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frequently asked questions about back and neck pain

Frequently Asked Questions about Back and Neck Pain

How do I know if this will help me?

Statistics are on your side!  We know that the cases of back or neck pain that are being caused by something that needs surgery are less than 5%. We hope that we are well equipped to identify and address the remaining 95%.

Your first visit (with Hedd) will establish whether or not you can be helped.  It is quite uncommon for no help to be offered.  There is usually something that can be done in even the most complicated cases.

The pain is so bad – I must need an X-ray or a scan to really know what’s going on?

The times when an X-ray or a scan is needed to be able to work out the cause of back and neck pain are rare. Hedd is a non-medical radiographer and non-medical radiologist. This means that he is able to recognise when X-rays, scans or blood tests are necessary and what the results mean. The cause of most types of pain can be identified during your consultation by using medical, orthopaedic and neurological tests without the need for anything further.

I don’t want to be manipulated!

That’s understandable.  If your back or neck is sore it will feel like that’s the last thing you want.  The actual cause of spinal pain varies and there a few approaches that work the best based on the cause.  For instance:

  • Disc pain and nerve pain The pain you experience from nerve pain (where pain travels down your arm or leg for example) is scary and there's little evidence to show that any manipulation would work for this.  Understanding the natural progression of pain like this can really help as can advice and movement exercise.  The aim here would be to help calm things down with techniques which have been shown to work (click here for complicated research paper!)
  • Persistent pain responds well to getting moving and introducing exercise, so some appropriate exercises will probably be advised.
  • Persistent pain also responds amazingly well once you have learned what it’s all about.  You will be taken through some really interesting pain science stuff that will really help you.
  • Massage can be a good start if you feel too sore for manipulation.  Massage is often included in the overall treatment plan of your problem.

However, joint pain that you've only had for a short time can respond well to manipulation as part of a wider treatment package.  We can start with gentler versions to get you used to it – mobilising the joint using slow repetitive movements, some muscle relaxation techniques, some ‘non-force’ techniques and so on.  You may eventually feel more comfortable with manipulation, especially as the soreness settles down.

What's the difference between this and Osteopathy or Physiotherapy?

A surprisingly complex question!  If you took a cross section of most chiropractors and osteopaths you'd find that they mainly use manipulation to treat back pain and that chiro's and osteo's would have an interesting debate about what their type of manipulation was doing to the joints of the spine and which technique was superior.  You'd probably find that lots of physio's were using exercises to try and relieve back pain, or using techniques such as ultrasound or needles or taping.  In most cases you would probably receive the treatment that the practitioner you were seeing was most comfortable using, in the same way as if you saw a surgeon about your back you'd expect him or her to offer an operation as a way of relieving your pain.

This is a confusing situation for the person in pain who just wants to get better!

Since 2013, Hedd has started using a more comprehensive approach to spinal pain.  By following the Primary Spine Practitioner course he is able to identify and recommend the most appropriate advice, treatment and exercises based on current research and evidence.  This approach draws from various fields of expertise and so doesn't rely solely on chiropractic methods.  Instead, you are given tailored advice based on your individual problem using whatever approach gets you the best results.

I’ve heard that neck manipulation is dangerous!

It’s not if it's done by someone who knows what they're doing.  It's also crucial that the person who may apply the manipulation recognises times when manipulating the neck should not be done.  http://www.chiromt.com/content/23/1/19

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Clinig Corff Ystwyth,
Park Avenue,
Aberystwyth, Wales
SY23 1PB. 

01970 611190

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