What Else Do Chiropractors Do Besides Spinal Manipulation?
Chiropractic care goes far beyond just spinal manipulation and the different types of adjustments performed on the spinal column. Common thought immediately points to laying down on a table and the chiropractor using an assortment of tools and manual techniques to put pressure on and rearrange the spine into ideal form. But what is often forgotten, is that chiropractic is a discipline within the overarching confines of alternative medicine and that chiropractors take a holistic approach to each and every treatment scenario.
Aside from spinal manipulation, one of the most frequently used techniques in chiropractic care is the use of temperature adjustments in improving musculoskeletal health. The introduction of muscles and tissues to different temperatures for allotted periods of time has proven to be effective and therapeutic in various patients. Applying ice to the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine for between 10 and 20 minutes constricts blood vessels and enacts a numbing effect in these muscles. Directly after the ice, chiropractors use heat to loosen up the muscles and increase blood flow throughout these tissues. The alternating temperatures makes the blood flow in these areas more consistent overall and with more consistent blood flow comes improved oxygen delivery and this quicker healing.
Often coupled with temperature therapy is the use of massage therapy. When loosened up by heat, the muscles surrounding the spine become more malleable and massages can open up the channels for blood flow. Tightness and stress in these muscles leads to the build up of lactic acid, causing soreness in these muscles. When blood flows through these vessels, the lactic acid is cleared out and the muscles are restored.
Chiropractors use a variety of different exercise programs for their patients. They take into account the patient’s specific condition and will often send the patient home with a roster of exercises that can be done to improve musculoskeletal health alongside the treatment they receive at the chiropractic clinic.
Other treatment interventions used by chiropractic professionals include dietary adjustments, weight management counseling, and education efforts. In using a multi-faceted approach, chiropractors are able to tackle every different potential source of the patient’s musculoskeletal problems and make adjustments in these areas.