Patients find wellness and relief from Chiropractic Care.
Often recommended for patients with spine pain, chiropractic care refers to a serious of strategic manipulations applied with varying degrees of pressure. The purpose is to promote tissue healing and ease stress on joints, bones, muscles, and other soft tissues.
- Developed in the late 1800s
- Evolved to include diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders
- Often a complement to other non-surgical pain management techniques
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How it Works
Treatments involve some type of spinal manipulation. This may be done manually or with special devices such as rollers, back massagers, or a handheld device called an activator. Manipulations often place pressure that can range from gentle to more forceful on spinal joints to improve alignment, flexibility, and circulation. Muscles and other soft tissues are also massaged to ease tension.
Some chiropractic treatments also involve ultrasound and electrical stimulation to further promote muscle relaxation. Bracing is sometimes used if a treated area of the spine needs to remain stable as it heals. Some patients benefit from sessions that use biofeedback and include additional relaxation techniques. Chiropractor care may also include:
- Hot and cold applications
- Massage therapy
- Strength and conditioning exercises
- Nutrition counseling
- Exercise and lifestyle recommendations
Preparing for a Visit
An initial visit to chiropractor typically involves a review of a patient’s health history, a discussion of symptoms experienced and what actions or movements seem to make pain worse, and a physical exam. An individualized treatment plan is developed with patient goals in mind.
What to Expect
During a typical session, pressure is applied to the area of the spine that’s believed to be causing pain or the area where muscles are tense. Patients are encouraged to communicate during sessions to let the chiropractor know what they are feeling and whether or not the pressure is too heavy or too light. Some patients report hearing a “cracking” or “popping” sound. This only means that spinal joints and tissues are being stretched. Some treatments involve the use of a drop table to perform manipulations. Sessions may address pain related to:
It’s believed chiropractic treatments provide relief, in part, by increasing the production of endorphins in the body. These hormones released naturally by the brain have effects similar to pain medications. Correcting spinal alignment helps some patients improve their posture, which takes pressure off of the spine during normal daily movements. Spinal manipulation also increases circulation and allows more nutrients to get to the spine and its supporting discs and tissues. The relaxing nature of treatments sometimes decreases stress and anxiety for patients, further easing pain.
Chiropractors typically coordinate care efforts with a patient’s other doctors. They may also perform additional diagnostic tests, including X-rays and other image tests, to identify or confirm the likely source of a patient’s discomfort so treatments can be further customized to specific needs and pressure can be safely applied to the correct area. The duration of chiropractic care and what’s involved with sessions will depend on the condition being treated and results experienced.