Experience and understanding

Richard Mathers has almost 20 years experience as a Chiropractor and has cared for many hundreds of cases of back pain. He understands the anatomy and bio-mechanics of the human spine very well and is up to date with recent literature and treatment methods relating to back pain.

As a Chiropractor he understands that all back pain cases are different. Back pain can be caused by different structures namely muscle, ligament, disc, nerve and bone. Some cases of back pain are caused by a single structure and some cases of back pain are caused multiple injured areas. A thorough history and examination can help identify where the back pain is coming from and to determine the best type of treatment.

To see a list of his chiropractic qualifications and awards click here.

Common causes of back pain

Once the probable part of the body that is causing the back pain has been identified it is also important for the chiropractor to attempt to identify the likely cause or causes. This is particularly important for long-term or ‘chronic’ cases of back pain. If the cause behind the back pain is not well managed the patient is unlikely to achieve the best outcome. Our chiropractor enjoys taking the time to investigate the possible causes behind cases of back pain because he feels this is a very important part of helping his clients. Identifying the key causes behind an individual’s pain can take time and not all causes of pain can be changed.

The cause of back pain can vary and may involve any combination of:

  1. Poor functional status of the spine itself
  2. Habits and actions of the individual
  3. Previous heavy physical trauma

1.Poor functional status of the spine

Poor functional status of the spine can include problems with posture, flexibility, vertebra motion, muscles, discs, ligament, hips and shoulders.

  • Poor posture. Significant tilts or shifts in the body’s preferred alignment can increase stress on the spine from gravity.
  • Limited general flexibility in the spine (its ability to bend forward, backward, side bend and turn) can be a cause of back pain in some cases. If the spine is forced to move into a motion that it is not used to or prepared for then joint or tissue injury may be more likely.
  • Uneven vertebra motion can contribute to back pain. A focal area of restricted vertebra motion may lead to disc and muscle deconditioning. An area of excessive vertebra motion may contribute to spine weakness or instability.
  • Weak or poorly coordinated muscle action can cause some cases of back pain. This applies to both the smaller muscles close to the vertebrae and the larger muscles that surround them (like abdominals).
  • Stiff, torn or inelastic discs can contribute to back pain. The disc gives the joints of the spine most of its background strength and protection and if it is not healthy its ability to support the spine can be compromised.
  • Hip and shoulder problems can also contribute to back pain and neck pain. The shoulder and hip are large joints and are located close to the spine and pelvis. There are also many muscle attachments between the shoulder and the neck and between the hips and the low back and pelvis.

Our chiropractor always considers all of the above functional elements when assessing causes of back pain and neck pain.

2.Habits and actions of the individual

These ongoing possible causes of back pain are various and can include repeated slouching, poor sitting habits, lack of postural or movement variation, heavily one-sided activities or positions. More information on this topic may be found here.

3.Previous heavy physical trauma

Heavy physical trauma from falls, collisions, vehicle accidents and lifting can also cause back pain in some cases. It is not uncommon for experience related back pain days, weeks or even months after the traumatic event.

Finding the best fit for you

We know that each back pain case is unique and not every case that we receive is best suited to chiropractic care. We ascertain upfront the likelihood that chiropractic may help and whether that person should be receiving additional support under someone else's care. We will not hesitate to refer our patients with back pain to another health professional if required including their GP, a Physiotherapist, Occupational therapist, Massage therapist or to a hospital.

Chiropractic Treatment

When caring for back pain we use skilled hands-on care. Back pain treatment is tailored to each individual and considers factors like patient size, age, sensitivity and personal preference.

Focus on Self Care

We will show you the simplest and most useful ways of helping reduce your back pain at home, at work and at school. Our chiropractic treatment rooms are modern and have sufficient space for the chiropractor to demonstrate spine strengthening and stretching exercises. We also have dedicated play areas for children to be entertained while their parents are busy with the Chiropractor.

Communication with your GP

Each new patient receives a written report following their initial chiropractor visit outlining all aspects of their findings, diagnosis and proposed care. A copy of this report is made available to your GP if desired by the patient at no extra charge. We feel that good communication between your chiropractor and your GP is an important part of a good healthcare service for back pain.

If you have any questions at all on the topic of chiropractic for back pain please contact us on 8272 2862, or email us through our website. All chiropractic assessments for back pain are obligation free and if individuals wish to attend just to receive some good advice on how to care for their spines at home, at work, or at school that is okay too.

Dr Richard Mathers

Dr Richard Mathers

Adelaide Chiropractor