What can a chiropractor help you with? Many people approach the field of chiropractic care with questions. What will the doctor do? How can the doctor help me with my pain? Will it hurt?
Here are some answers to put your mind at ease. A chiropractor will first make an assessment of your needs. There will often be tests and imaging and a brief consultation about your expectations and goals. Next, the practitioner will create a treatment plan and discuss it with you. A chiropractor may also suggest nutritional changes that can help you feel your best.
Treatment plans typically involve one or more manual adjustments. An adjustment is where the doctor will manipulate the joints using controlled sudden force to help improve range and quality of motion. The goal with any treatment is alternative pain relief for muscles, joints, bones and tendons without the need for surgery or medication.
The following is a short list of nine different pain-causing injuries or disorders a chiropractic practitioner can help you with. This list will help you determine what your symptoms may mean, and may help you in your quest for pain relief.
A subluxation is the result of a misalignment of the spine which hinders movement and compromises physiological functions. The causes of subluxation generally fall into three categories. The first cause is from physical impact. The spine can be physically affected by things like car accidents, sports, or even just sleeping in a bad position.
The other two causes are from emotional and chemical influences. Periods of high stress can cause muscle tension. The pulling from tight muscles in your back and neck can draw some of your vertebrae out of alignment. Chemicals can also throw off your interior balance and cause the muscles to draw your vertebrae out of alignment. Chemical imbalances can be caused by poor diet, drugs, smoking, and pollution.
Subluxation can cause stress on muscles and surrounding tissue. The stress and strain causes stiffness and can reduce range of motion. Treatment options can include adjustments, manual manipulation, and exercises to help strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
The causes and connection to a physical source of back pain is not always evident. There are many people who suffer from pain without showing any spinal abnormalities. Patients with back pain often suffer from muscle spasms, cramps, difficulty standing or walking, and their back can be sore to the touch.
Back pain typically affects the back area and does not radiate to the legs. The chiropractor will perform a physical examination and ask questions in order to better understand the cause of your symptoms. The information gathered allows the doctor to create a treatment plan to treat the cause of your pain and not just offer general pain relief.
Car accident injuries
Anyone who has been in a car accident knows that even if you initially feel fine, there will be pain. Injuries are not always obvious, and it is important to seek out help as quickly as you can following an accident.
Whiplash is the most common car accident injury. The sudden force to your body causes your head to jerk forward or backward. The force stretches– and possibly even tears– the muscles and tendons in your neck. Symptoms of whiplash include dizziness, headache, soreness, or pain in the upper back and neck.
Micro tears in the muscle won't be seen in x-rays and can be hard to diagnose. Non- invasive adjustments help realign the spine and joints which significantly reduce pain and promote healing without having to resort to surgery.
If injuries aren't addressed and treated promptly, it can become a chronic, long-term issue and can cause unbearable pain. So the sooner you can be seen by a chiropractor, the better.
Drug-free pain management is the goal with all chiropractic treatment. Chronic pain is ongoing pain usually caused by tension or inflammation; it lasts much longer than an expected time frame and doesn't respond to typical pain management. Spinal manipulation and other treatment methods can help address pain symptoms like inflammation and muscle tension.
In order to treat your chronic pain, the doctor will perform a physical exam and diagnose your pain. Once you have a diagnosis, a treatment plan will be created to use manual therapies and exercises to help you achieve relief.
Between the vertebra in your back, there are intervertebral discs which absorb shock and provide flexibility. When one of these discs becomes injured or ruptured, it is considered herniated. The discs are made up of a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a softer inner layer called the nucleus pulposus. When cracks occur in the outer layer, the softer inner layer begins to push out.
To address the pain caused by herniated discs, a chiropractor will carefully look at x-rays or MRI to asses posture and damage to the spine. Then the chiropractor will evaluate the entire spine, because if one area of the spine is injured, other areas could become compromised as well.
Not all herniated disc patients can seek relief through chiropractic care. Your chiropractor will make sure that you are a candidate for treatment or tell you if you need surgical and or medical aid for your injury.
A migraine is a common condition marked by recurring moderate to severe pain and can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days. The pain usually originates on one side of the head, but can spread to both sides, and is typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
Migraines can be caused by any number of triggers, and you never know exactly when one will strike. When you have a migraine, your body responds with muscle stiffness and rigidity, which can cause rebound headaches and general back aches.
A chiropractor can help you treat the aches and pains caused by migraines and can help you treat the underlying causes of migraines.
There are several underlying causes of neck pain. There are also two main categories under which neck pain disorders can be listed.
Acute pain is typically sudden pain that lasts less than three months, usually caused by disc herniation, cervical facet syndrome, acute muscle strain, or a traumatic injury like whiplash. These injuries can lead to long-term chronic pain if not addressed in a timely manner.
Chronic pain lasts longer than three months and can often be caused by multiple sources and disorders. Most often, chronic neck pain is caused by ligament injuries, disc facet joint irritation, and muscular sources. Depending on the source of the pain, a chiropractor can create a treatment plan tailored to your needs and help reduce or eliminate the cause of the pain.
Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the lower back and travels down either one or both legs. Sciatica itself is not a disorder; it is a symptom of a disorder, caused by sciatic nerve compression. Causes of sciatica can include, but are not limited to, lumbar spine subluxations, herniated discs, pregnancy, childbirth, tumors and other disorders. Since there are so many disorders that cause sciatica, determining what is the underlying cause is the best chance for practitioners to help their patients find relief. Once the cause of your sciatic pain is discovered, the chiropractor will be able to more accurately create a treatment plan that will help resolve your pain.
Athletes place serious strain on their bodies and are very demanding of their muscles and skeletal systems. More often than not, an athlete will encounter some type of painful injury. Sprains, tears and strains are the bread and butter of the injury world and chiropractors are trained to help those suffering from sports injuries.
Regular chiropractic treatment can even help prevent injuries to the knee, back, shoulders, neck and ankles. As with any material, brittle and stiff muscles and joints are more prone to injury than those that are supple and have a wider range of motion. Chiropractors are trained in the healing art of loosening up those rigid muscles and joints and relieving tensions, which allow the body to function better and reduce risk of injury. When injuries do occur, chiropractic care can help to relieve inflammation and enhance joint function to reduce pain while the body heals.
As you can see, many different types of injuries are treatable with the help of a trained chiropractor. You can stop living with your pain by seeking help now. Contact Dr. Smith for your initial consultation. The treatments, exercises, and nutritional changes he prescribes are your ticket to long-term, drug-free, surgery-free, pain relief.