You’re sitting at your desk, wincing from that stubborn back pain that won’t disappear. You’ve tried painkillers, massages, and hot baths, but nothing seems to bring lasting relief. You’ve heard of chiropractic treatments, but what exactly are they? How effective are they? And could they be the missing piece in your health routine?
Chiropractors often use techniques like spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercises, and nutritional advice to alleviate a range of issues, from headaches and back pain to stress and sleep disorders. Many patients report significant improvements in their daily lives after incorporating regular chiropractic care into their routines. Keep reading if you’re curious about how these treatments could help you. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what steps to take next.
The Science of How Adjustments Work
Chiropractic adjustments involve the application of controlled force to a joint, particularly in the spine. Their ultimate aim is to improve physical function and alleviate pain.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments affect nociceptors and mechanoreceptors at the level of the joint level; this causes central modulation of an effect at the cord and/or peripherally. This implies that these adjustments can help in managing pain.
A variety of techniques are employed in chiropractic adjustments. As one study explains, parts of the spine are made of several joints that are all supposed to work together to create an overall movement. Techniques such as High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude (HVLA) thrust, flexion-distraction, and instrument-assisted manipulation are commonly used. The choice of technique is determined based on the patient’s specific needs and the chiropractor’s assessment.
The effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments has been supported by substantial evidence. Numerous studies have reported improvements in patients suffering from various ailments. A study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics on Science Direct found “Chiropractic was more beneficial than placebo in reducing pain and more beneficial than either placebo or muscle relaxants in reducing GIS (Global Impression of Severity Scale).”
Regardless, considering chiropractic adjustments might be beneficial if you struggle with persistent pain or discomfort. Remember, every step taken towards understanding and managing your well-being is a step towards a healthier and more comfortable life.
Types of Chiropractic Adjustments that are Commonly Used
Over the years, chiropractic care has evolved to include various techniques tailored to meet individual needs and preferences. These chiropractic techniques, each with its unique approach, seek to address various health issues, from back pain and headaches to stress and sleep disorders. Here are eleven such techniques:
- Direct Thrust Technique: This method is the most commonly used, involving high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts.
- Spinal Mobilization: A gentler technique with less force, often used for patients with certain medical conditions or preferences.
- Articulatory Technique: This method addresses joint dysfunction by introducing specific movements to the affected joint.
- Myofascial Release: This hands-on technique involves applying sustained pressure to the myofascial connective tissue.
- Muscle Energy Technique: A manual therapy that contracts the patient’s muscles in a controlled manner and a precise direction to restore motion.
- Spinal Manipulation: This involves the application of pressure on the spine using hands or a device.
- Functional Technique: A method that involves holding a joint at its restriction point and gently moving it in a specific direction.
- Flexion-Distraction: This technique focuses on spinal adjustment using a special table that stretches the spine.
- Gonstead Method: A hands-on adjustment technique that aims to realign the spine and reduce pain.
- Activator: This employs a handheld instrument to deliver gentle, quick pressure to the vertebral segments of the spine.
- Thompson: Also known as the ‘drop table’ technique, it utilizes a specially designed table to adjust the spine.
What to Expect during a Chiropractic Session?
A chiropractic session generally follows several vital steps to ensure effective treatment.
- Patient History and Examination: During your first chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor will gather a detailed health history, including information regarding the patient’s current complaint, lifestyle, stress levels, and past conditions or treatments.
- Physical Examination: This involves a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s posture, spinal movements, and reflexes. Your chiropractor may also conduct orthopedic and neurological tests to assess muscle strength and tone, range of motion, and neurological integrity.
- Diagnosis and Treatment Plan: Based on the findings, your chiropractor will make a diagnosis and propose a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include spinal adjustments, physical therapy, and recommendations for diet and exercise.
- Chiropractic Adjustment: This is the primary treatment method in chiropractic care, where your chiropractor uses controlled force to realign the spine and improve the body’s physical function.
- Post-Treatment Advice: After the adjustment, your chiropractor often advises on exercises, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications to support the treatment and prevent future problems.
Every chiropractic session is unique and tailored to the patient’s condition, health needs, and wellness goals. Learn more from another blog post on this website about what you must do to prepare for your first chiropractor appointment.
