Do you suffer from back, neck or joint pain? Maybe you’ve wondered if chiropractic care could make a positive impact on your pain and health. Perhaps, you’re not even sure what a chiropractor does. Well, October is National Chiropractic Health Month, so I thought we would explore this topic more.

A doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) is a highly trained, licensed medical professional who diagnoses and treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system (the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons) and the nervous system. Plus a chiropractor understands the effects that these types of disorders have on a person’s general health.

Chiropractors treat patients of all ages – infants, children and adults – who may have:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Headaches
  • Repetitive strains
  • Sports injuries
  • Car accident injuries

Chiropractors use the same types of diagnostic assessments that your regular doctor uses in order to determine your treatment plan. These assessments include a patient consultation, a medical history, a physical examination, laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging like X-rays. Also, a chiropractor will assess your range of motion, stability, muscle strength, and muscle tone.

If your particular issue is beyond the chiropractor’s scope of care, you will be referred to the appropriate health care provider. Often, chiropractors provide treatment in conjunction with treatment from other health care professionals.

Chiropractors believe in using non-surgical, hands-on therapies to treat their patients’ problem areas and pain. These treatments may include:

  • Spinal Manipulation. Joint pain is due to tissue injury from a single traumatic event or repetitive stress on the tissue over an extended period of time. This can cause inflammation, pain, and decreased mobility and function. During spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor uses their hands or a device to apply a controlled force to the joint in order to increase range of motion, improve function and reduce pain.
  • Rehabilitative exercises similar to those done during physical therapy.
  • Nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Generally, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort during spinal manipulation. However, you may have some mild soreness or aching following treatment. But you should feel better within 12 to 48 hours.

If you’re still wondering if a chiropractic care is a good solution for your particular disorder or pain, talk with your doctor about it.

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