31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time. Back pain can be caused by carrying excess weight on your frame, sitting too much at work, or from improperly lifting heavy objects.

If you have experienced lower back pain, but want a more integrated and holistic treatment plan, then chiropractic is an effective alternative. Read on to learn more about how chiropractic can help create a less invasive more sustainable recovery for you.

Chiropractors are specifically trained to care for patients with injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, joints, and ligaments. The also focus on holistic care, meaning that though they will help to alleviate symptoms of pain in the lower back, they will also look for the root causes, whether structural, emotional, or nutritional. Through muscle testing and x-ray imaging, they will try to determine what conditions are causing the pain. Then they will prescribe you a combination of spinal manipulation, physical activity, nutritional support, and lifestyle changes that can help prevent future pain and neutralize triggers.

The core of chiropractic care is the chiropractic adjustment. The doctor of chiropractic will manually adjust the spine through a series of sharp pushes that ease the spine back into alignment. Many patients are surprised by the audible release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide that sounds like snaps, crackles, and pops from their spine. Don’t be concerned; this is completely normal. Your adjustment should be relatively pain free unless the adjacent muscles are already spasming. If this is the case, the pain should lessen over time. The adjustment relieves the pressure on the nerves in the spinal column through alignment. Research has found that spinal manipulation is a medication-free treatment process that is safe and effective for low back pain. Often, one adjustment can bring instant relief; though, it usually takes several to relieve the muscle spasms and rejuvenate the spine.

After these adjustments, the chiropractor will go over your daily routine and make suggestions about how to better support your back, manage stress, and give your body the proper nutrients to heal. They will also probably give you stretches to help release the pressure and strain on your newly adjusted spine. As part of a holistic treatment plan, they may suggest that you cut back on sugar, exercise more, and quit smoking, which can help improve the health of your spine.