For many U.S. workers, quickly moving to a remote work environment has become a literal pain in the back. Many home offices just aren't equipped for long-term remote work; whether you're dealing with a too-small or too-short desk, an uncomfortable chair, or a poorly angled computer monitor, you may be sitting in a way that strains your back and neck muscles and puts pressure on your vertebrae. Can chiropractic treatment help relieve chronic lower back pain?
How Chiropractic Treatment Works
Chiropractic treatment involves manipulating the neck, spine, and other joints to restore proper alignment and reduce pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves. Many chiropractors concentrate on removing "subluxation," or joints that are constricted by scar tissue, through manual or mechanical treatments.
Chiropractic Treatments for Lower Back Pain
Before beginning treatment, a chiropractor will usually ask you to complete a survey and take X-rays to make sure that you don't have any orthopedic conditions that could be harmed by chiropractic treatment. If a chiropractor determines that your lower back pain can benefit from treatment, they'll likely start with a few of the following.
- Manual adjustment: The chiropractor will ask you to lie face-down on a chiropractic table, which has multiple moving and rotating parts. The bottom part of the table can rotate from side to side, and the chiropractor may place one hand firmly on your lower spine while moving the bottom of the table from side to side. This can cause your lower back to pop and stretch, reducing compression on the area. The chiropractor may also press down on your spine with both hands to release, or pop, the vertebrae that are causing you pain.
- Roller bed: As the name implies, this bed has a large roller that passes back and forth beneath you while you're lying on it. Like the chiropractic table, the roller bed can stretch and relieve compression on your lower back; it's often used in conjunction with traditional chiropractic adjustments.
- Electrical muscle stimulation: The chiropractor may place small electrodes on your lower back. A mild electrical current then passes through the electrodes, stimulating your muscles and building muscle tone. This process shouldn't be painful, though you may feel your muscles jump and twinge as the electrical current increases.
Your chiropractor may also ask you questions about your remote working setup and make suggestions that may help reduce the strain on your joints. Small changes like getting an ergonomic keyboard or a more comfortable chair can go a long way toward long-term comfort.