23 Studies Proving that Chiropractic Works
Yes! Chiropractic care is a powerful method that brings healing to the body by caring for the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones. Many of the tenets of chiropractic have been practiced for hundreds of years, while others are still being developed. As a result, both old and new studies are evidence of chiropractic’s efficacy in treating many issues and promoting numerous health benefits.
Read on to discover 23 proofs that chiropractic works.
Proof #1: Chiropractic relieves back pain.
Since chiropractic care focuses on spinal health and the relief of many kinds of back pain, it’s no surprise that a growing body of evidence supports this. Studies show that overall patient satisfaction is greater among chiropractic patients and that the treatment options offered by chiropractors were more effective than other options for treating low back pain.
Proof #2: It relieves neck pain.
Neck pain is another common reason to visit a chiropractor, and evidence shows that the type of care offered by chiropractors is safe and effective. One study showed a marked improvement in chiropractic care for those experiencing non-traumatic chronic neck pain.
Proof #3: It relieves muscle tension.
Chiropractors use massage to help relieve muscle tension with great effectiveness. Chiropractic massage is different from standard massage therapy in several ways. Perhaps the most important is the number of schooling chiropractors receive. Chiropractic massage is often used with other chiropractic modalities, such as spinal and joint manipulation, to help relieve what may be causing the muscle tension in the first place.
Proof #4: It treats headaches.
Headaches are believed to be caused by a wide variety of factors, including diet, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep, hormones, and even genes. While chiropractic care hasn’t proven effective for all types of headaches, it does help limit many of the common causes. Since chiropractic care can help improve sleep, reduce stress, and even help with nutrition tips, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience headache relief with continued care.
Proof #5: It reduces muscle spasms.
Muscle spasms can range from annoying to downright painful, but chiropractic care can help. According to one study, spinal manipulation had a significant short-term effect on multifidus muscle function.
Proof #6: It improves range of motion.
Limited range of motion is another common issue that chiropractors treat. It’s usually accompanied by pain and can become debilitating, especially when it occurs in the neck area. Several studies present evidence of spinal manipulation in improving the range of motion. Some improvement has been seen in as little as one session.
Proof #7: It helps with joint pain and arthritis.
More and more people are turning to chiropractic for help with joint pain, including arthritis. Several chiropractic modalities have effectively reduced joint pain and inflammation, making it an ideal non-invasive treatment option for many people. The Arthritis Foundation cites chiropractic care as a safe and accepted form of treatment.
Proof #8: It reduces chronic pain.
Chiropractic care can help reduce many different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain for which people seek medical advice. As a result, numerous studies show that chiropractic care is safe, effective, and beneficial for chronic back pain patients. These findings are not new and continue to be reinforced with subsequent studies.
Proof #9: It helps with migraines.
Migraine headaches have many different triggers, just like other types of headaches. However, migraines are usually more severe and debilitating. While no two people have the same migraine triggers, chiropractic care has an excellent track record of reducing migraine frequency and intensity among many different people. This study states that spinal manipulation and other chiropractic modalities help manage migraine headaches.
Proof #10: It helps promote weight loss.
There is no easy fix for weight loss. It requires hard work in the form of exercise and proper nutrition. Knowing that, it may seem strange that chiropractic care can help with weight loss, but it’s true.
Most chiropractic offices have a certified nutritionist on staff. Sometimes, this is even the same person as your doctor of chiropractic. It’s very common for patients to receive nutrition and exercise advice as a part of chiropractic care. Plus, pain relief is a significant factor in enabling those with chronic pain to start to become active again, helping them shed the pounds.
Proof #11: It promotes better posture.
As you may suspect, chiropractors can help you improve your posture. Since they deal with the spine, they can fix subluxations that could prevent you from maintaining an ideal posture throughout the day. Proper posture can also help prevent spinal arthritis later in life.
Proof #12: It is better than physician care in certain instances.
Chiropractors don’t treat everything. But those issues they treat tend to have better results than similar treatment from a family physician. One study showed that chiropractic care for acute low back pain saw higher patient satisfaction and better issue-specific results than those that a family physician treated.
Proof #13: It is ideal for long-term chronic low back pain relief.
