I see many patients through my clinic here in East Chestnut Avenue in Vineland asking questions like, why do I feel worse after a chiropractic adjustment, or in some cases, how chiropractic works for them, or does chiropractic care make their condition worse? Those patients who come in with extreme pain often cannot bear to be touched, and as such, means they cannot get chiropractic care they need. Unfortunately, sometimes, these extreme conditions can give the practice a bad name because it seems that it can’t help. In reality though, chiropractic adjustments are often exactly what the patient needs in order to return their backs or necks to proper functionality.
So what’s the deal?
Let’s take an example of someone who comes in with with chronic and extreme low back pain. They come in because they have a very dysfunctional spine. They may be suffering from disc herniations or degeneration of the spine. Some may be able to receive chiropractic treatment, but then immediately ask why do I feel worse after a chiropractic adjustment? For others though, we can’t even touch them because their pain is too great and any touch sends them into spasms, their muscles tighten, and they feel in even more pain. This is actually particularly common in post shoulder surgeries.
How can we help?
In most cases, the therapy really needs to be done. We need to get proper functionality back to the afflicted area and ultimately relieve the pain. The pain is there due to compressed joints that need decompressing, we need inflammation to go down, and any adhesive build up as a result of the first two issues to be broken up. When a patient is in so much pain and we cannot do this normally, we have two options in front of us.
Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA)
With MUA, we bring the patient to a surgical setting where they are put to sleep and an aggressive therapy is carried out. The procedure takes about 20 minutes to perform, but in this therapy, adhesions in the joints and muscles are broken up and this provides a big key in getting the patient’s pain down and restore proper function. It is said that one MUA is the equivalent to 12 regular therapy sessions. The patient will likely be a little sore after the procedure for a day or so, but also should reap the benefits of being pain free much quicker. With the adhesions broken up, the inflammation reduces which relieves pressure on the joints. The joints are decompressed and return to proper function.
It is an extremely successful procedure and we typically see above a 90% success rate in pain reduction.
Orthopedics and Pain Doctors
An alternative to MUA is to use a team approach and for us to work alongside an orthopedic or pain management doctor. With this option, the patient will be medically treated to reduce pain and inflammation, and while in a more pain free situation, then chiropractic adjustments can be carried out to correct the actual problem. Because the pain will be managed, the patient will be able to tolerate the required chiropractic therapy to rectify the issue. We work with other doctors in the Vineland area on a frequent basis in order to better help and manage our patient’s conditions, and we see high levels of success here too.
So if you’re in chronic back, neck, or shoulder pain, chiropractic care is likely to be exactly what you need, but if you are in too much pain for it, then manipulation under anesthesia or a team work approach can help you too. Ultimately, the goal is the same, to reduce adhesions, inflammation, and compressed joints and to restore proper range of mobility and thus reduce pain. Once we have you fixed up, your question shy do I feel worse after a chiropractic adjustment will become a statement of I feel great after a chiropractic adjustment!