In the simplest of terms, chiropractic care is a therapy system that is focused on the body structure, particularly the spine. Chiropractic care is only practiced by certified chiropractors; they manipulate the body´s alignment to improve the body function, expedite the body´s healing process, and to relieve pain.
The manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury. The chiropractor manipulates the joints, using a supervised and regulated, sudden force to improve and enhance the quality and range of motion. Therefore, many people resort to chiropractic care as a pain relief alternative for joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissue, such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage etc.
More often than not, people usually choose chiropractic treatment when they seek back pain relief alternatives. In fact, according to reliable statistics, about 22 million American citizens visit chiropractors annually. Of these, more than 35% seek relief from back pain caused due to various reasons including sports injuries, accidents, and muscle strains. There are others who visit due to neck pain, arm pain, leg pain, and headaches too.
As we mentioned earlier, although most of the chiropractic processes are centered on spinal manipulation, chiropractic care also includes various other treatments, including ergonomic training, manual or manipulative therapies, and postural and exercise education. Sometimes, chiropractors also add nutritional counseling into the treatment care.
In most cases these days, chiropractors often work in conjunction with physicians, primary care doctors, surgeons, and pain experts etc. to treat patients with pain. Basically, the main objective of chiropractic is to help relieve pain and help patients better manage their conditions at home. According to scientific reports, chiropractic care has also been found to be useful in the treatment of various musculoskeletal related pains.
Benefits and possible risks
Chiropractic care is generally considered a safe and effective treatment for acute low back pain. Additionally, research has also shown chiropractic care to be extremely helpful in treating headaches and neck pain. Research studies have also shown that fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis respond to the moderate pressure applied by chiropractors, therefore, helping curb pain.
We think that it is important for you to know that it is ill-advised for people who have spinal cord compression, osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis, or who take blood-thinning medications to undergo spinal manipulation. It is also essential for those with a history of cancer to first consult with their physicians before undergoing chiropractic care. And, before you get chiropractic treatment, it is necessary for you to inform the chiropractor of your ongoing medical conditions, current medications, medical history, traumatic/surgical history, and lifestyle factors etc.
Although quite rare, there have been cases in which chiropractic treatment worsened a slipped or herniated disc, or neck manipulation resulted in a spinal cord injury. Now, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Hence, it is in your best interest to check with your medical doctor to ensure that your condition will benefit from chiropractic before starting the care.