Chiropractic care is a ‘hands-on’ healthcare modality that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic is a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to traditional medical care, when it comes to bodily aches, pain and other musculoskeletal symptoms.
Doctors of Chiropractic use a variety of techniques, including chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy, to address issues such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint pain.
In this comprehensive guide, I discuss the benefits of chiropractic care, including its history, common musculoskeletal issues treated, and what to expect as a new patient.
History of Chiropractic
The history of chiropractic dates back to the late 19th century, when a Canadian by the name of Daniel David Palmer founded the practice. Palmer believed that the root cause of many health issues was misalignments in the spine, which he called subluxations. He believed that by manipulating the spine, he could restore proper alignment and improve overall health.
Palmer's theories were controversial at the time, and the medical community largely rejected them.
However, the practice of chiropractic care continued to grow in popularity over the years, and today there are over 70,000 licensed chiropractors in the United States alone. Here in Australia where I practise, there are approximately 4,875 licensed chiropractors.
What are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care?
There are many benefits to seeking chiropractic care, including the following areas.
Pain Relief: Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to alleviate pain in the back, neck, and other areas of the body. One of the most common techniques is spinal manipulation, which involves applying controlled force to the spine to realign it and reduce pain.
Improved Mobility: Chiropractic care can also help improve mobility and flexibility in the joints, which can be especially helpful for those with arthritis or other joint-related conditions.
Better Posture: Poor posture is a common problem that can lead to back and neck pain. Chiropractors can help patients improve their posture through a combination of exercises and adjustments.
Better Sleep: Chronic pain and other musculoskeletal issues can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. Chiropractic care can help alleviate these issues, leading to better quality sleep.
Who May Benefit from Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care may benefit a wide range of people with different musculoskeletal issues.
- Athletes and physically active individuals may benefit from chiropractic care to improve their performance and prevent sports-related injuries.
- Older adults may benefit from chiropractic care to improve their mobility and flexibility, and to alleviate chronic pain associated with arthritis or other degenerative conditions.
- Desk workers and those who spend a lot of time sitting may benefit from chiropractic care to alleviate back pain and improve posture.
- Pregnant women may also benefit from chiropractic care to alleviate back pain and other pregnancy-related discomforts.
- Children may benefit from chiropractic care to address posture issues and other musculoskeletal symptoms they may experience. Chiropractors are trained to provide care to kids and often use a modified and gentler adjusting technique.
Common Musculoskeletal Issues Helped by Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care can be beneficial for a wide range of musculoskeletal issues. Here are the most common conditions we help with.
Back Pain: Chiropractors often help relieve back pain, and this is the most common condition chiropractors help with.
Chiropractors help lower back pain by manipulating the spine to restore proper alignment and relieve pressure on the affected area. They may also use other techniques such as massage, stretches, and exercises to alleviate pain and improve mobility.
Neck Pain: Neck pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture and whiplash. Chiropractors may help relieve neck pain by adjusting the neck and problematic joints, while improving joint range of motion and muscle function.
Headaches: Headaches may be caused by tension in the neck and shoulders. Chiropractors can help relieve tension and alleviate headaches through spinal manipulation and other techniques.
Joint Pain: Joint pain may be caused by a variety of factors, including arthritis and overuse. Chiropractic care may help relieve joint pain by improving mobility and flexibility in the joints.
Sports Injuries: Chiropractors may help athletes recover from sports injuries by using a combination of adjustments, exercises, and other techniques.
Recent Back Pain Study
A recent study published in the journal Spine found that chiropractic care can provide significant relief for individuals with chronic low back pain when performed in conjunction with standard medical care.
Pain scores improved in the group who had chiropractic care as part of their treatment program.
The study highlights further evidence of the benefits of chiropractic care for individuals with chronic low back pain and discusses the importance of considering chiropractic care as a viable treatment option.
What Should You Expect as a New Patient?
If you're considering chiropractic care, there are some things that should happen with most initial chiropractic consultations, as described below.
- Consultation: Your first appointment will typically involve a consultation with the chiropractor, during which you will discuss your medical history, current symptoms, and treatment goals.
- Chiropractic examination: The chiropractor will then perform a physical examination to assess your range of motion, posture, and any areas of pain or discomfort.
- Treatment Plan: Based on the results of your consultation and examination, the chiropractor will develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
We Have Your Back
There are many benefits to chiropractic care. However as with most medical treatments, each treatment does come with its own risks. No treatment is ever fully risk free. Please speak with your local chiropractor or healthcare provider for more information on addressing musculoskeletal issues.