When it comes to the many different holistic ways you may choose to treat your back pain.

Chiropractic care and treatment for back pain can be very helpful to easing the back pain that experience. It's a good idea to have an understanding as to how chiropractic treatment may help you, what the risks and effects are, and what to expect during treatment - are all a great things to know to assist you to make the best decision for you. And we have made this guide for you as you make that decision. Want to know more? Here's what you'll find...

How Chiropractic Treatment May Help

Chiropractic treatment can be used as a holistic back pain treatment. It helps relieve your back pain in many ways. A chiropractor may use joint mobilization as a manual therapy to help your back pain. However, a chiropractor's goal in treatment is to restore your health, relieve your pain, and improve both the quality and range that you can move without experiencing pain.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic care in 2010 there was a report done by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report concluded that receiving chiropractic treatment is as effective in improving back pain and relieving back pain symptoms as medications. It is also more effective than placebo medications.

Risk and Side Effects

Chiropractic treatment for back pain and other alignments in general has some risks and side effects. Here is a list of possible chiropractic treatment risks and side effects based on this study:

The study concluded that spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustments especially when done on the upper spine can result in a range of risks and effects:

  • Mild: headache, stiffness, soreness, discomfort, and fatigue

  • Moderate: Cauda equina syndrome (CES)

  • Severe: vertebral artery dissection or stroke

What to Expect

You may be wondering what chiropractic treatment is like. There are two layers of what you can expect - what happens on your first visit and what happens during following up chiropractic treatments after a treatment plan has been developed. Here's what to expect . . .

First Visit

During the first chiropractic session there are many thing that will occur including:

Health history: The chiropractor will meet with you, get to know you, and take a full health history.

Your spine: Your spine is one is the corner pieces of where a chiropractor focuses on in how they help restore health to the human body. They will take a close look at your spine and its overall structure.

Physical examine: A physical examination will be performed by the chiropractor.

X-rays: An X-ray machine may be used to gather more information for understanding your needs and the skeletal structure of your body.

Treatment plan: This final step in the first chiropractic session, a treatment plan will be discussed and planned to best serve you.

Follow Up Chiropractic Treatments

When a chiropractor goes to carry your treatment plan, there are three aspects of treatment sessions that they may use:

  1. Adjustment: An adjustment manipulation of the spine and other areas of your skeleton.

  2. Tools: The use of the chiropractor's hands and or special device to perform the adjustments.

  3. Other therapies: Other therapies that chiropractors use to compliment their spinal adjustments during a session are counseling on lifestyle decisions concerning dietary supplements, eating habits, and weight loss. They may also use heat and ice, relaxation techniques, exercise recommendations, or electrical stimulation.

How many Sessions of Going to the Chiropractor will I Need for Back Pain?

When it comes to the number of sessions that you will need for back pain the key is moderation. There are three levels of chiropractic treatment and number of sessions suggested:

Under-treatment: 3-4 sessions

Recommended sessions: 12 sessions

Over-treatment: 30-40 sessions

The recommended number of sessions is 12 - this is based on this study that demonstrated that the best chiropractic treatment for lower back pain was the study it was shown that 12 sessions provides the most favorable outcome of lessoned lower back pain. Another study also supports the recommended 12 session chiropractic treatments for back pain. It also recommends a maintenance protocol and two step process chiropractic treatment process for back pain after the initial 12 treatment sessions. This is what the study recommends:

  • 10 Month: Treatment plan

  • 12 Sessions: Over the span of one month

  • 18 Session: Over the course of the following nine months

  • Bi-weekly sessions: chiropractic sessions for nine months for maintenance

This chiropractic treatment plan for back pain showed the greatest level of improvement at the 10 month follow up evaluation of the study.


Chiropractic: In Depth. (2016, June 20). Retrieved June 26, 2018, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/chiropractic/introduction.htm

Ernst, E. (2007, July). Adverse effects of spinal manipulation: A systematic review. Retrieved June 26, 2018, form  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1905885/

Redwood, D. (2016, April 19). How Many Visits? Chiropractic Dose-Response Research. Retrieved June 26, 2018, from https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/ACA-News-Archive/ArtMID/5721/ArticleID/53/How-Many-Visits-Chiropractic-Dose-Response-Research

Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain. (2018, March 26). Retrieved June 26, 2018, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/spinemanipulation.htm