Chiropractors – Frequently Asked Questions

You may have questions about chiropractors, particularly if you have never been treated by a chiropractor before. Read some of the questions and points below for more information on this profession.

What is an adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment (also known as a “manipulation”) is the practice of using a specific high velocity, low amplitude thrust on a joint with the ultimate goal of improving the functioning of that joint. It adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. Not all adjustments are the same. There may be many different techniques used in performing an adjustment.

Does the adjustment hurt?

The adjustment can sometimes cause minor discomfort, but is not usually considered painful. Most of this discomfort will go away after the adjustment has been performed many times.

Is chiropractic care safe?

Chiropractors claim to have an excellent safety record. They credit their success to focusing on a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or drugs. Chiropractic is said to be a natural approach to better health.

What can’t chiropractors do?

Chiropractors are not medical physicians. They cannot prescribe drugs or perform invasive procedures such as injections, transfusions or surgery. Chiropractors are not licensed to treat life threatening conditions or diseases. Patients diagnosed with such conditions should be seen by a medical physician immediately. Although chiropractic law varies from state to state, chiropractors have been known to co-manage muscle and bone conditions with medical doctors for optimal patient care. And while doctors of chiropractic recognize the value of some medications to relieve suffering or sustain life, they do not prescribe any medications that are not available over the counter.

What is a muscle spasm?

A muscle spasm is an involuntary movement or muscle contraction that occurs as a result of trauma or some irritant. Muscle spasms can occur in two forms: (1) clonic or (2) tonic. A clonic spasm results from a contraction followed by a relaxation, and this occurs in an alternating pattern. A tonic spasm is that which is sustained without relaxing.

First visit to a chiropractor

The first thing a chiropractor will do is take a history to obtain more information about your chief complaint. You will be asked detailed questions about your complaint as well as your family history, diet and visits with physicians. All these questions will allow the chiropractor to get a better idea of your condition and help him or her determine the best way to treat you.

A physical examination follows, which may include x-rays, laboratory analysis or other diagnostic procedures. The chiropractor may also perform postural and gait analysis so as to better assess your total health profile. A chiropractor will certainly perform a spinal examination and analysis to detect any structural abnormalities that may impede your normal function, or be causing your current complaint.

Chiropractic doctors spend years learning how to palpate — that is, the act of feeling with the hands — by applying various amounts of manual pressure through the surface of the body to determine size, shape, position and mobility. They also spend years learning other spinal examination procedures. Chiropractors palpate in order to determine where a specific adjustment is necessary. An adjustment is a chiropractic procedure that uses a controlled force with a specific direction and velocity aimed at a specific joint or region in order to restore the proper motion or function to that joint or region. Various types of such techniques used by chiropractors today. The chiropractor you see will more than likely explain to you what type of adjustment procedure he or she will perform on you, and why.

What can X-rays show?

X-rays play an important and significant role in the treatment of patients who have bone and muscle complaints. X-rays can show fractures, tumors, arthritis and other changes that can occur in bones and the surrounding soft tissues.

Signs and symptoms of muscle injury

Almost any degree of moderate force can cause some level of tearing of soft tissue, muscles and tendons of the body. This occurs commonly with activities that require pushing or pulling against great resistance, such as snatching a heavy box from the ground or pushing against a heavy object. Damage can also occur as a result of engaging in activities that require sudden twisting of the back – for example, turning excessively, as may occur while golfing.

More Information On Chiropractic Care

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