What Can A Chiropractor Do For Acute Back Pain?

Seeing a chiropractor is a great way to ease chronic back pain over time. By adjusting your spine, your chiropractor can slowly take pressure off the injured area and promote healing. But what about the acute pain you're feeling right now? What can a chiropractor do to bring you prompt relief in the moment? Here are a few of the treatments they may use.

Pneumatic Massage Gun

A pneumatic massage gun is simply a massage tool that operates by moving back and forth. When held against your muscles and turned out, it makes a pounding motion. This can feel really intense at the time, but it really helps to relax muscles and bring relief. Your chiropractor may use it on the muscles to either side of your spine near the location of your acute back pain. Loosening up these muscles will help stop them from pulling on your spine and applying pressure to your nerve endings. 


TENS stands for transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation. A TENS device is a little box with a couple of electrodes coming off of it. Your chiropractor can place the electrodes on the muscles in the region of your back that hurts. The TENS impulses will cause your muscles to contract and relax rapidly. It may feel, at the time, like your muscles are jiggling or vibrating. But after these rapid contractions, your muscles tend to relax and feel a lot less painful. TENS works really well in cases where you're having muscle spasms or repeated cramping in your back.

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy is a fancy term for "icing it." And indeed, your chiropractor may simply hold ice or a cold pack over the sore part of your back during your visit. Typically, this is done when they believe the pain is due to a muscle tear or other acute injury that has led to a lot of inflammation. Bringing down the inflammation, in turn, helps increase circulation to the area, ease pain, and speed up healing. Some chiropractors go a step further and have special cold therapy devices that circulate cold water over the area and monitor your skin temperature as it goes down. This can enhance the effects somewhat.

If you're suffering from acute back pain, it's a good idea to see your chiropractor. They can do a lot for acute back pain, and in most cases, they will use one or more of the tactics above.