Chiropractic is an alternative medical practice. It has a different traditional medicine on the treatment of health problems approach.
The basic concepts of chiropractic are:
- The body has a powerful ability to heal itself
- The structure of the body (primarily the spine) and its function are related
- The goal of chiropractic therapy is to normalize the relationship
Chiropractors are doctors of chiropractic or D.Q. They use a type of therapy that is applied with hands called spinal manipulation or adjustment. Many people visit chiropractors to treat pain in the lower back.
Chiropractic care is a way to diagnose and treat health problems that affect nerves, muscles, bones and joints of the body. A doctor who provides this care is called chiropractor.
Manual adjustments of the spine, called spinal manipulation, are the basis of chiropractic care. Most chiropractors also use other types of treatments.
What happens during a visit to a chiropractor?
The first visit usually lasts 30 to 60 minutes. The chiropractor will need to know what your goals for treatment and your medical records are. They will ask about:
Past illnesses and injuries
Current health problems and medications you are taking
mental stress that may have
Alcohol, drugs or snuff
Tell your chiropractor about any physical problems you may have and that makes it difficult to perform certain tasks. Also tell if you have any numbness, tingling, weakness or other neurological problem.
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After asking about your health, the chiropractor will do a physical exam. This includes testing how well the spine moves, which is known as spinal mobility. The chiropractor may also do some tests, such as blood pressure checked and take x-rays. These tests look for problems you may be adding to your back pain.
Treatment generally begins at the first or second query.
You may be asked to lie on a special table where the chiropractor performs spinal manipulation.
The most common treatment is that chiropractic manipulation done by hand. It involves moving a joint of the spine to the maximum of its range, followed by a slight compression. This is often called "adjustment" and realigns the bones of the spine so that they are straight.
The chiropractor may also perform other treatments such as massages and other soft tissue work.
Some people are still a little sore, stiff and tired for a few days after handling. This is because your body is adjusting to its new alignment. You should not feel any pain following manipulation.
How many treatments you need?
Generally it takes more than one session to correct a problem. Typically, treatments take several weeks. The chiropractor may suggest two or three short week at first sessions, which would only last about 10 to 20 minutes each. Once you start improving, treatment may be only once a week. You and your chiropractor will discuss the effectiveness of treatment based on the goals set in the first session.
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What conditions better is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is most effective for the treatment of:
Subacute back pain (pain has been present for 3 months or less)
Exacerbations of chronic back pain (long)
Pain in the neck
Who should not be treated with a chiropractor?
People should not receive chiropractic treatment in parts of their bodies affected by any of these conditions:
Fractures or bone tumors
Bone or joint infections
Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) serious
Very rarely, neck manipulation or damaged blood vessels caused strokes. However, the evaluation process that your chiropractor do on your first visit is to see if you might be at high risk of these problems. If so, your chiropractor will not perform the manipulation of the neck.
Version Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
Translation and localization by: DrTango, Inc.