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What Is Chiropractic and What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractic is a type of alternative medicine that surfaced at the end of the 19th century, involving the treatment of so many musculoskeletal and related issues. Chiropractors finish arduous training at certain schools of chiropractic medicine and are certified and licensed by state boards. Reputable chiropractors have malpractice insurance, and health insurance policies now often cover chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractors are trained medical professionals who are well-known for their ability to relieve back and neck pain, even as chiropractic has been proven to be also effective against whiplash, vertigo, digestive disorders, chronic headaches and migraines, leg and arm problems, jaw problems, scoliosis and arthritis. Still, most patients who want chiropractic care do so due to pain in their neck, back or limbs and joints.

Chiropractors are specialists in the assessment of the human body, including the testing of joint health, nerve conduction, flexibility, and other relevant functions. On a patient’s first exam, the doctor of chiropractic may request a detailed health history. The chiropractor will then conduct a thorough physical examination which may or may not involve X-rays and other kinds of tests. There will probably be an effort to get in touch with the patient’s primary care physician regarding the care that the patient is receiving (perhaps the physician has referred the patient to the chiropractor for specific treatment). Lots of doctors and chiropractors act as a team in providing patient care, making decisions as one group over the course of evaluation and treatment.

The chiropractor will typically prescribe exercises for the patient as part of a total routine of self-care. Follow-up appointments may be needed a certain number of times weekly for acute injuries, while maintenance care will require less visits. Certain chiropractors may as well prescribe herbal medicines and/or dietary supplements as part of the treatment.

What to Expect During Treatment

While there are many different types of chiropractic, you can usually expect to lie prone or supine on a low table what is specially created for chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractors can employ different muscle-relaxation techniques, from electrical stimulation to ultrasound to plain and simple massage, before performing treatment.

The feeling of getting your neck, mid-spine, lower spine or hips adjusted is said to give a “popping” sensation that typically relieves pain or stress. While a lot of chiropractors will manually “crack” the spine and joints, there are those who now use hand-held devices, usually called activators, that deliver a gentler, more calculated touch while performing basically the same functions and offering the same benefits as manual manipulation. A lot of chiropractors stock to manual “cracking” of the spine and joints, but others have been using activators or handheld devices that allow these professionals to deliver a gentler yet more calculated touch, performing the same function and delivering the same benefits as manual manipulation. Lastly, there is a small percentage of chiropractors today who practice “network chiropractic,” a kind of chiropractic medicine that applies gentle touch rather than direct spinal manipulation.

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