Back pain is more prevalent among amputees compared to the general population. According to a study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 52% of the amputee subjects reported that they have persistent and bothersome back pain, with 17% saying that their back pain was the worst pain they’ve ever experienced. This seems to be particularly true in lower-limb amputees.
For many amputees, pain management plays a vital role in maintaining a satisfying quality of life after amputation. Although physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture are all beneficial to managing pain, there is a lot of evidence that chiropractic techniques can be helpful as well. This makes sense since chiropractic therapy focuses on balance and spinal alignment.
In a 2012 study, leg length inequality was found to be a crucial factor in decreasing lower back pain. And leg length inequality is something that chiropractors take seriously. Addressing leg length issues helps adjust the prosthetic leg to complement the way a patient walks, aiding in ensuring a healthy stride.
The researchers found that focusing on this issue addressed patients’ concerns, and after 18 treatments, they reported that the severity of their lower back pain calmed and their gait improved.
Considering that the study noted that 71% of amputees with lower back pain report the pain to be severe enough to be considered an “important cause of secondary disability,” the findings show that chiropractic techniques work to help new amputees adjust to the amputee life.
These findings give hope to amputees that experience significant lower back pain.
Other tips to increase comfort
We highly recommend having a pair of clean prosthetic socks, like the Knit-Rite prosthetic socks, always on-hand. It can help provide comfort to your residual limb and is a crucial component of residual limb volume management.
Another tip is to work on your core strength. The muscles located in the abs and back play an essential role in supporting the lower spine. And make sure that your hamstrings are well-stretched. This is another set of muscles that contribute a lot to lower back pain. Tight hamstrings stress out the lower back and sacroiliac joints, which leads to more pain. Stretch your hamstrings with these exercise moves twice a day.Do you experience chronic back pain while wearing your prosthesis? What do you do to manage the pain?