Similar to the study above, chiropractic care in spinal manipulation was compared to back school and physical therapy treatment for chronic lower back pain. The results showed that chiropractic care was more effective in both the short- and long-term. Not only did spinal manipulation help reduce pain, but it also proved more effective regarding function, as well.
Proof #14: It promotes better sleep.
There are several ways chiropractic care can promote better sleep. Most commonly, stress reduction and reduced pain are the top two reasons. Chiropractic can also help to reduce muscle tension, promote relaxation, and increase blood flow. All these can lead to better sleep, which is essential for a healthy body and a happy mind.
Proof #15: It lowers blood pressure.
During a randomized, controlled trial, researchers found that participant’s blood pressure was significantly reduced following chiropractic treatment. Another study found similar results over eight weeks, eliminating the need for two types of blood pressure medicine during that time.
Proof #16: It helps improve digestion.
While the hard science is still being sorted out, chiropractic care is reported to improve digestion in some people. These findings are the result of self-reporting by many chiropractic patients. Many of them found that their digestion improved after seeing their chiropractor.
Proof #17: It helps flush toxins.
One of the minor side effects experienced by some who undergo spinal manipulation is a lightheaded or slightly nauseous feeling. This is often the result of the body flushing toxins. It’s typically nothing to worry about and is a good thing. When the spine is misaligned, it can cause the body’s communication with the brain to become less-than-optimal. As a result, toxins can build up in the body, waiting to be flushed. Diet and exercise are also ways to flush toxins.
Proof #18: It can increase energy.
A general benefit that chiropractic offers is an increase in energy. There’s no mystery behind this one. The many other benefits of chiropractic care come together to give people more energy. Chronic pain and discomfort can often cause fatigue. People tend to feel more energetic when that pain and discomfort start to fade away.
Proof #19: It can improve mood.
Like increased energy, improved mood is something many chiropractic patients report feeling. This is likely for several reasons. The first is that reducing pain will likely improve outlook and overall mood. The second is that chiropractic tends to help people sleep, which can affect mood. One study found improvements in subjects’ moods more significant when actual spinal manipulation was done, as opposed to sham manipulation.
Proof #20: It can reduce the need for medications.
An analysis conducted in 2019 found that chiropractic patients were over 60% less likely to fill an opioid prescription than those who weren’t seeing a chiropractor. This is because chiropractic care aims to treat the pain’s cause, not simply the sensation. Another study, cited above, showed a reduction in the need for blood pressure medicine for recipients of chiropractic care.
Proof #21: It promotes healing and recovery.
Since chiropractors view the body as a unit, it’s no surprise they can help promote healing and recovery through manual manipulation. This is thought to result from improvements in the nervous system, blood flow, relaxation, and sleep. When the body is in sync, it can recover quickly from injury or sickness.
Proof #22: It helps reduce depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are closely tied to chronic pain. Depression and pain are thought to share pathways in the brain. As the body deals with chronic pain, the mind is affected as well, often causing higher rates of depression and anxiety. As the body begins to heal and pain is reduced, the levels of anxiety and depression are reduced, as well.
Proof #23: It helps that sciatica.
Sciatic nerve treatment is standard among chiropractic practitioners. The irritation of the sciatic nerve is often caused by a subluxation in the lower back, creating pain down the leg and in the glute muscles. Although sciatica often goes away independently, chiropractic care has provided faster relief for many patients.
What Happens in a Chiropractic Adjustment?
During a chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor applies controlled force to a joint that has become less mobile. This is often done using the hands or with a small instrument. The aim is to restore the joint’s natural mobility, thereby aiding in the restoration of health. This highly skilled procedure varies in intensity and application, depending on the chiropractor’s diagnosis of your particular condition.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Good for You?
Chiropractic adjustments can be therapeutic for many people. They are designed to improve physical function, reduce pain, and promote well-being. Chiropractic adjustments can assist in alleviating back pain, neck pain, headaches, and various other musculoskeletal conditions. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s medical needs are unique, so it’s advisable to consult a licensed chiropractor to find out if chiropractic care is the best option for you.
What is a Misalignment?
Misalignment, or subluxation, refers to abnormal positioning or movement of a joint or vertebra in the spine. Misalignments can cause discomfort, pain, restricted mobility, and muscle spasms. They can also disturb the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Chiropractors are trained to locate these misalignments and use various techniques to correct them, restoring proper joint function and relieving symptoms.
