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What Chiropractors Can Do for You (and What They Can’t)

Have you ever heard of chiropractic treatment for back, neck, and joint pain? Have you ever had any chiropractic adjustments done on you? If you haven’t, then you should seriously consider paying a visit to a licensed chiropractor the next time that you suffer from back pain. In this article, we will discuss some of the many things that a chiropractor can do for you. Also, we will cover the things that your chiropractor cannot do for you.

What Is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic treatment or chiropractic adjustment is a form of alternative medicine that consists primarily of spinal adjustments after an initial diagnosis stage that consists of feeling out the joints and determining the source of the problem.

The practice deals with the muscoskeletal system and can be historically traced all the way back to ancient China

In modern times, chiropractic care is based on sound medical science and takes the patient’s medical history and preexisting medical conditions into account. Evidence-based research on chiropractic care has also repeatedly revealed that it is safe for the treatment of lower back pain.

What Can A Chiropractor Do For Me?

Chiropractors align your spine through various techniques involving spinal adjustments. The most common technique used in chiropractic care is what is known as an HLVA (High Impact Low Velocity) thrust. This is done by placing the hand on the area where the spinal adjustment is to be done and using a quick, controlled thrust in order to align the spine. The HLVA thrust is generally administered by hand, but it can also be administered more accurately by using a device known as an activator. Spinal adjustments made using a manual HLVA thrust and an activator prove to be equally beneficial to the patient.

Spine journal published a 2008 study which revealed that  87% of patients with back-related pain or sciatica (caused by a pinched nerve in the lower spine that translates into leg pain) found chiropractic treatment worthwhile. Therefore, at the cornerstone of most chiropractic adjustments it the treatment of lower back pain, but this is not the only thing that a chiropractor can do.

Digestive issues may also be treated through spinal manipulation. Chronic abdominal pain may actually be caused by thoracic disc herniation. By relieving the pressure from a trapped nerve in the thoracic spine, a chiropractor can actually relieve these symptoms.

Finally, a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that spinal manipulations can also ease neck and joint pain just as effectively as home exercise. A chiropractor can assess where the source of the neck pain might be. It could originate either from the neck or from the shoulders and appropriate spinal adjustments can then be made.
You may also see a chiropractor to relieve minor headaches as well as to help lower your blood pressure. Chiropractors in the US also undergo a nutrition course and can advise you on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

What Can I NOT Expect From A Chiropractor?

A licensed chiropractor will always ask to have you undergo some diagnostic scans if you complain about having sustained certain types of injuries. This is because bone fractures and actual internal damage to the muscoskeletal structure is outside the range of chiropractic practice.

Sports-related injuries that may require invasive surgery based on x-ray and imaging scans cannot be treated by a chiropractor. In fact, insisting on undergoing spinal adjustment when the injury is a severe fracture may just do more harm than good.

Internal organ malfunctions due to disease are also outside of a chiropractor’s specialization.  Fortunately, many chiropractors nowadays have a wide network of specialists in other fields who can compensate and treat the problems that they cannot. Therefore, even if your problem is outside of a chiropractor’s specialty, he/she may still be able to refer you to a specialist who can treat your problems.