Overview of Chiropractic TreatmentsBy:Jamie Arnold
Back pain sufferers often endure chronic pain due to back injuries resulting from certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, or from sudden accidents or injuries. Many don't realize that a chiropractic adjustment can be helpful in mitigating different types of back and neck pain, as well as pain stemming from other parts of the body as well.
Chiropractic treatments may be a helpful alternative to conventional Western pain management for those suffering from either acute or chronic pain and have not been able to resolve the pain through other methods.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors are licensed healthcare professionals who treat patients experiencing physical and joint pain. They use a combination of traditional medicine, physical therapy, and Eastern practices to help relieve pain around the back, shoulders, neck, and hips.
Chiropractics is based on the theory that every part of the body, as well as aches, pains and diseases of those parts, can be attributed to spinal misalignment, or improper nerve impulse travels due to poor spine alignment. They are typically more holistic healers, looking at the human body as one whole functioning unit, as opposed to individual parts.
During the initial diagnosis of pain, chiropractors will likely commence by reviewing the patient's medical history, current symptoms, and any medication they may have been taking. From here, chiropractors are able to recommend a treatment plan, which may involve a combination of medication and physical therapies.
Types of Chiropractic Treatment
Some of the techniques used by chiropractors include massages, nutrition plans for losing weight, and Eastern therapies such as acupuncture. Others include:
- Spinal Manipulation: Also known as chiropractic adjustment, spinal manipulation is a manual technique where a joint is manipulated past its physical range of movement, but not past its anatomical boundary. Dynamic thrust is what defines this type of treatment, as it aims to improve the patient's range of motion of certain joints.
- Diversified Technique: The most commonly used form of spinal manipulation, the main objective of diversified technique is to restore the spine to proper alignment by a high-velocity thrust combined with low amplitude.
- Applied Kinesiology: Seen as an alternative method, applied kinesiology uses muscle testing to examine how the patient's body is functioning on all levels, including structural, mental, and chemical. It is a holistic approach that some practitioners debate over in terms of legitimacy as medical treatment method.
Benefits and Risks of Chiropractics
There are many benefits in using chiropractics to treat back pain. Some may include immediate pain relief without the use of prescribed medication. In addition, it's also a great alternative to undergoing surgery to treat chronic pain, including those in the lower back or neck. Chiropractors are also readily found throughout the country and accept most forms of insurance, allowing anyone to receive treatment from anywhere.
Like most forms of medical treatment, there are risks involved in receiving chiropractic treatment. These may include minor events, such as sore muscles or increased chronic pain, or it may lead to more serious conditions, such as paralysis or a stroke. However, the rate of risk for spinal manipulation is similar to or even lower than the same risks associated with general, everyday activities.
Before considering alternative medical treatments, visit your medical doctor first to receive a proper evaluation on whether chiropractic treatment could be beneficial to treating your back pain. From here, they may refer you to a local chiropractor in the area for convenience. If you prefer searching for your own, there are many chiropractors in most cities, both large and small, that accept most major insurance plans.