A chiropractor treats patients with chronic back and spinal pain and has training specifically to deal with realigning the spinal joint. They use their bare hands to exert pressure on the joint with abnormal movement. The chiropractic adjustment process is called spinal or joint manipulation. Patients with chronic neck pains, headaches, sports trauma, and other joint pains can also receive chiropractic adjustment.
An interview survey by National Health found that in 2019, 20.4% of adults in the US had chronic pains. Many people are searching for alternative treatments to traditional medications.
A chiropractic treatment process will go like this:
- The chiropractor obtains the patient’s medical history and performs a physical examination.
- They carry out a patient screening to ensure they are good candidates for chiropractic care.
- Some tests that help to determine the treatment include X-Rays (to visualize internal structures); CT scans (detailed features of internal body structures); and MRIs (to generate pictures of the body).
- The chiropractor can now develop a treatment plan based on symptoms, exam findings, and test results.
The chiropractor uses their hands to apply a quick force to a joint, and the patient may feel a popping or cracking sensation, known as cavitation. The objective is to ensure the joints are moving correctly and surrounding muscles are functioning well.
Who Is Eligible for Chiropractic Care?
Anybody with chronic pain can receive this treatment. But the intensity and force of treatment vary from patient to patient. For example, older adults’ bones are known to thin and soften as they age, which rules out manipulation. In such cases, chiropractic care can be risky for them.
Chiropractors can treat any chronic pain anywhere in the body, including the head and jaws, the shoulders, elbows and wrists, hips and pelvis, knees and ankles, etc. They do not prescribe medication but may prescribe:
- Soft tissue therapy to relax tight muscles
- Adjustments to realign joints and increase range of motion
- Joint bracing/taping to support sprained joints/muscles as they heal
- Exercises and stretches to restore and maintain mobility
- Referrals for guidance on diet and nutrition to reduce inflammation
- Stress management
- Electrical muscle stimulation using TIENS
Chiropractic treatment does not hurt, but a patient can experience soreness that disappears over time as muscles adjust.
When to Visit a Chiropractor
Injuries cause a lot of chronic pain, whether they occured years previously or a week ago.
When a car crash occurs, it is advisable to visit a chiropractor to examine if there are any joint or muscle injuries. More proactive treatment can prevent long-term chronic pain problems when chiropractors identify joint injuries early enough.
Injuries are the norm in sports, be it a strain, sprain, tear, etc. Chiropractors can work on the tendons and muscles to strengthen the soft tissues for quick recovery.
Sometimes workplaces can cause some physical or mental injuries that require chiropractic care. For instance, heavy lifting can cause physical stress. Working from home and long hours of sitting can cause strain on the lower back. A visit to a chiropractor will realign the musculoskeletal structure to help the body function well.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic treatment helps correct the body’s alignment and overall physical function as well as reduce pain from:
- Migraines and neck related pain
- Neck or spinal pain
- Joint pain in the arms, legs, and shoulders
- Neck sprain/strains
- Low back and muscle pains
- Bone and cartilage
In addition to the above benefits, chiropractic treatment offers patients a more affordable option than long-term medication use. The patient stops relying on opioid pain relievers for chronic pains.
Side Effects of Chiropractic Treatment
Some people may feel tired or sore in the spinal joints or muscles. Others can experience headaches and body aches after receiving treatment. The chiropractor can advise the patient to apply an ice pack to the area and drink lots of water as a remedy to reduce the reaction.
In sporadic cases, chiropractic treatment can cause:
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves in the lower spine
Patients with chronic joint pain can evade severe side effects by consulting with a licensed and qualified chiropractor.
During an Emergency
Whatever chronic pain you are experiencing, chiropractic care takes individual cases and develops a treatment plan. Always look for highly experienced and fully trained chiropractors to increase the chance of positive outcomes.
Are you between 15 and 65 years of age and living around Seattle, WA? Do you experience that excruciating chronic pain in the muscles of your body or back pain? Contact a trained and licensed chiropractor near you, and they will evaluate the problem and help you recover from the pain.