Chiropractors do more than relieve back pain. They can treat other conditions and help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is a Chiropractor, and What Does a Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor primarily manually adjusts and manipulates the spine to treat neuromuscular disorders. The focus of chiropractic is to relieve pain and improve functionality. If the spine is out of alignment, the nervous system may be negatively impacted. When the spine has “normal mobility”, then the spinal nerve irritation is reduced. Chiropractors can also educate patients in nutrition, stretches, exercises, and ergonomics. Spinal manipulation is only one of the many techniques that chiropractors can employ.1
Choosing a Chiropractor
It is important that patients feel comfortable with their healthcare professionals. There are many questions a patient can ask when selecting a chiropractor, such as inquiring about the years of experience or if the doctor has a specialty (e.g., sports medicine, neurology, nutrition, rehabilitation, orthopedics, etc.). There are also other considerations when selecting a chiropractor, including friendliness, answering questions fully, and listening to patients’ concerns and explanations about symptoms. Each state has a “Chiropractic Regulation and Licensing Board”, which is a place where patients can check if there are “disciplinary actions against the chiropractor”.2
Chiropractic Care Techniques
The chiropractic adjustment applies a “specific force in a precise direction”. This can be done manually or with instruments, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences. The purpose of the chiropractic adjustment is to “normalize spine function” and restore the body’s ability to heal itself. Chiropractic adjustments are safe enough that even newborns, pregnant women, and the elderly can have them done.3 In fact, the Webster Technique is a specific method that is employed on pregnant women to help with sacral subluxation. This technique is performed so that labor and delivery are eased. By using the Webster Technique, chiropractors can even help with the “restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics” and facilitate “optimal fetal positioning”. Therefore, chiropractors may use this method when assisting women who have a breech position baby. The correction is performed by using a “diversified, sacral adjustment” so that the baby can assume the “best possible position for birth”.4 There are many other methods chiropractors can utilize with patients of all ages. They also have various tools and instruments that can help them perform adjustments. Some chiropractic offices employ massage therapists and acupuncturists. Chiropractors can treat many conditions from sports injuries to pinched nerves, from car accidents to work injuries, as well as sinus problems, tendonitis, bursitis, herniated discs, fibromyalgia, rib pain, and many more. Active Release Technique (ART), Kinesiotaping, dietary counseling, and rehabilitation are other offerings of many chiropractic offices.5
Learn more about a chiropractic session.