What Does A Chiropractor Do?

Are you among the many people who wonder what does a chiropractor do?

Well, you are not alone. Most people choosing alternatives for back pain relief look to chiropractic care. In fact, around 22 million Americans visit a chiropractor each year. In most cases, these people are seeking relief from pain in their back and neck.

What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a doctor that uses hands on spinal manipulation to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal structure. They work on the theory that proper alignment allows the body to heal itself without medication or surgery. This form of manipulation can restore mobility to the patient’s joints when they suffer from an injury such as a car accident or falling, or from stress from things such as sitting improperly.

Chiropractic care is used to relieve pain in joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. A chiropractor will often work alongside conventional doctors treat the patient.

Back Pain and the Chiropractor

To help you with back pain, a chiropractor will get your medical history first, then perform a physical exam. Diagnostic imaging and lab tests are sometimes used. Typically, adjustments are done by the chiropractor one or more times to manipulate the joints. An adjustment uses a controlled sudden force to improve the quality and range of motion. Most chiropractors will also add an exercise and rehabilitation plan into their treatment.

Benefits and Risks

Chiropractic care and spinal manipulation are a safe and effective treatment for lower back pain that is acute. This type of pain is typically caused by a sudden injury and doesn’t last any more than six weeks. Acute injuries can often get better on their own without any intervention. Generally, though, chiropractic care can help relieve acute injuries sooner.

Studies have shown that chiropractic care effectively treats headaches and neck pain. Those suffering from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis also find benefits from chiropractors and deep tissue massage.

Some chiropractors use other methods such as sclerotherapy and prolotherapy to treat chronic back pain, but studies have not confirmed their effectiveness. This sort of therapy is done by injecting an anesthetic or sugar water into the back to help strengthen the ligaments.

There are some people who should never undergo spinal manipulation. Those people include anyone taking medications to thin their blood, or people who have inflammatory arthritis, spinal cord compression, or osteoporosis. Anyone with a history of cancer should talk with their doctor before seeing a chiropractor for spinal manipulation as well.

Accurately diagnosing your back pain is what all treatments are based on. When you visit a chiropractor, you should make sure they are well informed on your medical history, any medications you are currently on, if you have had any surgeries, and your lifestyle factors. There have been rare cases where chiropractic treatment has made a slipped a herniated disc worse or where spinal cord injury was caused by neck manipulation. Therefore, it is important to talk with your medical doctor before seeking the help of a chiropractor if you’re concerned about using chiropractic care as a pain relief alternative.