Most people have a few questions when considering chiropractic care to naturally treat pain and injuries. If you've been wondering if chiropractic is a good option for you, you'll want to take a look at these commonly asked questions.
What Kinds of Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat?
Chiropractic treatment focuses on your muscles, vertebrae, joints, tendons, and ligaments. The treatment may be a good choice if you experience joint, muscle or nerve pain after a car accident, fall or another type of injury.
Accidents aren't the only cause of pain. Fortunately, your chiropractor can also treat back, neck or shoulder pain related to poor posture, overuse injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and other conditions.
Pain and stiffness can occur when your spine becomes misaligned. Spinal misalignments cause your muscles and joints to become tight and stiff, and are responsible for pain and decreased range of motion. Misaligned vertebrae in your spine and tight muscles may also press on your nerves, triggering or increasing pain.
Chiropractic treatments are designed to improve the alignment of the spine, ease muscle tension and stiffness, relieve pressure on nerves, decrease inflammation, and improve range of motion and flexibility.
Chiropractic treatment can helpful for many conditions, including:
Headaches and Migraines
Spinal Disc Issues
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Leg Length Discrepancy
Immune System Issues
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
Tingling and Numbness in the Hands, Feet, Arms, and Legs
Pain in the Back, Neck, Head, Shoulders, Arms, Ribs, Hips, Legs, Feet and Pelvis
Sprains and Strains
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What Treatments Do Chiropractors Offer?
If you've ever seen a character on a TV show or movie receive chiropractic care, you may assume that spinal manipulations are the only treatments chiropractors offer. During spinal manipulation, your chiropractor uses quick, hands-on pressure to realign the small vertebrae in your spinal column. Many people refer to this as "cracking the neck," but the cracking sounds produced during manipulation are actually gas bubbles released from the joints.
Improving the alignment of the spine with spinal manipulation reduces inflammation, improves flexibility and range of motion, enhances blood flow and decreases pressure on the joints, nerves, muscles, and ligaments.
In 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a systematic review of studies that evaluated the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in treating acute low back pain. The review noted that manipulation was associated with less pain and improved function six weeks after treatment.
Other studies have shown spinal manipulation and chiropractic treatments to be effective in treating whiplash, neck pain, plantar fasciitis, hip and knee osteoarthritis, migraines and other conditions.
In addition to spinal manipulation, your chiropractor may also offer these treatments:
Massage. Massage is often used in conjunction with chiropractic treatments and may be helpful in decreasing pain, easing muscle tension and reducing stress. Massage increases blood flow to the injured area and promotes healing.
Soft Tissue Mobilization. Mobilization involves gently moving and stretching the soft tissues in your body to decrease pain and other symptoms caused by sprains, strains, stress injuries, scar tissue, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, and other conditions.
Heat and Cold. Both hot and cold packs may be used at various times during your treatment.
Ultrasound Treatment. A small handheld device directs ultrasound waves to your tissues. The treatments relax your muscles, decrease swelling and improve blood flow.
Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS). TENS treatment uses a gentle, low-voltage electrical current that blocks pain signals.
Am I a Good Candidate for Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic care is a safe, effective treatment option for most people. During your first visit, your chiropractor will perform a thorough examination, order X-rays or other diagnostic tests, and discuss your medical history and symptoms before recommending a treatment plan.
Although medication can temporarily dull your pain, your symptoms will return unless you address the cause. Chiropractic treatment treats the source of your pain, eliminating or reducing the need for pain killers or other medications. It's a good choice if you're experiencing sudden or chronic pain or have other symptoms, such as:
Pain that affects any part of your body or shoots down your arms or legs
Muscle pain, weakness, tingling or numbness
Difficulty walking, maintaining your balance, or sitting or standing without pain
Frequent headaches, fatigue or difficulty concentrating due to your symptoms
Chiropractic treatment can help relieve your symptoms naturally. Contact us if you're ready to schedule an appointment.
Journal of the American Medical Association: Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy with Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain, 4/11/17
Spine Universe: What Disorders Do Chiropractors Treat?
U.S. News & World Report: Surprise: Chiropractors Can Treat These 5 Conditions, 11/30/15
American Chiropractic Association: What is Chiropractic?