All About Chiropractic Care: Uses, History, & Benefits
If you’ve been experiencing back or neck pain, you may be thinking about visiting a chiropractor to get an adjustment. But you might also be wondering, how do chiropractic adjustments work? In this article, we’ll explain what a chiropractic adjustment is, and how they work to relieve you of pain.
Many people know chiropractors by the sharp, sudden movements acts upon your back, accompanied by popping or cracking sounds. But how much do you know about chiropractors and their field of medicine?
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor is a doctor who treats neuromuscular disorders. While chiropractors do focus on neuromusculoskeletal disorders, they aren’t limited to problems with the nervous system or musculoskeletal system. They place an emphasis on treating these disorders with manual adjustments and/or manipulation of the spine.
Using these techniques, they seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of their patients. As well, they provide education to help their patients account for their own health through exercise and other therapies.
What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?
During a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor uses their hands to manipulate the joints with controlled force. The goal of an adjustment is to improve spinal motion and improve your physical function. This process requires multiple visits, but most people only need six to ten sessions.
How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work?
As the chiropractor uses their hands to apply force to a joint, the force pushes it beyond its usual range of motion. This is why you hear a popping or cracking sound as they move your joints during the treatment session. After the session, there can be minor side effects that last a few days—but these symptoms do go away.
Do Chiropractic Adjustments Treat Back Pain?
Adjustments can be effective in treating low back pain. Certain studies show data to suggest that spinal manipulation also may work for headaches and other spine-related conditions, such as neck pain. But a lot of this depends on your particular situation and your condition, and you should consult your physician before seeking an adjustment.
It should be noted, spinal manipulation is not for everyone. If you have osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, inflammatory arthritis, or take blood-thinning medication, you shouldn’t go to a chiropractor for an adjustment.
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to get the spine back to normal mobility, which can help alleviate the irritation of the spinal nerve. While chiropractors don’t prescribe medication, they can make recommendations of physical treatments, including soft-tissue therapy, kinesio taping, stretches, exercises, and more.
How Are Chiropractic Treatments Different?
There are many different techniques your chiropractor might employ to treat your pain. Not just that, but these techniques have distinct names and features that distinguish them from one another.
So what are the main differences between the types of chiropractic treatment?
For this form of chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor applies pressure to the spine. Soft pressure helps realign the bones in the spine itself. It’s known to reduce headaches and migraines and is also used to release tension and stress in the body while restoring balance.
A lesser-known technique, flexion-distraction is a clinically-proven adjustment technique used to treat scoliosis, joint pain, and herniated discs, and facet joint pain. With this adjustment, a chiropractor will stretch the back to help treat back or neck pain.
One of the most common chiropractic techniques is the Gonstead adjustment, which is used to diagnose and fix specific issues. If you have long-term back pain, a chiropractor would use the Gonstead adjustment to analyze the spine and adjust it. This helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Soft Tissue Therapy
A complex, therapeutic massage, the soft tissue technique focuses on muscles and ligaments instead of the spine directly. If you’ve just experienced an injury, applying this to the areas where the joints have been inflamed clears up scar tissue that could be affecting you. Soft tissue therapy will also release toxic byproducts and will improve blood flow and circulation.
Finally, the technique we mentioned at the beginning of this article—with the popping and cracking sounds—is often called the Diversified Technique. This technique is applied if you’re looking for instant relief from neck and back pain. It is also a way to adjust a lumbar disc herniation, which is one common cause of back pain.
See If A Chiropractic Adjustment Is Right For You
If you’re wondering what treatment would be best for your symptoms, talk to a chiropractor! We can help create a treatment plan that gives you pain relief when you need it. If you’ve been experiencing persistent back or neck pain from a sudden injury, we can help. Talk to our team today to learn more about your options!