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How Chiropractic Works: What You Need to Know

By Brandi Goodman

How Chiropractic Works

Most people have heard of a chiropractor. That doesn’t mean they know precisely what the job entails and how chiropractic care works, nor all the benefits the service can bring. With details regarding what an adjustment is and how it helps the body, you can have a better understanding of chiropractic and why it is so important to add to your health routine.

What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a form of treatment provided by a licensed chiropractor. Spinal manipulation performed by a doctor of chiropractic -- called a DC -- is often done with the hands. The chiropractor may sometimes use a small instrument called an activator to help apply a controlled but sudden force to certain joints within the body, when necessary. This ensures proper alignment of the spine and promotes healing of the musculoskeletal system. It also works to reduce pain in the affected parts of the body, such as the back or neck.

When you walk through a chiropractor’s doors, however, you are not immediately offered an adjustment. First, you need to provide your medical history to ensure this type of treatment is safe for you. Individuals with a severe disc herniation, who are taking blood thinners, have cancer, or who are at a higher risk for stroke should not undergo an adjustment until speaking with the doctor. If you are a qualified candidate for chiropractic, the DC will perform a physical to see which areas of your body require focus. The goal is to ensure individualized treatment so you receive the precise care you need based on the parts of your body that require attention and the symptoms you are experiencing and want to work to reduce. Only after this information is assessed and the chiropractor has determined the best course of action for you specifically, will an adjustment be performed. It will be done gently and with caution.

How Does Chiropractic Care Improve Nervous System Functioning and Physical Range of Motion?

A chiropractor treats a number of issues during an adjustment, all dependent upon what it is your body requires. If your physical range of motion is lacking, the chiropractor will apply force to the joints that need it to help you revive your range of motion once again. If any part of your body is experiencing difficulty moving, rotating, or being used to its full abilities, then chiropractic care is a worthwhile option to reverse the effects and restore your movement. Your DC may also advise you to try certain stretches or exercises at home to continue increasing your range of motion and keeping the area strong. A lack of movement will only prohibit true success in this area.

Effective treatments also improve the functioning of your nervous system. Your central nervous system predominantly includes the brain and spinal cord. If there is pain, inflammation, or any dysfunction within this system, chiropractic treatment can work to alleviate it and promote healing. For example, if you have trouble walking, your nervous system may be the culprit. It’s just one of many things this system controls. Perhaps you have scattered thoughts or find it difficult to focus. This too is a cause for concern regarding your nervous system’s abilities. Feeling fatigued or sore may be a symptom of “misalignments” within this system as well. Receiving an adjustment from a licensed chiropractor may improve these symptoms and restore your brain and body functions to normal.

Does Regular Chiropractic Care Improve Its Effectiveness?

A one-time treatment will not be enough to keep your body in top shape. Regular chiropractic care improves the effectiveness of the service. When you receive regular chiropractic adjustments, you are helping to keep any inflammation and pain at bay. Your nervous system will operate to the best of its abilities, and you can catch problems before they become a major issue. If you only receive one adjustment, you may experience improvements in your well-being and a reduction in pain, but the effects may not be long-lasting.

What Are Examples of Chiropractic Success in Symptom Improvement?

You will know you have had chiropractic success when symptoms have improved. If you arrived with neck pain, for example, and the adjustment freed you from it, then you know you had a successful treatment. You may also notice:

  • Reduced stiffness in a particular area
  • Better range of motion
  • Less frequent headaches
  • Improved sleep

The American Chiropractic Association is working to change laws and integrate chiropractic care into Medicare. The Medicare Coverage Modernization Act hopes to allow chiropractic, a drug-free approach to pain management, to become a possibility for Medicare patients in need of assistance. Pain medications simply mask symptoms, while chiropractic works to improve symptoms so they are no longer a significant threat to a person’s well-being. The advantage of The Joint Chiropractic is that it is so reasonably priced that it’s accessible without need for insurance.

Does Chiropractic Just Reduce Pain or Fix Conditions?

Although it is possible, one visit to the chiropractor may not fix a physical condition you have, especially one that’s been years in the making. But it may reduce some pain and aid in your healing process. However, with the right treatment plan and regular visits to a reputable chiropractor, chiropractic can assist in fixing certain conditions and returning your body to full range of motion. Chiropractic can fix conditions such as tension headaches, neck pain, back pain, TMJ, tennis elbow, and hip bursitis. You must stick to a regular schedule and continue receiving regular adjustments for the best results. Your chiropractor will most likely taper off your visits to just once per month as a part of routine care after your initial symptoms have improved with more frequent appointments in the beginning.

There are many benefits of chiropractic that you don’t want to miss. Now that you better understand how chiropractic works and what it entails, you can feel more comfortable adding it to your health plan. Stop in at The Joint Chiropractic for an adjustment and to work with them on an individualized schedule and treatment plan that is suitable for your needs.

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