Although very rare, during my 17-years in practice at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, there have been instances when I have advised my patients to seek care outside chiropractic or alternative care. If you have been under the care of a chiropractor for several months or have seen several chiropractors, or if you have tried different chiropractic techniques and modalities, yet you feel no relief, it may be time to look deeper into your condition. But let me make a distinction, if you felt little relief, that is different than no relief at all. If you experienced even a little relief, it just means that your progress may take longer, so don’t give up. Having said that, if you feel no relief at all, then the cause of your pain may not be due to musculoskeletal problems.
I have seen patients who had severe bulging discs, prostate issues, ovarian issues, tumors or kidney issues which mimic back pain. Because these problems are not musculoskeletal in nature, I advised them to look at other solutions. In the presence of these issues, chiropractic will still help with waking up the immune system and strengthening the body’s self-healing ability.. However, the first line of defense is to seek deeper diagnostic tools such as an MRI or diagnostic ultrasound.
After diagnosing the problem, I strongly urge that a patient turn to alternative, non-invasive care such as acupuncture and/or naturopathic medicine in combination with chiropractic to find a solution. Only if none of the above treatments result in progress, would I advise a patient to consider invasive procedures such as drugs or surgery. An MRI or diagnostic ultrasound will determine how aggressive you should be with treatment.
Ask your chiropractor today to send you for an MRI, if your condition seems to remain the same or has worsened within 3 to 6 months of starting consistent treatment. If your treatment has been sporadic or inconsistent, you might consider seeing your chiropractor with greater frequency to give the treatment a chance before deciding to be diagnosed further. For example, if you have severe pain, but only see a chiropractor once a month, you will not see significant changes. Follow your chiropractor’s recommendations for frequency of visits.
Here at our practice in Porter Ranch, CA approximately 70% of our patients come in for treatment of low back pain. Two of the most common joint problems in the low back are the lack of movement in the sacroiliac joint and the other is a rotated pelvis normally caused by joint fixation or muscle imbalance. Here is one way and two signs that will tell you where your pain stems from.
Try this. Stand up straight with your feet together and arms at your sides. Close your eyes and do your best to remain still. Allow your body to move on its own. You will notice that your body will rock or slightly sway on its own without you making any effort.
If your body rocks back and forth, your back pain is being caused by dysfunction in your sacroiliac joint. Your chiropractor can tell you whether this condition is being caused by muscle imbalance or joint fixation. Chiropractic can help relieve the pain by releasing the pressure off the sacrum. The health of the sacroiliac joint is of utmost importance because it plays a part in the circulation of spinal fluid.
If your body sways from side to side, the root of the problem is your rotated pelvis. A chiropractor will test for a rotated pelvis by doing a “short leg” test, where one patient’s leg may appear shorter than the other because of the improper rotation of the pelvis. Generally, he or she will apply a technique called sacro-occipital technique (SOT) to align the pelvis to its proper position.
Watch the videos below for a demonstration.