Chiropractic is an alternative medical practice. It has a different approach to treating health problems than traditional medicine.
The basics of chiropractic are:
- The body has a powerful ability to heal itself
- The structure of your body (mainly the spine) and its function are related
- The goal of chiropractic therapy is to normalize that relationship
Chiropractors are Doctors of Chiropractic or DQ They use a type of therapy that is applied with the hands called spinal manipulation or adjustment. Many people visit chiropractors for the treatment of lower back pain.
Chiropractic care is a way to diagnose and treat health problems that affect the nerves, muscles, bones, and joints of the body. A doctor who offers this type of care is called a chiropractor.
Manual spinal adjustments, called spinal manipulation, are the foundation of chiropractic care. Most chiropractors also use other types of treatments. What Happens During a Visit to a Chiropractor?
The first visit usually lasts 30 to 60 minutes. The chiropractor will need to know your goals for treatment and your medical history. They will ask you about:
Past injuries and illnesses
Current health problems and medications you are taking
Mental stress you may have
Use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco
Tell your chiropractor about any physical problems you may have that make it difficult for you to perform certain tasks. Also tell him if you have any numbness, tingling, weakness, or any other neurological problems.
After asking about your health, the chiropractor will do a physical exam. This includes tests of how well the spine moves, which is known as spinal mobility. The chiropractor may also do some tests, such as checking blood pressure and taking X-rays. These tests look for problems that may be adding to your back pain.
Treatment usually begins with the first or second visit.
You may be asked to lie on a special table, where the chiropractor performs manipulations of the spine.
The most common treatment is manipulation by the chiropractor by hand. It consists of moving a joint of the spine to the maximum of its range, followed by light compression. This is often called "fitting" and realigns the bones of the spine so they are straight.
The chiropractor may also perform other treatments, such as massages and other soft tissue work.
Some people remain slightly sore, stiff, and tired for a few days after handling. This is because your body is adjusting to its new alignment. You should not feel any pain from the manipulation.
How many treatments will you need?
It generally takes more than one session to correct a problem. Treatments generally last several weeks. The chiropractor may suggest two or three short sessions a week at first, which would only last about 10 to 20 minutes each. Once you begin to improve, treatment may be only once a week. You and your chiropractor will discuss the effectiveness of the treatment based on the goals set in the first session.
What conditions does the chiropractor treat best?
Chiropractic is most effective for treating:
Subacute back pain (pain that has been present for 3 months or less)
Flare-ups of chronic (long-term) back
pain Neck pain
Who should not be treated with a chiropractor?
People should not receive chiropractic treatment for parts of their bodies affected by any of these conditions:
Bone fractures or tumors
Bone or joint infections Severe
osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
In very rare cases, manipulation of the neck has damaged blood vessels or caused strokes. However, the evaluation process that your chiropractor does at your first visit is to see if you might be at high risk for these problems. If so, your chiropractor will not perform the neck manipulation.