Chiropractic is a profession, not a treatment. As a profession, chiropractors are trained medical professionals with unique training to manage many common health conditions. Chiropractors utilize treatments, including joint manipulation, physical therapy modalities, patient education, manual therapy, nutrition, and rehabilitation exercises, to address each patient's unique situation.
As chronic pain continues to rise within the US healthcare system, chiropractors utilize proven methods to reduce pain and disability without the need for medications and surgery in most cases. Here are a couple of reasons people may choose to visit a chiropractor.
Spinal manipulation, as previously mentioned, can be coupled with exercise to aid people with lower back discomfort. In addition, chiropractors are trained in non-surgical spinal decompression, low-level laser therapy, acupuncture, instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation, and many more techniques.
Shots, muscle relaxants, and pain drugs may only cure the symptoms of the issue, but chiropractic care can help by addressing the root of the problem. There is a lesser probability of getting such symptoms later on when pain is treated at the cause.
If you only pay attention to the symptoms, it's like removing the battery from a smoke alarm because you don't like the sound, but the fire is still burning. Chiropractic care has much better solutions than that. Chiropractors are specially trained in spinal manipulative therapy as well as in exercise/rehab. That way, movement dysfunction is attended to but so is strengthening, stretching, and shoring up the support structures of the frame.
- A thorough case history
- Observation of the way you sit and walk
- Assessment of your spinal alignment
- Orthopedic and neurological testing
- Measurement of any visible deviation from ideal posture
- Tests of flexibility and mobility/ranges of motion
- Tests of muscle strength and length
A chiropractor can help with aches, pains, creaks, and sprains. If you have an issue with your musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor can provide you with non-drug therapy options.
Treatment that a chiropractor may offer includes:
- Adjustments: To reduce discomfort and increase range of motion by gently realigning joints.
- Soft-tissue therapy: To reduce muscle spasms and tension in the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle (fascia).
- Exercises and stretches: To restore and maintain joint stability and mobility.
- Joint bracing/taping (Kinesio taping): To support sprained joints or muscles as they heal.
- Referrals to integrative medicine experts: For diet and nutrition advice on how to minimise inflammation and/or promote healthy eating in order to lose weight.
LBP plagues our society as one of the most common causes of disability and healthcare expenditures. Joint dysfunction in the lower back is a primary risk factor for the development & progression of low back degeneration.
Fortunately, chiropractors provide researched backed treatment of these joints through spinal manipulation, exercise, and specific patient education. Most patients have reduced pain within their first visit.
Changes to daily habits, postural stresses, and workstation ergonomics are among the most common activities resulting in a stiff or painful neck. If neck stiffness is left untreated, a person may experience restricted joints and less range of motion. Spinal manipulation, delivered by chiropractors, has unrivaled success and safety for these types of neck pain. Manipulation, in conjunction with exercise and postural reeducation, often alleviates symptoms quickly.
They will ask questions, perform a physical exam, and possibly order imaging to understand your condition entirely. Your pain is multi-dimensional, affecting many areas of your life—and so should your treatment plan. A chiropractor can carefully craft a care plan to attack all of the postures, activities, hobbies, and stresses that may be resulting in your chronic pain.
The successful management of headache patients requires a multifaceted approach with spinal manipulation as a cornerstone of treatment. Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for these types of headaches. A recent study in The Spine Journal found that spinal manipulation cuts the number of symptomatic headache days in half, and the number of treatments has a linear dose-response to improvement. Chiropractors can quickly identify the type of headache and the most appropriate treatment strategy.
However, most acute pain is due to musculoskeletal damage, sometimes referred to as mechanical neck and back pain. Mechanical pain does not typically respond well to a chemical solution (opioids).
This ineffective treatment leads to diminished outcomes and chronic use. Opioid dependence, tolerance, and addiction often commence following an acute problem such as dental procedure, surgery, or injury. More than 25% of chronic use follows post-operative or injury-related pain.
Here is how chiropractors are helping with the opioid epidemic:
- Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders: their primary responsibility to the patient is to fully diagnose them—not treat them.
- Chiropractors' unique training allows them to find what is causing the pain and work towards finding a solution—not just covering it up.
- Chiropractors select the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time to resolve problems quickly.
- As a profession, chiropractors are an integrated part of the solution to the opioid epidemic.
Yes, they are capable. If the body has a visible postural imbalance, such as a high right shoulder, it can have a major impact on the nervous system and spine over time. A chiropractor can help you fix bad posture such forward head translation or slouching, as well as straighten your spine, to ensure that your body is operating properly.