What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a licensed and trained professional who focuses on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders through manual chiropractic adjustment and/or spinal manipulation. Chiropractors work towards reducing pain and improving the functionality of their patient’s injury. They also educate patients on how to better their own health through exercise, ergonomics and other therapies.

Among people seeking alternatives to relieve back pain, most choose to see a chiropractor. About 22 million Americans visit a chiropractor yearly. These people are often seeking treatment for back pain for many different reasons, including car accidents, sports injuries, and muscle pulls/strains. Although chiropractic care is a common treatment for back pain, other patients may seek chiropractic care to decrease pain in their neck, arms, and legs, and minimize headaches.

How do chiropractors treat injuries?

Chiropractors primarily relieve pain in muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. In addition, chiropractic care can accompany other medical treatments such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and diet and nutrition. Chiropractors use hands-on techniques to manipulate the spine or other parts of the body. The goal of manipulation is to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal structure. This will encourage the body to heal itself quicker and without surgery or medication. Chiropractors use manipulation to improve joint mobility, releasing tight tissue caused by an injury. This include traumatic events such as falling, or constant stress, such as sitting without back support.

Chiropractor educating patient with spine model

Are chiropractors safe?

Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive treatments available for pain relief of the back and neck. Chiropractors have an excellent safety records. They take their time to design special treatment plans based on their patient’s needs. At an initial visit, a chiropractor will first ask for a patient’s medical history. They will then perform a physical exam, and may even request diagnostic X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. After an examination, they can decipher how long and often appointments should be made until the injury is healed. It is important for patients to have a clear understanding regarding the treatment plan given. For this reason, chiropractors will also educate their patients on additional ways to promote healing in their problem areas.

What are the benefits of seeing a chiropractor?

Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care is an effective way to relieve pain. Research has shown chiropractors to be helpful in treating not only back pain, but neck pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, and headaches too. In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may improve with moderate pressure used by chiropractors during adjustment procedures and sometimes even deep tissue massages.

It is beneficial for anyone experiencing pain to see a chiropractor. Their treatments include an accurate diagnosis of a patient’s injury and determining the root cause of pain. You should inform your chiropractor about medical history, including ongoing medical conditions, current medications, traumatic/surgical history, and lifestyle factors. They will then be able to work with the patient to seek the most effective way to treat the injury. This helps the patient not only feel better, but also gives them an understanding for their body as far as what they should and shouldn’t do. People who don’t suffer from pain generally live a happier life.

Is a referral necessary to see a chiropractor?

A referral is not typically needed to see a chiropractor, however, a patient sometimes will need a referral for other requirements such as X-rays. The best way to know if chiropractic care is the right means of treatment is to contact a chiropractor and schedule an appointment for a consult.