Contrary to popular belief, a chiropractor isn’t just a sports medicine specialist that deals with sports injuries. No. A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who specialises in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They focus on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system and how imbalances or problems with the spine can affect the body as a whole.
Chiropractic treatment has gained popularity over the past few years and is now highly sought-after. What you need to know is that chiropractic treatment is different to the treatment provided to you by a physiotherapist. Though both care for the musculoskeletal system, a physiotherapist would focus more on movements and functionality. In contrast, a chiropractor would work on pain relief.
By combining hands-on manual adjustments, spinal manipulations, soft tissue therapy, and therapeutic exercises, chiropractors can provide the chiropractic care necessary to restore normal function to the body and improve overall health and wellness. If you’ve been suffering from musculoskeletal pain that hasn't budged following traditional remedies, chiropractic treatments may be the alternative medicine you need to kickstart your journey to a pain-free life. Depending on your condition, these can complement your existing treatment regime or be used independently.
What conditions can chiropractic treatment help?
Chiropractic treatment is an alternative medicine used to provide pain relief for those areas that constantly feel stiff and immobile. Unlike physical therapy, chiropractors use a hands-on approach to care. Like physiotherapy, however, you would need to undergo a comprehensive health assessment with the chiropractor before your first visit so that they can design a bespoke management plan.
A manual chiropractic adjustment can help restore mobility to the spine, neck, and other joints, relieve pain and improve overall quality of life. We're going to break down in more detail the conditions which a chiropractor can help with to see whether you need a chiropractor's hand to attend to your musculoskeletal injuries.
Two of the most common conditions chiropractors treat are upper and lower back pain. Various factors, including poor posture, sciatica, repetitive motions, injury, osteoarthritis, and ageing, can cause back pain. However, long-lasting back pain, or chronic low back pain, can be debilitating and cause an individual’s quality of life to suffer drastically.
Chiropractic treatments also work as a non-surgical and non-pharmacological management option for neck pain. Chronic neck pain caused by injuries such as whiplash or facet joint pain can limit your mobility and muscle function, thereby making it more challenging to pursue regular daily activities.
There are few conditions more annoying and painful than a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve is put under pressure, resulting in inflammation and pain until it heals. Thankfully, chiropractors can put their intimate knowledge and understanding of human anatomy to good use and put pressure in all the right places to help alleviate pain and discomfort.
Chiropractors can also treat conditions related to the extremities, such as shoulder pain, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. These injuries can occur as a result of an autoimmune disorder such as arthritis, or they can occur as a result of joint overuse, such as during sports or throughout day-to-day life. Joint injuries can lead to a limited range of motion, weakness, and instability of the joints and surrounding ligaments. By addressing these problems, chiropractors can help improve overall function and reduce the risk of future injury.
Too many people suffer from chronic headaches that remain unaltered following medicinal treatment. You spend too much time relying on painkillers to help alleviate your headache that you forget to seek professional help. Fortunately, we have chiropractors.
Research has shown that 72% of people who had chiropractic treatment experienced reduced symptoms. Through spinal adjustments, chiropractic adjustments elsewhere on the body, and by providing lifestyle advice, chiropractors can alleviate headaches and combat chronic pain.
Aside from bringing new meaning to “snap, crackle, and pop”, chiropractors also play an essential role in promoting overall health and wellness. For example, they may advise on posture, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits to help prevent future problems. They could also recommend regular chiropractic check-ups to monitor your body and correct any imbalances before they become more serious.
Implementing chiropractic treatments into your wellness routine can lead to many more improvements in your life, from feeling less stressed to being able to move more fluidly. Lastly, we should remember the immunity-boosting effects of chiropractic treatments that can also help you fight off infection - another of the many benefits of chiropractic care!
Diagnosing a condition
Many people follow the misconception that chiropractors only treat conditions such as whiplash and herniated discs. The reality is that the manual therapy provided by a chiropractor can be used as a form of treatment and as a diagnostic tool.
Chiropractors may use diagnostic imaging, such as x-rays, MRI, and CT scans, to help diagnose conditions and plan treatment. They may also use laboratory tests, such as blood tests, to rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms.
After all, chiropractors are certified healthcare professionals who, within their professional capacity, can diagnose various conditions such as migraines, weakened immune systems and stress alongside your typical musculoskeletal injury.
How do chiropractors provide treatment?
By applying a combination of spinal adjustment techniques and other therapies, chiropractors can help alleviate back pain, migraines, and all other ailments attributed to the spine by reducing inflammation and improving mobility. Your chiropractor may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as improving posture and engaging in regular exercise, to help prevent relapse of your condition in the future.
Like most medicinal treatments, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to chiropractic care. To get the most benefit from your chiropractor, they must provide you with an individualised treatment plan based on your characteristics and condition. They’ll do so after assessing your condition and general health before your first visit, so be sure to provide your healthcare provider with your physical, family, and medical history alongside your presenting complaint so that they can make informed decisions.
Make chiropractic part of your health MOT
Too many people live their lives with bodies burdened by musculoskeletal problems. Unfortunately, these problems persist and worsen with age, so finding the proper treatment becomes a necessity rather than a convenience. Seeking out chiropractic care for your aches and pains can do you a whole world of good and even treat aspects of your life, such as wellness, which you didn’t realise needed a bit of TLC. If you’re suffering from muscle or joint pain or are just feeling constantly stiff, call your nearest chiropractor to find out how they can help you.