Definition of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is medical care provided by chiropractors. Treatment includes hands-on manipulation of the spine as well as other alternative treatments. Chiropractic care is aimed at addressing alignment within the musculoskeletal system, with a particular focus on the spine. The treatment helps your body heal itself, without the need for medication or surgical intervention. Chiropractic care is particularly well suited to provide back pain relief.
Chiropractic manipulation restores mobility in the joints. Limited joint mobility may be caused by injury to the surrounding tissue. This injury may have occurred as the result of repetitive stress, an acute injury or an accident. Activities such as sitting for long periods of time without the proper support for your back can lead to mobility issues in your joints.
Chiropractic care is often used to relieve pain in the joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. Chiropractic care can be used independently or alongside conventional medical care. An experienced chiropractic doctor will often combine several methods of treatment to give you the best results.
What To Expect During a Chiropractic Adjustment for Back Pain Relief
Pain in the lower back is one of the most common reasons for healthcare visits. About 25% of adults in the US have experienced pain in their lower back in the previous three months. When searching for back pain relief it is important to avoid drug treatment whenever possible.
Non-drug therapies such as yoga, progressive relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can all help ease low back pain. Combining these treatments with spinal manipulation is an effective and drug-free way to treat existing back pain and prevent it from recurring.
There is no research that indicates drug treatment is any more effective than non-drug treatment for providing low back pain relief, and the drawbacks of drug therapy are extensive.
The first step of your initial visit with a chiropractor will involve a detailed medical history along with a physical examination. Depending on your chiropractor and the issues you are experiencing, you may also undergo diagnostic imaging and lab testing. Your chiropractor will explain what he is doing every step of the way and if you have any questions or concerns be sure to discuss them with your practitioner.
Once your assessment is complete, your chiropractor will be ready to perform an adjustment. The practitioner will have one or more areas of the body where he will manipulate the joints. He does this by using controlled force on the area. Doing so will improve the range of motion in the area.
The primary goal of chiropractic care is to restore the missing function from affected joints, prevent additional injury and relieve existing pain.
Additional Information About Chiropractic Care
The procedures used in chiropractic care focus particular attention on the alignment and structure of the spine in particular as well as the overall body. Spinal manipulation is the most common component of chiropractic care, but there are other services provided that can also yield fantastic results. Postural and exercise education as well as ergonomic training, such as how to sit, lift, stand and walk can help strengthen your body and make it more resistant to injury.
Chiropractic care can be used as an exclusive treatment or can be coupled with other types of treatment to enhance the effects of each. Chiropractors often work with other healthcare professionals to manage and treat pain.
The main focus of research on chiropractic care surrounds its use for spinal manipulation as a treatment for lower back pain. Given how pervasive lower back pain is in the general population, the value of drug-free treatment options is easy to see.
Chiropractic care for lower back pain is often coupled with massage, heat, and acupuncture to provide the most relief. The combination often allows individuals to manage their back pain with no need to rely on prescription pain medicine.
Chiropractic care is not limited to treatment for back pain. There are other skeletal and muscular issues that chiropractic care can effectively treat. Spinal manipulation performed by a chiropractor can be an effective treatment for some types of headaches. It is a particularly effective treatment for individuals who have headaches that start in the neck or are the result of tension. Individuals who spend a great deal of time in one position, such as staring at a computer screen, are particularly prone to this type of headache.
Chiropractic care can also be used as an effective treatment for problems associated with anxiety and stress. Stress activates our fight or flight reaction, leading to health issues throughout the body. Chiropractic treatment can release tension in the muscles which can lead to nerve irritation and misalignment and improve circulation. Your practitioner can also offer nutritional counseling and teach you techniques that can help you relax.
Chiropractic care can also be used to strengthen the immune system. Research is pointing to the fact that misalignments of the spine can irritate and compress nerve pathways, leading to problems throughout the body. This internal stress can compromise the immune system and lower resistance to disease. A skilled chiropractor can detect these misalignments, known as subluxations, and treat them through adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to boost white blood cell counts significantly in affected areas.
Boosting your flexibility is not something only for people with athletic ambitions. Lack of flexibility can quickly lead to loss of range of motion and increased wear and tear on different parts of the body. As moving one part of our body become more difficult, other parts of the body must work harder to compensate, which then leads to overuse in those areas. Meanwhile, the initial area will continue to lose mobility as you use it less and less.
Manipulations and spinal adjustments can help bring the body back into alignment. This can reduce pain, boost range of motion, and improve balance, coordination, and flexibility. Your practitioner can also show you exercises targeted toward the areas where you are weak.
In addition to treatment for existing issues, a chiropractor can offer ideas on your posture, biomechanics, and other lifestyle issues. They can also provide you with techniques or treatments to use along with spinal manipulation to deal with pain. These exercises and techniques can often be done right at home, allowing the diligent patient to heal and strengthen their body on their own.