June 15, 2024

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What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors are allied health professionals who treat conditions affecting the bones and muscles (musculoskeletal system). They use treatments such as spinal manipulation, exercise, massage, hot and cold therapy, and patient education. In addition, they provide advice on posture and movement, and offer dietary and lifestyle counseling.

The most well-known treatment used by chiropractors is spinal manipulation, where they use their hands to move a joint in the spine to realign it and relieve pain. Other types of chiropractic treatment include soft-tissue therapy to relax tight muscles, ease spasms and loosen tension in the connective tissue that binds muscles together (fascia), joint bracing or taping (Kinesio tape), and hot and cold therapies to reduce inflammation and promote blood flow. Chiropractors also may perform electrotherapy, such as low-level laser and ultrasound, to stimulate nerves and muscles and help reduce pain and stiffness.

A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment, and some medical journals are starting to report on spinal manipulation in mainstream articles. However, it is important to note that not all forms of chiropractic treatment are safe for everyone. For example, some people with osteoporosis or spinal cord compression should not undergo spinal manipulation because it could worsen their condition. Others should not receive spinal manipulation if they have blood-clotting issues or take certain medications, such as anticoagulants.

In general, a chiropractor will work with each individual to develop an appropriate treatment plan. They will want to understand any medical history, including past injuries and traumatic events, and will perform tests to diagnose the cause of the problem. They will then recommend a course of treatment, which is typically based on a combination of chiropractic manipulation and adjunctive therapies.

Spinal manipulation has been around for a long time, and is often characterized by the term “cracking backs” or “popping necks.” While many of these techniques have been abandoned in favor of gentler methods, chiropractors still use a wide variety of different techniques to manually adjust the spine, joints and other parts of the body.

A recent study found that chiropractic adjustments improve core muscle function in people with lumbar spine pain. These results are based on a finding that when the spinal column is adjusted, it sends a signal down a chain of nerves to the muscles that stabilize the spine. This signal lowers the action potential threshold for these muscles, so they turn on more quickly and can help stabilize and protect the spine. This is a theory of why some chiropractic patients experience lasting relief. Contact Atlanta chiropractor at Midtown Family Wellness to learn about the many innovative chiropractic solutions that can get you across the pain relief finish line.

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