What is a Chiropractor

Last Updated: March 8, 2023

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A chiropractor is a healthcare professional specializing in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic management uses various techniques to improve joint function, relieve pain, and prevent further injury. If a person is experiencing pain or discomfort, they must consider seeking out the care of a chiropractor.


Chiropractors and What They Do

what is-a ChiropractorChiropractors are highly trained healthcare professionals who offer a broad range of treatments that help maintain the health of bones, joints, and muscles, optimizing well-being. They approach patient care in a manner similar to that used in conventional medicine. They use manual therapy to assess and treat many conditions affecting the nervous system and musculoskeletal systems. Common care areas include neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, backaches, sports injuries, and pinched nerves. These conditions are treated through hands-on manipulation techniques to correct the misalignments in bones emphasizing the body’s ability to heal itself. In addition to manual therapies like spine adjustments and joint manipulation, most chiropractors will also offer advice on lifestyle changes and wellness-promoting habits, such as healthy eating and physical activity. They may also offer advice on physiologic therapies that help with health maintenance or injury rehabilitation.


What Happens Before a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Typically, chiropractic treatment begins with a consultation session in which the chiropractor will ask about the medical history and perform a physical exam. During this initial assessment, the chiropractor will assess posture and range of motion to identify areas that need attention. They interview the patient, obtain a detailed health history, perform an examination, do tests, and develop a working diagnosis. Depending on the chiropractor's findings, they may also order X-rays or other imaging tests. After the chiropractor completes the assessment, they will design a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.


Origins of Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic care is generally categorized as alternative medicine and was developed in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer. He believed manipulating the spine through manual adjustments could restore health and treat many chronic conditions. Since then, chiropractic care has grown widely accepted as a safe and effective treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. To practice in the United States, chiropractors must initially complete undergraduate education. After this, they will have official chiropractic education, earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, and hold a state license.


What are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor?

the benefits of Chiropractor treatmentSeeing a chiropractor has many physical, emotional, and mental benefits, such as:

  1. Less pain: Chiropractic treatments can relieve chronic pain and improve mobility by reducing inflammation, tension, and stiffness.

  2. Better posture: Chiropractors can provide immediate relief that helps people sit, stand, and move, to maintain proper posture and reduce pain.

  3. Fewer headaches: Chiropractic care improves the blood flow in the body, which can help relieve head pain ranging from a migraine to a mild headache.

  4. Enhanced immune system: Chiropractic treatments can improve the immune system's function by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation.

  5. Reduced reliance on medication: Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment that does not rely on medications.

  6. Better mood: Chiropractic treatments can improve energy levels and reduce stress, leading to improved moods.

Overall, regular chiropractic services provide significant aid in stress relief and are an excellent way to maintain well-being for years to come.


What Conditions do Chiropractors Help Treat?

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Common chiropractic treatments include neck pain, back pain, headaches, sciatica, whiplash injuries, sports-related injuries, and chronic health issues, such as fibromyalgia and degenerative disc diseases. Some main reasons people seek chiropractic adjustment are back pain, neck pain, and spinal manipulations. By using chiropractic techniques, chiropractors can help reduce inflammation, improve mobility, restore a normal range of motion, and alleviate pain.


Can Chiropractors Help with Back Pain?

Chiropractor treatment for back painChiropractors specialize in pain relief and physical well-being. Providing support to the bones, muscles, and joints can soothe a person’s back pain through focused treatments. Common treatments include spinal adjustment, manipulation of other joints, and lifestyle advice. In addition to relieving pain, chiropractic care has been known to help improve mobility and quality of life. When appropriate, chiropractors refer patients to medical doctors or other health practitioners for lower back pain treatment. It is recommended that those experiencing significant pain in their back consult with a medical professional immediately for an assessment plan tailored specifically for them.


How do Chiropractors Help Neck Pain?

Chiropractic care uses procedures to help relieve neck pain, restore movement, and reduce stiffness. These procedures can be done by neck manipulation and spinal adjustments, which help reduce muscle tension and improve the range of motion. It also increases blood flow to the area, aiding healing.

