Chiropractic is an evidence based, non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system supports your weight, provides physical stability, enables you to move your body and protects your vital organs. Chiropractors practice primarily using their hands, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventative care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints. They manipulate the body’s alignment to relieve pain and improve function and to help the body heal itself.
As a holistic and alternative treatment approach, chiropractic adjustments can reduce stress placed on your immune system, freeing up energy to be used towards disease prevention and maintaining homeostasis. Chiropractic care aims to address the whole body, enhancing patient’s ability to think, move and perform.
If the bones of the spine become misaligned (from birth trauma, accidents, sports injuries, improper lifting and twisting, poor posture, etc.), then the result is inflammation, muscle spasm and disc distortion. This will alter the nerve’s ability to transmit information. The nerves become “irritated” and their functioning is changed leading to symptoms of illness and often pain.
Common Conditions Treated:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Sprains and strains
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Work injuries
- Sports injuries
- Limited range of motion in the back, neck, shoulders or limbs
Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, depending on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a history, performing an examination and establishing a diagnosis, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment and management plan that may include mobilization of the joints, soft tissue therapy, electrotherapies such as ultrasound or laser, ice or heat therapy, recommend therapeutic exercise, education, ergonomic training such as how to walk, sit and stand to limit back strain and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling. Your chiropractor will discuss any treatment options with you so that you can collaboratively deice together on the best course of action for you.
One of the most common therapies a chiropractor uses is spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), which can comprise a variety of adjustment techniques. Specific training in SMT allows chiropractors to provide highly skilled and precise adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine, correcting joint motion to restore proper movement and improve function.
Benefits of Chiropractic Treatments:
- Relief for chronic conditions
- Can prevent joint dysfunction
- Improves posture
- Preventable care
- Boosts immune system
- Improves mental health
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves sleep
- Increases energy levels
During a typical chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor places you in specific positions to treat affected areas. Often, you’re positioned lying facedown on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, pushing it beyond its usual range of motion. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor moves your joints during the treatment session.
Some people experience minor side effects for a few days after a chiropractic adjustment. These may include headache, fatigue or pain in the parts of the body that were treated.