Chiropractic treatment is one of the most popular alternative treatments all across the globe in today's world. About 22 million Americans alone visit the chiropractors at least once in a year, seeking treatment for their pains. Though the most common medical conditions that chiropractic treatment method can effectively yield results is the pain in the neck and the back, pain of the arms and legs caused by sports injuries or accidents can also be treated by this method.
Who is a Chiropractor?
Before you understand how the Chiropractic treatment method works, you need to understand who a Chiropractor is. A Chiropractor is a trained and licensed medical professional, or a doctor of chiropractic treatment. He or she would diagnose the musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders and treat them in a different method of treatment altogether.
The areas of disorder that a Chiropractor deals with are the subluxation and misalignment of the vertebrae. The chiropractic treatment method is focussed on physical manipulation to bring misalignments of the spine, vertebrae or joints, back to an alignment. Chiropractic treatment method does not include prescription of medicines or any surgery.
About Chiropractic Treatment
The basic concept of chiropractic treatment is to use hands-on spinal manipulation along with some other alternative treatments to bring the musculoskeletal structure of the body into a proper alignment. When muscular tissues are injured by falls, traumatic events or accidents and even stress or when the bone joints are restricted, chiropractic treatment can restore its mobility.
Chiropractic treatment can relieve off the pain from –
- Connective tissues
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
Just like a doctor, a Chiropractor too has a healthcare centre or an office setting. There are some steps of the entire treatment. These include –
- Initial Examination: When you visit a Chiropractor, the Chiropractor will run an initial examination. It is just like a medical examination that anorthopaedic would run on you. The patient will have to fill out a form that the Chiropractor will provide. The patient will have to mention the symptoms, background information and medical history in this form. The general questions are like –
- When did the pain start?
- How did the pain start?
- Was there any injury?
- How is the pain sensation – throbbing/burning/sharp/dull?
- Does the pain worsen with activities?
- What activities make the pain worse?
The medical history of the entire family, information regarding any pre-existing disease, injury or trauma, current and previous medical conditions, treatments and information regarding healthcare providers must be mentioned in this form.
- Chiropractic Examination: Once the medical history and general information form has been filled out, the patient has to undergo a general examination of blood pressure, respiration,pulse and reflexes. Some neurologicalandorthopaedic tests are also done by the chiropractor on the patient. These include –
- Muscle tone
- Range of motion in the affected part
- Neurological integrity
- Strength of muscle.
Posture analysis, movement analysis of the patient etc. are also done on in this step.
- Diagnostic Tests: Though the diagnostic tests are not an essential part of the chiropractic treatment process, there are some diagnostic tests that are run to support the treatment plan. These diagnostic tests include –
- X-ray of the affected area
- MRI scans.
Some other laboratory tests might also be done, depending on the condition of the patient or the area that is affected.
- Chiropractic Treatment Plan: This is the most important step of the entire process. The chiropractor would create a treatment plan depending on the injury level, general health and the condition of your spine. The goal of the Chiropractor would be relieving the patient from the pain and providing comfort.
- Spine or Joint Adjustments: The first step of the treatment plan by the chiropractor would be to make some "adjustments". Using controlled force, amplitude, direction, velocity and leverage, the chiropractor would do some therapeutic manipulations. In most cases, these adjustments are made to the spine; but depending on the pain area, the adjustments might also be made to the knee, ankle, elbow, wrist and the shoulders, by the chiropractor.
- Modalities: The Chiropractor would use electrical stimulation, ultrasound and traction to control the pain and to heal the injured tissues.
- Exercises: Once the adjustments are made and the modalities are used to control the pain, the chiropractor would teach and recommend certain exercises to the patient that will help the patient to increase muscular strength, muscular balance and coordination.
- Posture Improvement: The next thing that the chiropractor would do is educate the patient about the right posture. Posture improvement is an essential part of the chiropractic treatment plan and the chiropractor helps the patient in understanding the right posture.
Along with these chiropractic treatment methods, the chiropractor would also recommend a proper diet plan, rehabilitative exercise, right shoes to get orthotic supports, nutritional supplements, lifestyle factors and also the need of weight loss if required in order to treat the pain completely.