Chiropractors also provide therapy for soft tissues, which can help reduce inflammation, tension, and pain, while increasing flexibility and mobility. Finally, chiropractors provide lifestyle advice to help patients modify their diet and exercise routines to prevent further injury or pain. By addressing the underlying causes of neck pain, chiropractors provide effective relief without needing medications or surgery.


How do Chiropractors use Spinal Manipulation?

Spinal manipulation is a chiropractic treatment that restores joint mobility and reduces pain. It involves the chiropractor applying controlled force to specific areas of the spine or other joints to reduce inflammation, tension, and stiffness. Chiropractic spinal manipulation uses a gentle, sudden force to help restore balance to the body. Chiropractors use passive techniques such as traction or massage to loosen tight muscles and increase flexibility.


What are Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches?

Complementary and integrative health approaches use a variety of therapies to treat illnesses, promote wellness, and help patients manage their symptoms. They often combine different treatments, such as chiropractic care, with traditional western medicine, herbal remedies, acupuncture, yoga, or massage therapy.

Chiropractors are one of the main types of complementary and integrative health practitioners. Their methods include manual manipulation of the spine and other joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to relieve muscle pain and discomfort. Chiropractic methods also include physical therapy modalities, such as ultrasound or laser therapy, to treat patients. By using chiropractic care to treat these conditions, chiropractors help restore balance to the body and reduce inflammation and muscle tension.


How Often Should you go for Chiropractic Adjustments?

how often should you go to a ChiropractorFrequent visits to the chiropractor are essential to maintain a healthy level of physical activity, but the number of visits necessary depends on an individual's needs. Everyone's body is different, so patients are advised to consult with their physician first to determine how often they should be seen. In many cases, one visit a month with frequent stretching and physical exercise should help people feel better.


Can Chiropractic Care Worsen Pain?

Generally speaking, chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for most patients with musculoskeletal pain. In most cases, chiropractors help reduce pain, but there are some rare cases in which chiropractic treatments may cause worsening pain and even serious complications. While patients may experience mild soreness or discomfort within 48 hours of chiropractic treatment, they should contact their primary care physician if the pain persists. This condition typically happens when a chiropractor applies too much pressure to the affected area or if the patient has weak muscles or underlying medical conditions that make chiropractic treatment inadvisable. If a chiropractor notices any of these issues, they will likely suggest alternative treatment methods.


How to Find a Nearby Good Chiropractor?

Finding a reliable, trustworthy chiropractor nearby should be manageable. Start by asking around amongst family and friends who have also seen a chiropractor. Get referrals regarding the quality of care, availability of services, and cost before making any decisions.

It may be worth consulting online reviews or asking for references from potential chiropractors. Also, review the chosen chiropractor's credentials; they should be licensed and have professional certifications to provide adequate care tailored to one’s needs.


How Much do Chiropractor Visits Cost?

The cost of chiropractic visits depends on individual factors, such as the severity of the condition, the type of therapy, and other treatments being provided. The initial consultation may be more expensive than a follow-up visit. Still, some insurance companies may cover some or all of the costs. It is essential to check with the insurance provider beforehand to get an estimate of the total cost. In addition, many chiropractors may offer discounts or payment plans, so it is always wise to ask and research beforehand.


The Takeaway

Despite what some people may think, chiropractors are not just "back doctors." They are highly trained professionals who can help with a variety of issues. Chiropractic care is an integral part of the healthcare system and has been shown to be effective in treating various conditions. By utilizing chiropractic techniques such as spinal adjustment and therapy for soft tissues, chiropractors can help reduce pain, improve the range of motion, and restore balance to the body.





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Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Chiropractors.” Cleveland Clinic: “Chiropractic Adjustment.”

Chiropractic - Better Health Channel

Chiropractors | healthdirect

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Spinal Manipulation: What You Need To Know.” U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Chiropractic.”

What is a Chiropractor? | Spine-health

What to expect on your first visit. American Chiropractic Association. What to Expect on Your First Visit - ACA Hands Down Better.