal is to treat and prevent injury, a byproduct can be a boost in the performance of the athlete that’s getting treated. In fact, that’s why so many professional athletes choose to go to a doctor regularly.
Is Pain Relief Real?
Along the lines of “scam” myths, many think that the benefits of chiropractic care are fake. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Sports-trained chiropractic doctors have a deep understanding of the musculoskeletal system as it related to a sports-related injury. As such, they understand what’s wrong with the body and can help heal it and reduce pain.
Are They Covered by Insurance?
In the United States, insurance is expensive. It’s no surprise and talked about almost daily on the news. That usually brings this myth to the forefront of many new patient’s minds. While it varies by insurance, chiropractors specializing in sports injury and family (like us) are part of the specialist coverage section of your insurance. However, you should always talk to your provider and call ahead to make sure you’ll be covered.
What Can They Help With?
If you think nothing is the answer, you’re not alone – but you are wrong! The truth of the matter is chiropractic doctors can help to relieve lower back pain, relieve neck pain, improve range of motion, and so much more. If you have a bodily pain and don’t know what can be done, get a consultation with us to see how it can be improved today!