While the mainstay of chiropractic care is spinal manipulation, chiropractic care may also include other treatments, including manual or manipulative therapies, posture and movement education, and ergonomic training (walking, sitting, and standing to limit back strain). Chiropractors use hands-on adaptations to ease pain and help your body heal itself. They often focus on problems related to the spine.. The focus on spinal adjustment makes chiropractic doctors unique in their approach to treating patients with spinal complaints..
But chiropractic adjustment may not be the only procedure a chiropractor can use when managing patient care. For example, drug-free therapeutics (natural therapies) have been used in chiropractic since 1912. Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated by precise manipulation of the cervix. Manipulation of the cervix, often called neck adjustment, improves joint mobility in the neck, restores range of motion and reduces muscle spasms, relieving pressure and tension. Manipulation of the neck, when performed by an experienced and well-trained professional such as a chiropractic doctor, is a remarkably safe procedure.
Some reports have linked high-speed upper neck manipulation to a specific rare type of stroke or vertebral artery dissection. However, there is evidence that this type of arterial injury often occurs spontaneously in patients with pre-existing arterial disease.. These dissections have been linked to everyday activities such as turning your head while driving, swimming, or shampoos in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headaches that cause them to seek professional treatment from a chiropractic doctor or family doctor. However, this treatment is not the cause of the injury..
The best evidence suggests that the incidence of artery injury associated with high-speed upper neck manipulation is extremely rare (about one to three cases in 100,000 patients treated with one treatment).. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke in the general population.. When you see your chiropractic doctor with upper neck pain or headache, you should be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your chiropractic doctor provide the safest and most effective treatment, even if it’s a referral to another doctor..
When discussing the risks of a health procedure, it is important to consider this risk in comparison to other treatments that are available for the same condition.. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from manipulating the spine in conditions such as neck pain and headaches are very favorable, even with the most conservative treatment options.. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain (e.g.. Over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription pain relievers are significantly higher than those of chiropractic manipulation.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that excessive use and misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Chiropractic doctors are well-trained professionals who provide safe and effective care to patients for a wide range of common conditions. Her extensive training prepares her to identify patients with special risk factors and ensure that these patients receive the most appropriate care, even if this requires referral to a specialist.. After admission to an accredited chiropractic university, the requirements become even more demanding: Four to five academic years of vocational study are the standard..
Chiropractic doctors are trained in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition, rehabilitation, and more. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation and adaptation techniques, a significant amount of time is spent training clinical techniques to master these important manipulative procedures.. In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes at least 4,200 hours of teaching, laboratory, and clinical experience. The degree program is approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education, an accreditation agency recognized by the USA.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors who understand it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. Most chiropractors start treatment on the patient’s first visit, although some may wait until the next appointment at the chiropractic clinic. Here’s an overview of typical chiropractic goals, treatment options available, and average treatment duration.
Your chiropractor can put you on a drop table that is equipped with sections that fall off when pressure is applied to your back. If you have a problem that affects your musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor can provide alternative treatment methods that do not require prescribing medication. Your chiropractor uses their hands or small instruments to apply a quick, controlled amount of force (amount of pressure) to a joint, or they gently stretch your joints beyond their normal range of motion.. The study found that adults who saw a chiropractor were less likely to fill out an opioid prescription for their pain than adults who only saw their doctor..
Research has found that chiropractic adjustments can be an effective treatment for various forms of neck or back pain.. A chiropractor helps with back and neck pain through spine adjustments to maintain good alignment. Another device that your chiropractor can use is called an activator, a small device that can be used for gentle manipulation.. Chiropractic treatment may be able to help correct poor posture, especially if your poor posture is caused by sitting too much.
If chiropractic treatment is not appropriate, or if your health condition requires co-management with other health professionals, your chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate doctor. Natural remedies such as heat, cold, water, massage, light, and exercise are some of the physiological therapeutic measures commonly used by chiropractors. Your chiropractor will discuss this with you before you engage in a process known as informed consent.. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but all states require a chiropractor to pass National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exams.
Back pain, neck pain and headaches are the most common problems that people seek chiropractic adjustment. Based on their examination, your chiropractor will give you a differential diagnosis (which takes into account all possible causes of your main complaint) and a work diagnosis (the most likely cause of your main complaint).