Back Pain

Our spine does a lot of heavy lifting. It is the structure that holds us up, lets us move and protects the spinal cord. When the spine isn’t operating as well as it could, the result is often back pain. Back pain is the number one reason people miss work, and more than three quarters of us will experience it in our lifetime. Chiropractic care can help keep your spine and back healthy and functioning smoothly, so you can get on with your daily routine.

The spine and back form a complex anatomical design. The spine is a series of interlocking vertebrae, bones that form joints cushioned by rubbery discs. Nerve roots from the spinal cord branch out through the spine to send signals back and forth between all parts of the body and the brain. Ligaments, muscles, tendons and fascia (connective tissue beneath the skin) interact to support the spine and let us sit, stand, walk and run.

Unfortunately, things can go wrong with any of these components. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles or rupture disks. Spinal joints can move out of position or lose their flexibility. Nerves can become irritated and inflamed. Fascia can develop painful knots. Bad posture, scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and obesity are also common contributors to back pain.

How Chiropractors Treat Back Pain

Chiropractors specialize in treating mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. They train for years to understand the complex relationships between the structures of the back and how they can affect the rest of your body.

Chiropractic exam.

When you have an initial appointment with a chiropractor, they will take a medical history and ask about your daily routine to assess whether any of your regular activities might be contributing to your back pain. It could be poor posture, incorrect ergonomics (arrangement of your workspace) or improper lifting techniques. They will evaluate how well your spine is functioning by checking alignment, range of motion, strength and flexibility.

When the exam is complete, the chiropractor will discuss a treatment plan with you for your back pain. Chiropractors have many tools to help alleviate pain, but the signature treatment is the “adjustment,” also known as spinal manipulation.

Using manual techniques, chiropractors assess misalignments or vertebral fixations (restricted joint movement) in the back that could be causing discomfort. They employ highly specific movements with carefully applied pressure and pulses to correct these misalignments (called subluxations). The focus is on restoring mobility to the spinal joints, which as a result can loosen tight muscles, calm irritated nerves and allow your body to heal naturally.

Chiropractic back adjustment.

Spinal manipulation is widely recognized as a first-line treatment for back pain. One medical review of 26 clinical trials looked at treatments including spinal manipulation for chronic low-back pain, the most common type of back pain. It concluded that spinal manipulation is as effective as medication or other therapies to reduce pain and improve function.

Other chiropractic treatments for back pain may include:

  • Flexion-distraction, a form of spinal flexing which uses a special table that creates a negative pressure to pull bulging discs back into the spine
  • Stretches to help increase flexibility in the spine
  • Manual soft tissue release techniques to break up scar tissue or knots in fascia (connective tissue under the skin)
  • Ultrasound, laser, electrotherapy or other soft tissue treatments to reduce inflammation and soreness

A chiropractor can also suggest exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back. They can recommend ways to improve your posture or work habits, which will also help you avoid further injury.

When your spine is functioning properly, the rest of your body tends to follow. Many people find they feel a sense of relief and well-being after an adjustment. It may take a series of treatments to address back pain, but if your back is bothering you and you are looking for a natural approach, a chiropractor can diagnose and treat you without drugs or surgical intervention.

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
    Danny S.
  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "DR MIKE IS A GREAT CHIROPRACTOR. HE TAKES THE TIME TO GIVE YOU A COMPLETE ADJUSTMENT IS TIME. HE IS ALSO A GOOD CONVERSATIONALIST. THANKS"
    RICHARD R.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.


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