What Exactly Does A Chiropractor Do?

2June 2020

This site is for educational purposes only; no information is intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The information is produced and reviewed by over 200 medical professionals with the goal of providing trusted, uniquely informative information for people with painful health conditions. What exactly does a chiropractor do?. Our forums do not include medical advice and are for emotional support only.

Chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and improve your body's physical function. Low back pain, neck pain and headache are the most common problems for which people seek chiropractic adjustment.

Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are overall rare, but may include: A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column (cauda equina syndrome) A certain type of stroke (vertebral artery dissection) after neck manipulation Don't seek chiropractic adjustment if you have: Severe osteoporosis Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in an arm or leg Cancer in your spine An increased risk of stroke A known bone abnormality in the upper neck No special preparation is required before a chiropractic adjustment.

Many health insurance policies cover chiropractic care, but you might want to check to see how many treatments are covered in a given time period. At your initial visit, your chiropractor will ask questions about your health history and perform a physical exam, with particular attention to your spine. Your chiropractor may also recommend other examinations or tests, such as X-rays.

Often, you're positioned lying facedown on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, pushing it beyond its usual range of motion. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor moves your joints during the treatment session.

These may include headache, fatigue or pain in the parts of the body that were treated. Chiropractic adjustment can be effective in treating low back pain, although much of the research done shows only a modest benefit similar to the results of more conventional treatments. Some studies suggest that spinal manipulation also may be effective for headaches and other spine-related conditions, such as neck pain.

A lot depends on your particular situation. If your symptoms don't begin to improve after several weeks of treatments, chiropractic adjustment might not be the best option for you. Dec. 07, 2018.

Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches.

The theory is that proper alignment of the body's musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.

It is sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. The initials “DC” identify a chiropractor, whose education typically includes an undergraduate degree plus four years of chiropractic college. What exactly does a chiropractor do?. A chiropractor first takes a medical history, performs a physical examination, and may use lab tests or diagnostic imaging to determine if treatment is appropriate for your back pain.

Many chiropractors also incorporate nutritional counseling and exercise/ rehabilitation into the treatment plan. The goals of chiropractic care include the restoration of function and prevention of injury in addition to back pain relief – What exactly does a chiropractor do?. Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care are generally considered safe, effective treatments for acute low back pain, the type of sudden injury that results from moving furniture or getting tackled.

Research has also shown chiropractic care to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches. In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may respond to the moderate pressure used both by chiropractors and practitioners of deep tissue massage. Studies have not confirmed the effectiveness of prolotherapy or sclerotherapy for pain relief, used by some chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors, to treat chronic back pain, the type of pain that may come on suddenly or gradually and lasts more than three months.

People who have osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, or inflammatory arthritis, or who take blood- thinning medications should not undergo spinal manipulation. In addition, patients with a history of cancer should first obtain clearance from their medical doctor before undergoing spinal manipulation. All treatment is based on an accurate diagnosis of your back pain.

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Although rare, there have been cases in which treatment worsened a herniated or slipped disc, or neck manipulation resulted in a spinal cord injury – What exactly does a chiropractor do?. To be safe, always check with your medical doctor to make sure your condition will benefit from chiropractic or other pain relief alternatives. SOURCES: WebMD A-Z Health Guide: ” Chiropractic.” WebMD Medical News: Massage, Chiropractic Top Medical Alternatives, Alternative Medicines Rated in Consumer Reports Survey.

Help for your aches, pains, creaks and strains Share Mystified by chiropractors? You‘ve got a lot of company. Many people don't understand what a chiropractor does. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.

It‘s important to inform your primary care physician about any pain you're experiencing, whether recent or chronic (lasting more than three months). Your primary care doctor can rule out potentially serious problems that need treatment. Chiropractors can complement the traditional medical care you receive. Here are three things you should know about what they do and don't do: “Chiropractors do not prescribe medication; this allows us to think outside the box,” says Dr.

