Regular chiropractic and massage treatments are not just for relieving pain. They can also be a part of an overall healthy lifestyle and injury prevention. Doctors of chiropractic care are specialists who have been trained in the knowledge of musculoskeletal health, as well as its impact on the nervous system and overall wellness. Chiropractors approach healthcare from a drug-free perspective. They are not licensed to prescribe medications, but they could make recommendations of natural supplements to their patients. Chiropractors primarily practice hands-on therapies, and they will also often recommend exercises, stretches, nutritional, and dietary counseling for the patient to follow at home.
Patients should generally try to follow exercise regimes, regular stretching, and dietary changes which chiropractors suggest in order to have a hand in maintaining their own health and well-being at home, in between visits to the chiropractor. Chiropractic care looks at the individual and their injuries, illnesses, and conditions holistically, and it aims to prevent issues and resolve underlying problems. While practitioners of chiropractic care might often be able to help the patient manage their symptoms and pain, the primary goal is to treat the underlying condition and enact preventative measures to heal the patient to the best of their ability.1
Examples of How Chiropractors Treat the Individual
Lifestyle and Ergonomic Changes
Not every condition is entirely curable, but even the impact of those which cannot be cured might still be lessened. Chiropractors can recommend ergonomic changes in a patient’s lifestyle to help reduce repetitive stressors and injuries. Many patients unknowingly put themselves into positions of improper posture or practice repetitive motions on a daily basis which contribute to injury. For example, those who work at a desk for their job often spend hours sitting in a chair which is not ergonomically sound, performing repetitive motions of mouse use and typing that will eventually lead to strain in many areas of the body. The treatments and spinal manipulations can help adjust the spine, joints, and tissues, restoring mobility and range of motion, and alleviating muscle pain and tightness.
Chiropractors adapt their treatment to fit the individual patient’s needs. They do not necessarily have to be seen only when there is back pain, neck pain, joint pain, or headaches. A patient might continue to visit a chiropractor as a method of preventative care or for continued recovery even after their condition has been made mostly better.2 Chiropractors can not only treat a variety of other systemic conditions. They can also be helpful in teaching the patient how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are able to safely treat infants and children, as well as adults and the elderly. Special instruments and a gentler touch might be needed in the treatment of these more sensitive patients.
Correcting and Maintaining Alignment
Chiropractic care can improve the functioning of the nervous system, provide preventative care, and improve the immune system. Maintaining alignment can help prevent many injuries and illnesses. There are many athletes who tout chiropractic as being a factor in improving their performances. In addition to treatment provided by chiropractic care, it is very common for chiropractors to work with professionals in similar fields, such as medical doctors, physical therapists, and massage therapists, in treating a number of conditions.3
Some chiropractic offices, such as Carson Chiropractic, actually offer massage therapy within the same place of business. In other cases, a chiropractor might have a recommendation for a local massage therapist and vice versa.4 Massage has been used to help patients manage a wide variety of conditions for thousands of years. When massage therapy is provided by a trained professional, it has very few risks. And it is another type of drug-free, hands-on therapy. Massage is also considered a CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Massage can be used for pain management, sports injuries, stress reduction, anxiety, and depression. It can also be helpful as part of a healthy lifestyle.5
Massage therapy, like chiropractic care, has many different techniques tailored toward the individual’s needs. Swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point massage (for myofascial trigger points/knots), are some of the types of therapies available. Swedish massage is one of the most common types used. Massage therapists are available in many different settings, and some travel to the client’s place of residence.
Massage therapy can reduce blood pressure and heart rate. It is thought that massage can provide stimulation that can help prevent signals of pain from being sent to the brain, or it may release endorphins or serotonin to help counteract the pain.6 Additionally, massage could be beneficial to clients of all ages. It can also enhance immunity in premature babies, improve blood pressure in the elderly, and reduce the anxiety and stress in cancer patients. Even when an injury or disorder is not present, a patient might just seek out a massage session for the relaxation and stress reduction which it provides.7
1, 2 acatoday.org
Learn more about massage therapy with chiropractic care.