Chiropractic is an old practice where hand-on spinal adjustments are done to realign a crooked, curved or compressed spine. From the spinal adjustments, other parts of the bodies such as the back, the neck, the legs, and the shoulders are manipulated. If you were feeling pain, muscle stiffness or a strain in any of these parts, calmness is initiated through chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic adjustments can also be done on specific affected parts and not just the spine. In this case, a chiropractor physically manipulates the affected part. The manipulation is meant to restore mobility, muscle flexibility, and stability to the affected part. It could be a painful joint, a torn ligament, a stretched muscle or a broken bone.
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Chiropractic Diagnoses: Are They Effective?
You probably don’t know this but chiropractors are also known as Doctors of Chiropractic. Like regular medical doctors, Doctors of Chiropractic have to first diagnose a patient’s condition before designing and scheduling a treatment plan. The first step is to collect the medical history of the patient. This is followed by a physical exam where the expert assesses physical signs like spinal curving, tissue tenderness, muscle soreness, and inflammation.
The expert may also look at vital parameters like blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate, and body heat. In some cases, the expert may resort to neurological and orthopedic exams. The former is considered to assess problems with the nerves while the latter is considered to uncover health issues linked to the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones). So, yes, chiropractic diagnosis is effective.
Chiropractic Treatment Techniques: Are They Effective?
Chiropractors employ different physical techniques to help patients recover from chronic pain, muscle distress, mobility restrictions, poor posture, among other issues. The most used technique, however, is a spinal adjustment. It’s done to address underlying issues like spinal curving and spinal nerve compression. The technique is very effective since it manipulates the spine to facilitate effective communication throughout the musculoskeletal system.
Other notable effective chiropractic treatment techniques are:
- Joint mobilization
- Soft tissue massage
- Stretching exercises
- Activity modification
Let’s look as some of the leading issues that chiropractic is effective against.
It’s estimated that about 74% of patients who visit chiropractors annually go there because of back pain. Doesn’t this sound effective to you? These people are either experiencing back pain from a muscle strain, wrong posture or a physical injury. Before a chiropractor can treat back pain, he or she has to run a successful diagnosis. The chiropractor will examine the patient, putting the focus on the back and the spine.
If things are not clear, a chiropractor may request the patient to go through a diagnostic imaging procedure. This is to obtain images that will show what is exactly wrong with the patient’s back and spine. After all, these are done, the chiropractor will settle on a conclusive diagnosis. The diagnosis will provide the basis of designing a chiropractic treatment plan for the patient.
The chiropractic treatment normally features spinal adjustments but it can also feature nutritional counseling, body rehabilitation, and lifestyle advice. It depends on the severity of the back pain. Generally, the primary objective of chiropractic treatment is to promote back pain relief. However, the expert also purposes to restore body functions and to prevent back pain from recurring.
In terms of popularity, headaches are the second most popular ailments addressed by chiropractors, after back pain. These experts can treat headache types like migraines and tension headaches. Pieces of evidence show that chiropractic adjustments can help relieve and cure headaches in different people. Based on these studies, most patients experience a 90% drop in headache pain intensity.
As a result, chiropractic is recommended as an alternative to pain relievers. Unlike pain relievers which normally treat the main symptom (pain), chiropractic adjustments dig deep into the root cause of the headache. By attacking and fixing the root cause, chiropractic treats the main symptoms and prevents its recurrence.
Shoulder and Neck Injuries
One study shows that patients suffering from a frozen shoulder can benefit from chiropractic adjustments. According to the study, most patients experience a 50% improvement rate. Of course, combining chiropractic treatments with other effective manual therapies boost the recovery rate.
A different study done on patients with neck injuries show that chiropractic is very effective in relieving neck pain. The study concludes by expressing that a good number of the patients were satisfied with the results and wouldn’t hesitate to consider chiropractic is they faced a similar issue in the future. Chiropractic is not just effective but also cheaper than physiotherapy.
Chiropractic is not just effective against back pain, headache, shoulder injuries, and neck injuries. It’s also effective against the following:
- Joint pain
- Anxiety, among many others
Top professional athletes in the world consider chiropractic for performance-enhancing. It’s argued that a majority of NFL clubs have a permanent chiropractor on their team. This is because the team always need body stretches and adjustments before and after they step into the field. Arguments are that chiropractic is quite effective in alleviating pain and restoring the functionality of the muscles and joints. In the long run, this improves athletic performance.
Generally, chiropractic is effective in promoting athletic performance in the following ways:
- Relieving muscle stiffness and tension, resulting in relaxation
- Boosting natural energy levels through muscle stimulation
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Improving heart functions and natural immunity
Also, chiropractic can address sports injuries to help an athlete recover quickly. We are talking about injuries like neck pain, back injury, sprains, and strains. In the end, chiropractic ensures that the athlete takes minimal time to recover and can perform at a higher level upon recovery.
The Bonus – Professional Backing
Different professional bodies support chiropractic as a treatment option. The American College of Physicians, for example, recommends it for back pain. The Journal of the American Medical Association, on the other hand, advocates it for surgery prevention. Furthermore, chiropractors are certified and licensed by the American Chiropractic Association in the United States and other chiropractic bodies in other countries. Those who are approved by these bodies are reliable, thus effective.
If we were to answer our title, we would say that chiropractic is effective. So, you don’t have to doubt its performance. You can consider it not just to treat and prevent musculoskeletal issue but also for performance-enhancing. All you have to do is go to a licensed and experienced Doctor of Chiropractic.