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Back Pain Relief: Which Treatment is Best for You?

Suffering from back pain? You’re far from alone.

One-third of Canadians say their back pain limits their daily life, according to the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

When it comes to treating it, you have a few options: a chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, and doctor.

Learn which back pain relief method is best below.

Types of Back Pain

Back pain may last for a few days, weeks, or months. Aches are considered “chronic” when they last longer than 3 months and are severe.

To get back pain relief, it’s helpful if you can accurately describe what you’re experiencing. This can help your practitioner diagnose and find treatments for your specific aches.

 You may have lower, middle, or upper back pain. Back pain can be on the right side, left side, both, or an ache that radiates to different areas.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common types of aches. The lower back is responsible for your day-to-day mobility, including movements like twisting, bending, and walking mechanisms.

Low back pain can take on a range of sensations, including:

Lower Back Pain Left Side or Right Side

Numbness and tingling that only affects one side may be a sign of sciatica. Sciatica is a lower back pain on the left or right side that extends to the hips, butt, legs, and feet.

Upper Middle Back Pain

The middle upper back area extends from the bottom of your rib cage to the base of your back. Compared to your lower back, you move your upper back less, making aches less common in this area. Still, pains can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, you might get a muscle strain after trying to reach something on the top shelf. You may also experience upper back pain on just one side. For example, you might get back pain in the upper right area from poor posture while sitting. You might feel a range of upper back pain sensations, including: · Dull pain · Sharp pain · Burning · Tightness or stiffness

What to Consider Before Making an Appointment

When it comes to getting back pain relief, you have a few options. While you might be drawn to one over the other, there are a few factors to consider before booking an appointment. If you make various appointments, make sure to let all your practitioners know so that treatments don’t interfere. The ultimate way to find out the best back pain relief practitioner for you is to test them out. Book an appointment with a chiropractor, physiotherapist, and massage therapist. Discuss what each has to offer and experience each treatment. Consider where you found the most relief and continue booking or combining treatments. To learn more about relieving back pain, be sure to check out this helpful blog post for ergonomic workspace tips.
The ultimate way to find out the best back pain relief practitioner for you is to test them out. Book an appointment with a chiropractor, physiotherapist, and massage therapist. Discuss what each has to offer and experience each treatment. Consider where you found the most relief and continue booking or combining treatments.

When to Visit a Chiropractor for Pain Relief

You might know that people commonly see a chiropractor for back pain, but what does a chiropractor do? These practitioners use hands-on treatment to manipulate the body, easing aches and pains. Chiropractic adjustments for back pain involve applying controlled pressure to vertebrae, called spinal manipulation therapy (SMT). The goal is for the shift to restore your back to its natural, healthy state. In turn, the body heals and pain is reduced. In Canada, every chiropractor has received undergrad education and additional education in chiropractic medicine. Many people consider a chiropractor as their first choice for spinal-related problems.

A Chiropractor Might Be Best For You If…

When to Visit a Physiotherapist for  Pain Relief

Many people wonder if they should see a physiotherapist or chiropractor for back pain relief. Physiotherapy treatment focuses on different methods. Rather than chiropractic adjustments, a physiotherapist for back pain will guide you through stretches to help strengthen or alleviate pain in the affected area. You’ll likely be sent home with stretches to do between appointments. Patients often see physiotherapists for recovery and soft tissue and musculoskeletal conditions, like osteoporosis. Similar to a registered massage therapist, a physiotherapist massage may also be recommended to target muscle groups. In Canada, every physiotherapist has received an undergraduate education and a master’s degree from a physiotherapy (or physical therapy) program.

Physiotherapy Treatment Might Be Best For You If…

When to Visit a Massage Therapist for Pain Relief

Massage is another option for back pain relief that’s non-invasive.

Massage works by applying gentle to firm pressure on sore muscle areas. The goal is to massage out knots, AKA myofascial trigger points. As these tissues are softened, you’ll feel back pain relief.

It’s important to make the distinction between relaxation massages and massage therapy. Unlicensed individuals can offer relaxation massages, but they’re not considered therapeutic. Since registered massage therapists are educated, they’re better able to pinpoint pains and provide treatment.

Not all provinces regulate massage therapy. In those that do, practitioners have completed a diploma in massage therapy. To be sure, ask your practitioner about their qualifications.

A Massage Therapist Might Be Best For You If…

When to Visit Doctor or Walk-In

If your back pain is severe and persistent, contact your doctor or visit a walk-in clinic.

Especially in cases of chronic back pain, it’s important to see a physician, who can help diagnose the cause. Some patients may also choose to use prescription back pain medication.

In some cases, aches can point to a bigger problem. For example, lower back pain can also be a sign of cancer.

Many times, a cause of back pain can’t be found— but that doesn’t mean the experience isn’t real. That’s why many people seek out treatments provided by a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or massage therapist.

To find a walk-in clinic near you, enter your location on Medimap.

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About the author

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Shereen Mohammed

Shereen is a passionate marketing professional with over 7 years of experience in executing traditional and digital marketing strategies across diverse industries. With a background in both agency and client-side roles, Shereen has successfully implemented effective marketing campaigns that have yielded a positive return on investment. As an energetic individual, Shereen possesses strong organizational and communication skills, ensuring seamless team coordination and collaboration. She thrives in process-driven environments, paying meticulous attention to detail while remaining focused on achieving results. With a proven ability to manage multiple projects in competitive and fast-paced settings, she is dedicated to driving success through strategic marketing initiatives.

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