How a Chiropractor Assesses Back Pain

Back pain features heavily on our website because it is such a common complaint from our clients. 

However, when it comes to dealing with your back injury, chiropractors can often be overlooked as a solution. 

We have reached out to leading chiropractor, Andrew Vincent from Andrew Vincent Chiropractic to explain what happens during a chiropractic appointment and how their services can help someone with back problems.

Andrew has been Director and Principal Chiropractor at Andrew Vincent Chiropractic for over 30 years and has led the way for the chiropractic industry as State President and National Representative of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia, Queensland Branch. 

Read on to see Andrew's insights and learn what goes on during a back examination.

Can you walk me through a back examination?

I can do one better and show you. Watch the video below where Dr Matthew Platz demonstrates what a typical back examination involves.

What things do you look for when you complete your initial evaluations of a patient?

Chiropractors look for different movement patterns in the back which may show how a patient has been guarding their painful back and set up stiff joints and imbalanced muscle in an attempt to keep working with their problem. They may have been putting up with a problem for weeks and only come to the chiro when their medication stops working, their sleep is affected, or their partner is worried that they are not improving.

Chiros assess the neck, back and pelvis for joint stiffness and compare the patient’s current movement patterns in comparison to normal movements that a young person should be able to do and decide on the actual underlying cause for a patient’s pain or dysfunction or reduced sporting performance.

How important is hip and knee mobility when someone has a troublesome back?

Chiros often see patients with back pain AS A RESULT OF guarding or adapting for a longer term hip or knee issue. The muscles that attach to the hip and knee often begin up at the pelvic area and begin to create stiffness and pain in the back when overworking to accommodate for a knee or hip issue.

Chiros work with hip, leg and knee problems as well to assist in settling the back issue.

What would be a typical treatment method for someone with lower back problems like the woman in the video?

Assuming that the problem is identified as restrictions or mechanical locking of key spinal joints, the treatment usually involves precise spinal manipulation and self-stretching at home to retrain spinal muscles and joints to move in efficient patterns.

As symptoms improve and activities of daily living return to normal, increasingly challenging exercises are prescribed to help stabilise the spine and improve its capacity to do all that the patient wants to do. This differs from some other approaches that may give exercises earlier and may not allow the body to deal with the joint dysfunction part of the problem. Workplace advice such as desk set up and moving and exercise customisation completes the management plan.

Thanks Andrew. 

Stay tuned for another article from Andrew in January. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this interview, treatment of back pain or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Andrew and the rest of the team by visiting the Andrew Vincent Chiropractic website.

Andrew Vincent Chiropractic offers massage and nutritional support alongside their chiropractic services to ensure a whole lifestyle change is possible.