Modern medicine has come a long way over the centuries, and today medical professionals can do things that once seemed impossible. But sometimes, there are certain treatments that don’t have to rely on expensive technologies to drive forward results and help patients heal. Chiropractic care falls into this category, and it continues to be a treatment option that provides very real help to those who need it. However, it’s also a type of medical care that is often misunderstood.
Learning more about chiropractic care and what a chiropractor does should help provide you with a much deeper understanding about whether or not this type of care is right for your problem, what to expect when visiting a chiropractor, and more. It could be exactly what is needed to help you overcome pain and improve your quality of life.
What Can Chiropractic Care Treat?
Chiropractic care is a type of health care that is focused on problems related to the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and the impact that those problems can have on your overall health. It’s primarily used to help treat problems that occur in the neck, back, lower back, legs, and arms.
One of the principles behind the idea of chiropractic care is that when things like lumbar discs and vertebrae shift from their appropriate position in the spine, they can press against nerves and muscles within the back. This can cause immediate pain in the back and neck, but can also lead to significant problems caused by the pressure placed on nerves. In short, chiropractic care could lead to help with a wide range of issues including headaches, muscle aches, and more.
What Does A Chiropractor Do To Treat Problems?
The foundation of chiropractic care is in adjustments. A chiropractor will begin by examining the patient and asking them questions about their problems, their lifestyle, and other related aspects of their issue. Once they have a clear understanding of the situation, the chiropractor will then make adjustments as needed.
An adjustment is nothing more than the manipulation of the spine in an effort to help restore proper spinal alignment. As mentioned above, many problems are caused by vertebrae and lumbar discs shifting out of their proper location in the spine and pressing against the nerves and muscles. In an adjustment, the chiropractor will use pressure to begin moving those spinal components back to where they are supposed to be. In the process, the pressure on nerves is relieved and pain is diminished.
Adjustments are the foundation of chiropractic care, but they’re not the only steps a professional chiropractor may take. Other treatments can include:
- Muscle stimulation
- Personal care instructions
- And more
All in all, each chiropractor is different just as each patient is different. But at the heart of any chiropractic care process will be the gradual adjustments to help align your spine properly.
What To Expect From A Chiropractic Visit
Now that you understand the most basic principle of chiropractic care – the adjustment – the next step is to understand what to expect when you visit a chiropractor for the first time, as well as subsequent visits. While each patient is unique, a visit to Dr. Stuart Kilian in Downtown Vancouver will likely include a few basic steps.
- Consultation – A chiropractor will begin by talking to you about your pains and problems, getting a clear idea as to your lifestyle, what could have caused your injuries, and what exactly it is that is causing the issue you’re experiencing.
- X-Rays – Chiropractors may take x-rays to get a better idea as to what adjustments need to be made. They could identify problems with the curvature of your spine, vertebrae that are out of place, and more. These x-rays will provide a clear picture of what the next steps should be.
- Muscle Stimulation – Many chiropractors will use muscle stimulation, usually with small electrical pulses administered to the treatment area. This can help relax the muscles, provide pain and stiffness relief, and also help improve the results of adjustments.
- Adjustments – Adjustments are made as needed, often to various parts of the spine. Often, several different types of adjustments are used to help bring the spine closer into proper alignment.
- Personal Care Instructions – You’ll likely be given very clear instructions as to what steps you need to take for self-care. These can include things like rest, no strenuous activities, pain relief instructions, stretching exercises, and more. A big part of effective chiropractic care lies with following these suggestions, so be sure to pay attention to them.
- Referrals – Sometimes, chiropractic care may not be sufficient for your problem. In these cases, a chiropractor will make a referral to a different health care provider who may be able to offer a solution to whatever issue is present. This could be in combination with chiropractic care, but could be independent entirely of it.
Understanding Your Treatment
There are a few points that are worth mentioning here. Chiropractic care is widely misunderstood, and the following things are worth remembering to ensure that you go into the process with the right expectations.
- Follow treatment advice clearly. If a chiropractor tells you no heavy lifting, that means no heavy lifting. Failure to follow advice can make it much harder to overcome pain.
- Treatment takes time. You won’t be instantly cured on your first visit. Instead, expect to visit the chiropractor weekly for a few weeks in order to start getting the best results. Your care provider will tell you exactly how long treatment may take.
- Be honest. If the treatment isn’t working, tell your chiropractor that you don’t think it is. They may suggest additional options to help you reach your pain management goals.
Simply put, a chiropractor is a medical professional who can provide relief from pain and stiffness that modern medical care just won’t offer. They have a very real place in the medical community as long as you understand their capabilities and their limitations. There’s a good chance that they can help you, and scheduling an appointment with one could be the first step towards a life with less pain.