What Causes Misalignment?
Several factors can lead to spinal misalignment. This includes poor posture, particularly during prolonged sitting or standing; repetitive movements or overuse injuries common in certain occupations or sports; trauma from accidents or falls; stress leading to muscle tension and imbalances; and lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet, and obesity. Chronic conditions like, for example, osteoarthritis. can also cause changes in the spine, leading to misalignments.
Common Conditions That Can Be Treated with Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractic adjustments can help manage a variety of conditions. These include back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, muscle tension, and musculoskeletal disorders.
By addressing misalignments in the body, chiropractic care can help alleviate these conditions, improve mobility, and enhance overall well-being. However, the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments varies from person to person, depending on their specific health condition.
What Are the Benefits of a Chiropractic Adjustment?
The benefits of chiropractic adjustments are numerous. They can help reduce pain, enhance mobility, and improve quality of life.
Patients often experience improved posture, enhanced immune system function, better sleep, and stress relief. Specific conditions like sciatica, whiplash, and scoliosis can also be managed through chiropractic care. Furthermore, chiropractic adjustments can contribute to overall wellness by encouraging self-healing and enhancing bodily function.
Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work for Everyone?
Chiropractic adjustments may not be the best solution for everyone. Individual responses to treatment can vary based on factors such as the nature and severity of the condition, overall health, and adherence to treatment recommendations.
It’s essential to have a thorough consultation and evaluation with a licensed chiropractor to determine whether you need chiropractic adjustments for your specific health needs.
Can I Realign My Back Myself?
Attempting to realign your back yourself is not recommended. Chiropractic adjustments require specific knowledge and skills to be performed safely and effectively. Without proper training, adjusting your own back could lead to injury or worsening of existing conditions. If you suspect a misalignment, it’s best to consult a licensed chiropractor who can evaluate you and provide treatment if necessary.
How Often Should You Get Chiropractic Adjustments?
The frequency of chiropractic adjustments is tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Some may require multiple visits per week at the start of their treatment, while others may only need adjustments every few weeks or even months.
Your chiropractor will assess your condition, pain levels, and health goals to determine your most suitable treatment plan. A personalized approach like this ensures that each patient receives optimal care for their unique situation.
How Long Does an Adjustment from a Chiropractor Last?
A chiropractic adjustment typically lasts just a few minutes. However, the appointment can take longer, as the chiropractor may spend additional time assessing your condition, discussing treatment options, and providing other therapies or exercises.
The adjustment duration may vary depending on the technique used and your specific needs. Remember, the goal of chiropractic adjustment is not just to alleviate immediate discomfort but also to contribute to long-term health and well-being.
How Do You Know If You Need Your Back Aligned?
Determining whether you need a back alignment involves a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed chiropractor. They will review your medical history, administer a physical examination, and may even order diagnostic tests such as X-rays. This process helps identify any misalignments or subluxations in your spine that could contribute to pain or discomfort. Common signs that you might need an alignment include chronic back or neck pain, numerous headaches, joint pain, reduced range of motion, or muscle spasms.
What is the Failure Rate of Chiropractors?
The success of chiropractic treatment can vary widely among individuals, depending on various factors like the nature and severity of the condition, the specific techniques used, and the patient’s overall health and lifestyle.
It’s essential to have open communication with your chiropractor about your treatment expectations and progress. While some people may not achieve their desired results with chiropractic care, others find significant relief and improved quality of life.
Why Do I Feel Weird After a Chiropractic Adjustment?
It’s common to experience unusual sensations because of toxins released after a chiropractic adjustment. This can include light-headedness, fatigue, or even a temporary increase in discomfort. These reactions are typically short-lived and result from the body adjusting to the changes in spinal alignment and nervous system function. If you have any persistent symptoms or concerns after an adjustment, you must discuss them with your chiropractor.
Discover Lasting Relief with Better Health Anchorage
Are you tired of the relentless pain and discomfort? Are you curious about how chiropractic care could change your life?
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So why wait? Your journey towards a comfortable, pain-free life starts with a single step. Call us today at +1 907-346-5255 and let us guide you toward better health. Because you deserve more than temporary relief; you deserve lasting wellness.