Chiropractors utilize hands-on manipulation of the spine as well as other alternative treatments to properly align the musculoskeletal structure of the body. This allows the body to heal itself in the absence of medication or surgery. Manual manipulation is said to restore the joint’s mobility which have been previously restricted by tissue injury due to a traumatic event (e.g. repetitive stress, falling, sitting with no appropriate back support).
Chiropractic treatments are mainly used to provide relief from pain for the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, tendons. It is at times used along with conventional treatments. Chiropractors are identified by the initials “DC” as this indicates one has completed an undergraduate degree and four years of chiropractic college.
What do Chiropractors do?
If you are experiencing back pain, a chiropractic clinic will first gather your medical history and then conduct a physical exam. Diagnostic imaging or lab tests might be used to determine the proper treatment for your back pain.
Treatment programs could include manual adjustments wherein the doctor carefully manipulates the body’s joints in a sudden and controlled manner in order to improve one’s range of motion. Numerous chiropractors similarly include nutritional counseling and exercise in prescribing a treatment program. The objective of chiropractic care is to restore the function of the body as well as prevent further injury.
Chiropractic care as provided by chiropractors is generally safe and effective. It treats acute pain in the lower back, specifically those which are due to sudden injury. Take note that acute back pain is common compared to chronic pain as the former lasts not more than six weeks and usually gets better when left on its own.
Research has revealed that chiropractic care helps treat headaches and neck pain. Plus, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis responds positively to moderate pressure applied by chiropractors and deep tissue massage practitioners.
Should you go to a Chiropractor?
There are a slew of studies which reveals the positive effects brought by chiropractors. However, not all back pain needs to be treated by a chiropractic clinic. There are a few conditions which need to be treated by a medical doctor. However, numerous back pain cases are best treated by chiropractors. It has been shown that they are effective at remedying acute back pain. Still, specific conditions could cause serious problems and so these need to be considered prior to starting any treatment.
Signs which should be a cause for concern include problems in controlling bladder or bowel function, numbness surrounding the genitalia, pain that wakes you up during the night. Be aware of the symptoms that need to be seen by an orthopedist and not a chiropractor, these include back pain along with leg pain, leg tingling and numbness, weakness of the leg muscles.
If the cause of the problem is ligament or muscle sprain, chiropractic treatments are extremely effective. Patients who have signs of spinal cord or nerve compression must not go through chiropractic manipulation until they have been cleared by a medical doctor. There are also problems such as spine tumors or infections that must not be manipulated by chiropractors.
Take note that there are cases where patients go through spinal manipulations but sustain complications due to nerve injury. Fortunately, these cases are very rare. Still, it is critical to understand back pain causes prior to going through spinal manipulations.
Choosing chiropractors could be difficult due to their many styles and methods of practice. Do not forget that those who have inflammatory arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal cord compression and those taking medications for blood-thinning must not go through spinal manipulation. Additionally, patients who have had cancer must first acquire clearance from their medical doctor prior to undergoing manipulation of their spine.
All in all, chiropractic treatments are made based on a correct diagnosis of your specific back pain. A chiropractor must have all the information they need with regards to your medical history, medical conditions, surgical or traumatic history, current medications as well as lifestyle factors. Though rare, there were cases wherein treatment worsened due to a slipped or herniated disc as well as neck manipulation. To always be safe, advise your health care practitioner whenever you utilize chiropractic treatment or other alternatives to pain relief.
Guest post was written by Norm Paradis of the Chiropractic Health Centre in Calgary, Alberta. Find more information here http://chiro-doctor.com