Chiropractors treat problems which affect the alignment of the muscles and bones of your body. Treatment is based on the theory that if the spine is out of alignment then many medical problems, especially those of the nervous system can arise.
Chiropractors take a natural approach for promoting health. They focus on lifestyle changes, improved nutrition, and exercise. Medicine and surgeries are thought to be a last resort.
How is Chiropractic Treatment Carried Out?
Chiropractic treatments usually involve the adjustment of the bones and joints in the spine. This is achieved by movements which involve pulling, twisting or pushing. Some chiropractors also employ the use of heat, electrical stimulation or ultrasound to relax the muscles before a spinal adjustment is carried out.
Spinal adjustment can be carried out via multiple methods. For example a chiropractor may use fingers or hands to apply pressure to and move the vertebrae slightly out of their normal range of motion. A chiropractic treatment may also require careful and calculated twisting of the shoulders, head and the hips.
Other treatment methodologies may use the following:
- Use of corsets or braces
- Relaxation therapy
- Application of ice and heat
- Exercises related to strengthening and conditioning
Before treatments chiropractors often use X-rays for diagnoses.
Uses of Chiropractic Care
The aim of chiropractic treatment is to treat your whole body and soothe all ailments. To achieve this chiropractors use the integration of muscles and joints, nerves along with nutrition, exercises, and stress management in their treatment plans.
Some ailments that chiropractic treatment is usually used for are:
- Back pain or disc problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sport injuries
- Pain in the arm
- Leg pain and sciatica
- Neck pain
Some chiropractors also aim treatments to a wide range of conditions which are not linked to muscles, joints or bones. Examples include:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- High blood pressure
- Headaches and migraines
- Depression and anxiety disorders
It should be remembered that chiropractic care is not a replacement for medical care. It can be used as a complimentary treatment. Research has shown that chiropractic treatments do help to alleviate lower back pain particularly well.
Risks of Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic care is a regulated alternative treatment in the U.S and the U.K. It is safe if it is performed by someone who is trained and has a license to carry out chiropractic treatments.
However there are a few cases in which people should avoid chiropractic treatment. They are:
- People suffering from severe osteoporosis
- Primary caner of the bone or a secondary cancer that has spread to the bone
- People who have fractures
- People whose nerves are compressed in the spinal cord
- People with an unstable spine
- People with an increased risk of stroke
Also, you should avoid chiropractors who champion the unproven theory that diseases are caused by subluxation (partial dislocation of two joint surfaces).