” Many people would rather take a pill than change a few lifestyle habits, but I see finding an alternative approach as a huge positive because it empowers patients to take control of their health.” A chiropractor may prescribe:: To relax tight muscles, relieve spasm and release tension in the fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle) To gently realign joints and increase range of motion To support sprained joints or muscles as they heal: To restore and maintain mobility and range of motion: For guidance on diet and nutrition to reduce inflammation and promote weight loss “Treatments generally do not hurt.

Bang. “Over time, however, your muscles adjust. Chiropractors can treat pain anywhere in the body: in the head and jaws, the shoulders, the elbows and wrists, the hips and pelvis, and the knees and ankles. “We look at the whole musculoskeletal system and treat the root of the problem. We make sure not only that the joints are moving properly, but also that surrounding muscles are functioning well,” says Dr.

After your primary care physician has evaluated your pain, chiropractors can offer complementary care for many common problems: “A lot of headaches and migraines are caused by tension in the jaw,” Dr. Bang says. “Maybe patients are unaware that they clench their jaw at night. My job is to relieve jaw muscle tension to increase blood flow, which ultimately helps alleviate the headaches.” Podiatrists typically recommend orthotics and massage for temporary relief of this painful foot condition.

” Sometimes the knees or lower back are the real problem, affecting the way patients walk, which eventually leads to plantar fasciitis,” he says. If shoulder pain persists but an MRI shows no problem, chiropractors will assess the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade. They may also look for ribs that are restricted and prevent the shoulder from moving properly.

” Depending on the patient, the intensity and force of treatments vary,” says Dr. Bang. All patients are screened to ensure that they are good candidates for chiropractic care. What exactly does a chiropractor do?. For example, many older patients have some thinning or softening of the bones that would rule out joint manipulation. If chiropractic care is too risky for a patient, “we will guide them to the right people and resources,” says Dr.

The goal of chiropractic care is to restore your health over the long term, rather than to relieve your symptoms over the short term. So a chiropractor will ask how you move throughout the day (standing, sitting, walking) and how you sleep at night. Learning how to position your body at your desk, when you're standing and moving, and when you‘re in bed and incorporating stretches into your daily routine can be invaluable in preventing future problems.

While visiting a chiropractor is similar to visiting other healthcare providers, it does have some unique elements. You will likely find the office setting and intake procedures quite familiar, but many notice the distinctive appearance of the chiropractic treatment table. These tables are often quite elaborate to allow specific positioning and movement during spinal adjustments and thus assist the chiropractic treatment.

An initial chiropractic consultation is very similar to that of a standard medical intake. You will likely complete a health questionnaire and answer questions about your health history. Typically the chiropractor asks you to indicate where you are experiencing discomfort by marking the areas on a drawing of the human body.

The chiropractor will most likely examine your whole spine. For example, if you had a low back complaint, the chiropractor would also likely perform a neck exam because the adaptations resulting from injury or subluxation in one area can result in secondary irritations somewhere else in the spine. The physical exam typically includes a variety of assessments, such as range of motion tests, palpation, reflex testing, muscle strength comparisons, and neurological and orthopedic tests focused on the main complaint.

Many people seek simple relief of pain or discomfort, while others want to begin a regimen of ongoing care meant to improve their general health. In initial consultations, your chiropractor will tell you the status of your condition and recommend an approach to care. Ask questions. As in any professional-patient relationship, trust and mutual understanding are vitally important.

The chiropractic adjustment is a therapeutic manipulation that uses controlled force, leverage, direction, amplitude, and velocity directed at specific joints. In other words, an adjustment involves a lot more than simply opening up a joint. Your chiropractor will most often make these adjustments to the spine, but he or she might adjust other joints, such as the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, or shoulder in order to restore structural alignment or to improve joint function.

When being treated for a complaint such as back or neck pain, you will most likely receive a series of adjustments, separated by either a day or a few days, to incrementally reduce the irritation and improve normal function. This might continue for several weeks, usually diminishing in frequency – What exactly does a chiropractor do?. If you can't tolerate the manual adjustments, you may instead receive mild or non-force techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions reproduced with permission from American Chiropractic Association. Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound it's exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released.

A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic will tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e.

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