A chiropractor is concerned with the alignment of the human skeleton. He uses non-invasive methods in order to realign a part of the body which has been thrown out of alignment by disease, injury, or lifestyle choices.
Clients arrive with assorted pain issues and sometimes leave feeling much better after a single visit. Others need ongoing support or regular treatment over a period of months. A chiropractor does more than manipulate a patient’s spine, neck, and other bones, however; he takes a holistic approach to his clients’ health.
A conscientious professional wants to know why you are struggling with a condition. So, to do that, he needs to ask a lot of probing questions. His efforts might give you relief in the short term but what if you go back to an activity that caused this problem in the first place?
Perhaps a person’s weight and inactivity are at the root of his condition so the chiropractor will lay it on the line: without a change of lifestyle, pain will recur and probably get worse, possibly leading to further problems in short order. Sometimes a client really should visit her doctor before seeking alternative therapy.
Supplements might be recommended for bone maintenance. X-rays might be necessary to rule out fractures which present in a similar way to other conditions. A patient’s history is very useful, even a family history.
What is Chiropractic Care for?
Is a chiropractor all about treating back pain? Surprisingly, treatments address pain that seems to stem from somewhere else: headaches, numbness or aching in joints, asthma, and allergies. The issue is nerve disturbance created when one’s vertebrae are misaligned and they pinch the spinal cord.
Once this problem is corrected, nerves are released, and pain in the extremities or mysterious rashes often disappear. A body can naturally respond to allergens causing a runny nose, itchy eyes, and wheezing. Patients of all ages benefit from care directed at a particular condition or modified for a certain time in one’s life: infancy, early youth, the teenage years, middle age, and the twilight years.
Patients have been injured on the job, while playing sports, in car accidents, or during falls. They suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury, arthritis, and chronic conditions which affect mobility. A chiropractor develops a custom care plan focused on the specific problem at hand. There is no general plan of treatment for every patient.
Types of Chiropractic Care
One method of care involves an instrument which pulses quickly in a specified area. Applied to this region of the spine, it gently eases vertebrae back into the position they would naturally have adopted if not for injury or poor posture. This tool pulses far more quickly than the human hand and is more effective as well.
Manipulation by hand is also effective. A chiropractor will locate the area of concern and physically move joints back into place.
Another method is used to break down scar tissue which is causing pain and tightness. Scar tissue develops following serious injury such as a torn ligament or a broken bone, so it might seem that the area of injury never recovered if pain and tightness persist. The problem is internal scarring which can be removed with laser surgery, but chiropractic methods aim to break down the offending tissue without invasive procedures being required. Surgery is costly and recovery time can be considerable. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive, recovery is quick, and procedures (which might be covered by insurance) are cheaper than surgery. Special tools are required to apply vibration at high speeds without causing further damage or pain.
A special thrusting move releases compression in the lower back which can also be achieved by securing a patient on a type of bed which stretches the spine safely and slowly. Imagine holding a pose where you are bent at the waist with your hands on the floor and your head hanging limp: the effect is similar and very useful for those with limited flexibility.
Complementing Each Other
Several types of treatment for pain management and relief work well together if patients alternate between them at regular intervals. Acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, and homeopathy are often regarded as alternative approaches to well-being which can be used with or instead of regular medicine.
It is always important that a patient seek medical attention if he is bleeding, detects a lump which could be cancerous, experiences dizziness, vomiting, or chest pain. He should always rule out more serious conditions before talking to a chiropractor or other practitioner. Even if another ailment is diagnosed, he can usually complement medical treatment with chiropractic care and other methods.
If you do not know which therapist to approach for dietary advice or which naturopath to trust, ask your chiropractor to make a recommendation. Always seek the services of a licensed, experienced chiropractor with proven credentials.