What Is A Chiropractor and What Do They Do?
What Is A Chiropractor and What Do They Do?
The term chiropractor is Greek, consisting of the words cheir and praktikos, meaning done by hand. As primary contact practitioners, chiropractors can see patients without a general practitioner’s recommendation. Using their hands to assess and treat ailments of the bones, muscles, and joints (musculoskeletal issues), they concentrate on treating spinal disorders.
In addition to offering food, lifestyle, and nutritional recommendations, chiropractors are educated to treat and rehabilitate disorders involving the bones, muscles, and joints.
To identify musculoskeletal issues, they employ a variety of techniques, such as clinical examinations conducted hands-on and diagnostic imaging tests like MRIs and x-rays.
Your chiropractor will refer you to the proper healthcare practitioner if chiropractic care is deemed inappropriate or if co-managing your condition with other medical providers is necessary.
For certain conditions, such as lower back discomfort, a person’s main care provider may be a chiropractor. Chiropractic therapy can enhance or supplement medical treatment by addressing the musculoskeletal components of certain medical disorders.
Unless you are seeking treatment through Veterans Affairs or the Medicare Chronic Disease Management program, you do not require a recommendation to visit a chiropractor.
When to Think About Receiving Chiropractic Care
Workplace accidents, sports injuries, home duties, and even the stress of daily life can result in painful joint and back problems.
Suppose you are suffering from painful joints or muscular pain that is interfering with your daily activities or making it difficult for you to get through the day. In that case, chiropractic care may be of assistance. Even if you do not experience any uncomfortable symptoms, it can nevertheless support the maintenance of healthy joint and spine function.
A Chiropractor is Frequently Seen For:
- back discomfort
- pain in the neck
- sprains and strains from regular activities
- accidents at work and injuries sustained in sports
- arthritis causing difficulty moving the neck, shoulders, back, or limbs
Recommendations for Chiropractic Treatment
Unless you’re looking for therapy, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral.
During a chiropractic examination, your chiropractor will do the following:
- take a complete medical history
- examine your vital signs, which include your blood pressure, respiration rate (breathing rate), body temperature, and pulse.
- look for spine curvature or other obvious health markers
- palpate—or feel—your spine, its supporting muscles, and other soft tissues with their hands.
Perform orthopedic examinations: These tests aim to identify medical disorders in the back, skeleton, joints, musculature, and soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons. An orthopedic exam entails, among other things, manipulating the joint and determining its range of motion. Perform neurological examinations, which are tests to determine how well your cranial, motor, and sensory nerves are functioning (such as assessing your reflexes and numbness).
When necessary, your chiropractor can also make direct referrals for other diagnostic procedures like MRIs and X-rays.
Your chiropractor will provide you with a working diagnosis (the most likely reason for your primary complaint) and a differential diagnosis (which takes into account all possible causes of your primary complaint) based on their examination. They will go over this diagnosis with you, including its natural history (when you should anticipate it to go away), the various therapies, and any advantages or disadvantages of each.
Typical chiropractic care involves a variety of methods.
Spinal mobilization, also known as an adjustment, is the process of gently moving a joint to expand its range of motion with controlled force utilizing the hands on a spine joint. Consolation using heat or ice stretching soft tissue techniques, such as massage activity modification advising on how to alter daily activities to reduce discomfort and promote healing lifestyle recommendations, such as guidelines for exercise and a balanced diet physiological treatments, such as TENS, laser, or ultrasonography.
One-piece table technique: This method treats various joints, including the foot, ankles, shoulders, wrists, and elbows, by using a specially-made table to help mobilize a joint in a controlled manner.
You and your chiropractor will talk about these as part of a collaborative decision-making process.
Manipulation of the Spine
Spinal manipulation is one of the most popular and widely utilized therapeutic techniques used by chiropractors (also used by physiotherapists and osteopaths). This method is frequently referred to as a “chiropractic adjustment.” Spinal manipulation is used to manually apply a regulated force to joints that have become immobile due to tissue damage to restore joint mobility.
One traumatic incident, like moving a large object incorrectly, or repeated pressures, such as sitting awkwardly and with bad spinal posture for an extended time, can result in tissue injury. Either way, damaged tissues experience chemical and physical alterations that can lead to discomfort, inflammation, and decreased functionality.
Restoring mobility to the injured joint and surrounding tissues reduces pain and muscular tension, promoting tissue healing.
When done by a qualified, licensed professional, spinal manipulation is quite safe, however, some patients may have some pain or discomfort after treatment. Usually, this goes away in 12 to 48 hours. Before beginning any intervention, your chiropractor will go over everything with you in a process known as informed consent.