Chiropractors are doctors who employ chiropractic techniques to treat various problems related to the spine and nervous system. Chiropractors perform diagnostic tests on their patients and prescribe spinal exercises and therapies or conservative treatments for various ailments. Chiropractors are experts at diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors believe that the most critical health characteristic that impacts longevity is good posture. A well-balanced and healthy body facilitates overall good health. Thus, chiropractors work on improving the client’s posture significantly to reduce pain and improve functioning. In addition, they recommend using gentle spinal manipulation and other alternative techniques to help patients regain mobility. In some cases, chiropractors provide specific services, such as joint stress tests to identify mechanical problems in the spine that cause pain.
Chiropractors also offer services that complement conventional health care, such as mental health counseling, physical therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, nutrition education, drug education, music therapy, orthopedic, and rehabilitation services. Most insurance plans pay for some of these services, although it is best to check with your insurance provider to be sure. In addition, chiropractors often work closely with physicians, surgeons, and specialists to coordinate health care delivery. For example, if a patient needs surgical procedures, the chiropractor may refer their case to the appropriate surgeon.
When a patient visits a chiropractor for diagnostic and therapeutic care, they will be given an examination, x-rays, and a report of the findings. The chiropractor will then recommend adjusting the spine to correct posture, movement, joint stiffness, and pain. Some standard adjustments include softening the vertebrae and spinal coils to reduce pain and movement disorders; adjustments may be used to correct alignment issues resulting from injury, aging, or disease; or reduce muscle tension, spasm, or instability to increase flexibility. In addition, many patients seek care from a chiropractor to relieve chronic headaches, neck and back pain, migraine headaches, and low backaches.
A pre-determined sequence of movements will be performed before a chiropractor manipulates joints, spine, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. This begins with basic adjustments to the spine to determine alignment and range of motion. Next, manipulating movements are applied to the musculoskeletal system to restore normal mobility and functionality of the joints. Finally, diagnostic tests are conducted to identify problems preventing the body from adequately responding to manipulations. For example, a chiropractor will usually begin with gentle spinal manipulations to remove any adhesions or rigid structures causing pain or restriction. In addition, muscle weakness may be identified by performing strength, endurance, coordination, and balance tests.
Chiropractors also commonly treat injuries, pain, and conditions that affect organs, tissues, or the brain. An example is a car accident resulting in sprains, strains, or other injuries that limit the range of motion and cause swelling or other symptoms. Before a chiropractor adjusts the joint, he will often order tests to confirm the condition. Other tests might include x-rays, CT scans, or MRI tests. Suppose it is determined that the cause of the pain or condition is an injury. In that case, the chiropractor may recommend an exercise program or suggest ways to protect the patient’s health through a healthy lifestyle.
When treating conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, the purpose of manipulative adjustments is to reduce inflammation and facilitate the healing process. The adjustments that are performed are intended to realign the joint and surrounding muscles to restore normal function. Chiropractors also recommend diet and nutritional supplementation patients and sometimes perform exercise programs as part of their treatment regimens. Manipulation is most effective when done by trained professionals who have experience in dealing with a specific patient.
A chiropractor can relieve the pain of joints, muscles, and tendons by providing spinal adjustments. However, people must first seek out medical care to determine the underlying condition. Chances are, the chiropractor is not able to pinpoint the problem. Some patients find that the pain is reduced after several visits, though some continue to have pain even after receiving chiropractic adjustments. For this reason, patients need to undergo a complete physical examination and consult a health care professional before scheduling a visit with a chiropractor.