Choosing chiropractic care can help you find pain relief and may even save you money. Let’s learn more about what chiropractic care is, what chiropractors do, and what conditions are treated.
What Is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It is well established in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Chiropractic is the third largest health profession, behind medicine and dentistry. Further, most insurance carriers cover chiropractic expenses.
Chiropractic care is focused on the assessment and treatment of pain symptoms of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Generally, chiropractic care is concerned with conditions such as:
Chiropractic care is concerned with the potential detrimental effects that these conditions can have on an person’s overall health.
What Are The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care?
There is a mounting body of evidence that shows favorable results to the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Various studies have shown support for the safety and efficacy of chiropractic treatment compared to other pain treatments. This includes invasive surgery and the use of prescription medication.
The primary goal of chiropractic care is to improve patient outcomes by providing cost-effective and safe treatment for the relief of debilitating pain symptoms. Research has found that chiropractic care has the following benefits, compared to conventional treatment options:
Decrease in medication use
Quicker patient recovery times
Less patient disability
Significant improvement in pain symptoms
Significant improvement in physical activity tolerance
What Is A Chiropractor?
Chiropractors are highly specialized health care practitioners who typically receive doctorate-level training prior to becoming licensed. Masters-level training is available for students who do not wish to complete the doctorate-level program. Chiropractic curriculum consists of a variety of training methods including courses, seminars, and hands-on clinical training. The clinical training that is part of the chiropractic curriculum includes the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of pain conditions.
After the completion of their training, chiropractors are able to provide evidence-based recommendations in terms of a suitable treatment plan, in addition to rehabilitation exercises. Furthermore, individuals who are enrolled in a chiropractic program have the option to participate in a course that is focused on nutrition. Therefore, many chiropractors have excellent nutrition knowledge. They can make lifestyle recommendations that include diet and exercise modifications that may help to improve patient outcomes.
In the United States, all 50 states offer a licensure for chiropractic care and extensive literature has suggested that it is one of the largest alternative health care professions. Chiropractors perform over 90 million chiropractic adjustments every year, according to recent estimates. Estimates have suggested that approximately one in three individuals who have suffered with back pain have seen a chiropractor for management of their condition.
While in some cases chiropractic care is the primary treatment intervention, it can be added as a complementary treatment in cases where other interventions are considered the primary intervention. Many people regard the chiropractic profession as a leader in terms of providing a non-invasive treatment option to improve patient outcomes. We discuss some more specifics about this history of the chiropractic care profession and how you can become a chiropractor later on in this post.
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
The American Chiropractic Association states that the primary philosophy of the chiropractic profession is to provide patients with healthcare that is effective and of a high quality by using conservative and natural treatment interventions. Chiropractors place an emphasis on the body’s ability to naturally heal itself after an injury without the need for medication or invasive treatment options, including surgery.
Chiropractors generally take a systems-approach to each of their patient cases. They believe that understanding the underlying structure and function of the spine and how it interacts with various systems within the body, including the neurological system and musculoskeletal system, is the key to understanding injury and disease. According to chiropractors, in order for the body to function optimally, a natural balance and flow needs to be maintained.
An example of this “balance,” which has been documented in various studies that shows the integration of systems within the body, is the relationship between poor posture and the incidence of cervical and lumbar pain. This example stresses the importance of striving for a thorough understanding of the body system interactions as they relate to a patient’s pain. By understanding these relationships, an accurate diagnosis can be made after a complete assessment is performed, which will help to develop an appropriate treatment plan, helping to achieve optimal patient results.
What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?
Chiropractors have access to a variety of different types of treatment for chronic pain; however, the most commonly used treatment is manual therapy. Manual therapy is also referred to as spinal manipulation, manipulation therapy, or chiropractic adjustment. Dr. Nicole Kibler explains what a chiropractic adjustment is in the video.
Chiropractic care primarily involves adjustments that help to correct the internal structural alignment of the body. Targeted and controlled forces are then applied to specific joint areas. Chiropractors focus the applied forces on the areas within the body that are restricting or limiting movement. These joints are referred to as hypomobile joints, and are often the result of tissue damage.
A number of issues have been associated with tissue damage and many of them occur from participating in regular everyday tasks. For example, tissue damage can occur after being in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time. This is especially true if the individual has poor posture. These activities increase the risk of developing tissue irritation and inflammation, which can lead to acute and potentially chronic pain.
Acute and chronic pain can both be debilitating and can have a negative impact on an individual’s daily activities. The goal of manual therapy is to correct the underlying damaged tissue as well as the surrounding joints, in an effort to decrease muscle tightness, increase range of motion, promote tissue healing, and reduce pain.
Additionally, it is believed that spinal manipulation can help to improve overall body functioning and restore the individual to their state of functioning prior to the episode of pain. Although discomfort is rare following a chiropractic adjustment, some patients do report mild achiness or soreness following treatment. This discomfort is generally quite mild and usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours after the adjustment.