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What Is Chiropractic and How Can It Help Me?

Chiropractic is a health care profession that concentrates on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and the consequences these disorders have on overall health. Chiropractic services are utilized most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Chiropractors aid patients by first conducting a thorough history and physical exam to determine if a patient is a good candidate for chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors refer patients to a suitable health care provider when chiropractic care is not appropriate for a patient’s ailment, or the ailment requires joint co-management with other health care providers. If a patient is a good candidate for chiropractic care, the chiropractor creates an individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s needs.

Chiropractors often help patients by utilizing joint manipulations, more commonly referred to as chiropractic adjustments. A joint manipulation is an application of a gentle controlled quick force into a joint that has become restricted in its movement. Joints most often become restricted as a result of tissue injury. Tissue injuries may be caused by a single traumatic event, such as a car accident, or through repetitive stresses like sitting with poor posture for a prolonged time. In either scenario, injured tissues sustain physical and chemical changes that can lead to inflammation, pain, and decreased function for an individual. The purpose of a joint manipulation is to restore joint mobility in order to increase function and allow tissues to heal. When proper joint function is restored pain is often reduced or eliminated because the body no longer has to compensate with unnatural movement patterns for the lack of function in that particular joint system. Chiropractic joint manipulations rarely cause discomfort, but some patient’s may occasionally experience mild soreness or aching (similar to the day after a new workout routine.) Post-adjustment discomfort usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours.

Although chiropractors are most famous for joint manipulations, manipulations are not the only techniques chiropractors may utilize to rehabilitate a patient. In addition to joint manipulations, chiropractors may utilize soft tissue mobilization techniques, therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, dry needling, neurology techniques, as well as nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling.

Chiropractic care offers patients a conservative approach to treat pain safely and effectively without the use of potentially addictive prescription pain medications. (*Note: There is a time and place for pharmaceutical intervention, but chiropractors do not have the scope of practice to prescribe prescription medication. If clinically indicated, a chiropractor will make the proper referral(s) if a patient needs care beyond the scope of chiropractic care.) Anyone suffering from acute or chronic pain and/or loss of function should consider seeking chiropractic intervention. Chiropractic treatment can help one reduce pain and live the life they desire!


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