An Overview of Chiropractic and Chiropractors
Chiropractic is a kind of alternative medicine that started at the end of the 19th century, involving the treatment of several musculoskeletal and related problems. Chiropractors undertake demanding training at particular schools of chiropractic medicine and are certified and licensed by individual state boards. Good chiropractors hold malpractice insurance, and a lot of health insurance policies now take in chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractors are trained medical professionals who are best known for treating pain in the back and neck; however, chiropractic has also been proven to help resolve leg and arm issues, migraines and chronic headaches, whiplash, jaw problems, digestive disorders, scoliosis, arthritis, and vertigo. Still, most of those who seek chiropractic care come for their neck, back and joint/limb pain.
Chiropractors are trained to do a variety of evaluations of the human body, such as testing muscle strength, flexibility, and other connected functions. On a patient’s first exam, the doctor of chiropractic may request a detailed health history. The chiropractor will then conduct a thorough physical examination which may or may not involve X-rays and other kinds of tests. There will probably be an effort to get in touch with the patient’s primary care physician regarding the care that the patient is receiving (perhaps the physician has referred the patient to the chiropractor for specific treatment). Lots of doctors and chiropractors act as a team in providing patient care, making decisions as one group over the course of evaluation and treatment.
The chiropractor will usually prescribe exercises for the patient to perform at home as part of a bigger self-care regimen. Follow-up appointments may be needed a certain number of times weekly for acute injuries, while maintenance care will require less visits. Certain chiropractors may as well prescribe herbal medicines and/or dietary supplements as part of the treatment.
What to Expect During Treatment
There are various forms of chiropractic, but in general, you will be asked to lie supine or prone position on a low-set table that has been particularly designed for chiropractic use. Chiropractors can employ different muscle-relaxation techniques, from electrical stimulation to ultrasound to plain and simple massage, before performing treatment.
The feeling of having the neck, mid-spine, lower spine or hips manipulated has been likened to a “popping” sensation, which usually offers bring instant relief to an otherwise painful part of the body or to a stressed out patient in general. Though several chiropractors still “crack” the spine and joints manually, some are now using hand-held devices called activators to provide a gentler and more precise touch that has the same function and provides the same effects as manual manipulation. A lot of chiropractors stock to manual “cracking” of the spine and joints, but others have been using activators or handheld devices that allow these professionals to deliver a gentler yet more calculated touch, performing the same function and delivering the same benefits as manual manipulation. Lastly, there is also a small number of chiropractors who practice “network chiropractic,” which is a form of chiropractic medicine that relies on gentle touch instead of direct spinal manipulation.
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