Home > Chiropractic
Chiropractic is an approach to health care that tries to relieve pain through spinal manipulation. It is most often used for back or neck pain. It is sometimes used for headaches or for pain in the arms or legs.
Most doctors of chiropractic (chiropractors) take a natural approach to promoting health through lifestyle changes, nutrition, and exercise.
Many chiropractors have extra training in physical rehabilitation and specific exercise therapy. Some also use nutritional analysis, herbal therapy, and acupuncture.
Chiropractic treatments usually involve spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation is based on the theory that back pain is caused by problems with the muscles and other tissues of the spine and trunk. The manipulation can range from massage and slow pressing to a quick thrust. The goal is to increase movement in the joint and relax the muscles. Some chiropractors use heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to help relax your muscles before doing spinal manipulation.
Other types of treatment may include:
Some chiropractors use X-rays to help diagnose conditions.
If you've never been to a chiropractor before, you may be a little worried about what will happen. But the fact is, visiting a chiropractor for low back pain is simple, safe, and usually painless.
And a visit to the chiropractor results in immediate relief for many people.
Your first visit will be a lot like a first-time visit to any new doctor. It's likely to include:
You may also have an X-ray of your spine. Many chiropractors use X-rays to diagnose back problems.
When the chiropractor has all the information, it's time to sit down with you and talk about treatment. If the treatment plan includes spinal manipulation, you could have it the same day or at a later appointment.
The most familiar type of spinal manipulation is the hands-on approach: You lie on a table while the chiropractor uses his or her hands to feel for certain parts of your spine and then make quick, gentle pressing motions. Some people call this "cracking" your back because of the popping sound that is sometimes made. But nothing is actually "cracking." The sound happens when the tissues of the spinal joint in question are stretched.
Spinal manipulations normally don't hurt. If you're already in pain because of your back, it may hurt to move. But the manipulations are aimed at making you feel better.
Some chiropractors use a drop table for manipulations. Parts of the table drop slightly when the chiropractor presses down on a patient's back. The table is noisy, but this method is gentler than the hands-on method.
Some chiropractors use a hand-held tool called an activator to do spinal manipulations. This is even more gentle.
Ask your medical doctor to help you find someone. Some medical doctors aren't willing to consider chiropractic treatment. If you and your doctor can't agree on how to treat your low back pain, consider getting a second opinion or finding another doctor who is more aware of the benefits of chiropractic treatment.
Try to interview one or two chiropractors before you start treatment.
Look for someone who:
Chiropractors are not your only choice for providing spinal
Other practitioners who can do this include:
Local laws may vary as to who can do spinal manipulation.
Binder A (2008). Neck pain, search date May 2007.
Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
McIntosh G, Hall H (2011). Low back pain (acute), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
November 19, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!
Ames: 515-239-6877In Iowa: 800-524-6877
Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.
Patient Privacy |
Net Learning for Employees |
MGMC PACS for Physicians
1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - email@example.com
©2013 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.