We all know that if we cut our skin, we first get a scab which forms a scar and then our normal skin tissue gradually heals and returns. Internally, if we injure our neck or lower back a similar process of healing takes place. This article will describe what happens in the event of a spinal injury and how chiropractic care can enhance spinal neck and back healing.
Most neck and back injuries involve slight tearing of muscles and tendons and ligaments. These are called strains and sprains. As a consequence, our bodies react by creating inflammation and swelling. A swollen area contains fluid. Within the fluid are microscopic fibers. These microscopic fibers lay down a type of scar tissue or a patch within the tear of the muscle, tendon and ligament to begin the repair process.
Problems arise if there is excessive inflammatory fluid and if scar tissue presence is prolonged. If the fluid of inflammation and scar tissue persists too long the healing process is obstructed and may become disrupted. Profuse swelling and scarring of the soft tissues can lead to adhesions, tendinitis and fasciitis. Post traumatic scar tissue is not as flexible nor as strong as normal muscle, tendon or ligament tissue and can lead to chronic pain, loss of range of motion and loss of function.
This can lead to an inability to perform one’s activities of daily living. Many spinal injuries cause an inability to perform everyday activities such as going to work, keeping up one’s house or yard, being unable to take care of family or inability to engage in social activities. We all know of celebrity athletes whose careers were terminated due to serious spinal injury.
To prevent chronic scar tissue from developing scientific literature notes that early, controlled motion of the injured area must be utilized. Chiropractic care is an excellent form of treatment to introduce and provide a variety of motion applications.
Doctors of chiropractic are learned and skilled in caring for patients with neck and back soft tissue spinal injuries. Gentle, safe chiropractic manipulation for a strained and sprained area helps scar tissue to repair and remodel into normal soft tissue. A chiropractor may also utilize cold packs to areas to reduce and enhance removal of inflammatory fluids. Electrical muscle stimulation is another modality a chiropractor may use to assist with the remodeling of scar adhesions into normal tissue.
The number of treatments and visits a patient will require to attain healing of their neck and back spinal injury will depend on severity and that patient’s natural ability to heal. Obviously, a younger person will usually heal more quickly than an older individual. An area that has been damaged previously will take longer to improve than a new injury.
Chiropractic care provides a safe, gentle approach that is preferred by many patients. No medications or surgery is needed when chiropractic care is utilized and most patients who undergo chiropractic care appreciate this natural, holistic form of health care.