What Does a Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions. They do not use medications or surgery as treatments, but rather utilize natural, hands-on methods along with exercise and lifestyle modification. Most cases can be diagnosed through discussion of the problem and physical examination, when necessary MRI, CAT scan, X-ray and other diagnostic tests are used.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. Chiropractors are primary spine care practitioners therefore, any disorder that involves joints, muscles, discs or nerves can potentially be appropriately addressed such as:
Pregnancy related low back or leg pain
Shoulder, arm and leg pain
Muscle tightness, weakness or imbalance
Numbness and tingling
What are the Educational Requirements to Become a Chiropractor?
Most students are required to have a Bachelor’s degree before applying to Chiropractic school. Chiropractic college itself is then 4 additional years of post-graduate, full-time, intensive schooling, with a foundation in basic sciences, not unlike that of medical school. After graduation, there are several state and national board examinations to pass before attaining licensure.
Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?
A referral is usually not needed to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC); however, your health plan may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department—or the insurance plan directly—to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a DC.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain, low back pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Manipulation, works to improve joint mobility, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with low back pain, upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
While spinal and other musculoskeletal disorders are less common in children than adults, certainly they are not rare. There is no reason why children cannot be evaluated and treated if necessary. If manipulation is required, the techniques used will be modified for the size of the child.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, call to inquire
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. Although there are certain uncommon instances in which regular, periodic treatment may be recommended, this is the exception rather than the rule. A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or supportive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Our goals are to get you back on your feet, help you to restore some enjoyment from your activities and help you live you life the way you inspire. Realistically this can take anywhere from 1 visit to 10 visits depending on the severity and chronicity of your complaint. Other factors also influence your ability to improve such as weight, lifestyle, ability to help yourself, confidence in yourself among others. You will always be given an estimate upfront as to how many visits we think you may need. We hope you make you self-reliant, eliminating the need to be continuously seen in our office.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. It is thought to correct joint dysfunction, with may be a condition in loss of joint movement that may be a common cause of spinal pain. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Many people however, are afraid of the “cracking” sound that often accompanies manipulation. If you do not have signs joint dysfunction there is no need for manipulation. Sometimes a gentle mobilization will do the trick. Do not be afraid to voice your concerns to the Doctors at Attune. Our goals are to make you comfortable and treat without fear.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.