Most people typically seek chiropractic care to manage low back pain. Still, it applies to more than just a region of the body: chiropractors are trained to treat every musculoskeletal region from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.
Local Chiropractor & Chiropractic Treatment: Natural Care Chiropractic
Chiropractic care is commonly practiced all across the globe. It works hand in hand with other manual therapy types like physical therapy and osteopathy and additionally supports the professions of dentistry and ophthalmology. Before going any further, let's first differentiate each hands-on discipline from the other.
What Is Chiropractic Care?
Physical therapy (PT) uses exercise prescription and physical agents to treat acute and chronic pain and physical impairments caused by injuries or illnesses of neurological or cardiovascular origins. The professionals behind PT are commonly referred to as physiotherapists. They can either provide physiotherapy as a primary care treatment or in conjunction with other medical services.
On the other hand, osteopathy is an alternative medicine that physically manipulates bones and muscle tissues. It is practiced in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and several European countries, like France and Germany. Osteopathy practitioners use this medical practice to treat people with back pain and other musculoskeletal issues.
Now that we've addressed the other two disciplines, then what exactly is chiropractic care? For starters, chiropractic care is a treatment used to provide relief to people experiencing pain in their joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissue. It can be used primarily or in conjunction with conventional medical care. Chiropractors use their hands to manipulate the spine, and other body parts, to enable the body to heal itself without requiring surgery or medication. Patients who need this kind of manipulation are often people who've earned their injuries from physically traumatic events or regular repetitive tasks,
.like sitting behind a desk without proper back support.
What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
So now that you know what chiropractic care entails, you must also be wondering how to tell whether you need a chiropractic adjustment. If you continually experience low back pain, neck pain, and headaches, it might be a great idea to seek chiropractor care. Other than checking whether your health insurance policy covers chiropractic care, you won't require any special preparation for the adjustment. Before getting started, your chiropractor will ask you questions about your medical history, particularly related to your spine. They may also recommend that you get further tests, such as x-rays or other imaging, to give a clearer picture.
During the chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor will place you in specific positions to access the affected area. They will then use their hands to apply a controlled yet sudden force to a joint to push it beyond its usual motion range. Don't be surprised to hear a popping or cracking sound during the treatment session.
Why Does Chiropractic Care Work?
Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic care is not a myth. Chiropractors undergo eight years of higher education before getting licensed and certified by the state licensing boards. During this period, they studied scientific courses in chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology. In addition to this intensive coursework, most chiropractors receive training and certification in other specialties, such as sports medicine, neurology, nutrition, acupuncture, and rehabilitation. So if you've been wondering whether chiropractors are legitimate, the answer is yes!
A 2018 review that entailed 17 years of studies on chronic lower back pain revealed that chiropractic treatments were viable pain management methods. A 2017 study showed that spinal manipulation effectively treated lower back pain and improved body function for almost six weeks. Even the American College of Physicians recommends spinal manipulation to patients suffering from lower back pain. However, more research is required to determine the ideal length and frequency of chiropractic treatments to ensure proper care.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Care?
As previously mentioned, your chiropractor will ask you about your medical history before attempting any chiropractic manipulations on you. The primary reason for this is to ensure the patient's safety. Some risks and side effects associated with chiropractic adjustments include headaches, fatigue, and discomfort in the treated areas. Some of the numerous health benefits of chiropractic adjustments include the following:
Reducing digestive problems
Improving sleep thanks to a relaxed spine and muscles
Improving body balance since the spine is no longer impaired
Reducing blood pressure and improving the function of each body organ
Relieving prenatal discomfort
Improving whole-body health since all body parts are functioning at an optimum level
What Is The History of Chiropractic?
So, where did chiropractic treatment originate? The term 'chiropractic' originates from two Greek words, cheir and praktos, which mean 'hand' and 'done.' Combining the two translated words results in 'done by hand' words coined by Daniel David Palmer. D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic care, realized that although people had practiced various forms of manipulation over the years, there was no clear scientific rationale to explain how they worked. To this date, Palmer's greatest gift to the health industry was breaking down this information philosophically and scientifically by studying human anatomy and physiology.
During his research in 1985, DD. Palmer examined a man who'd become deaf after feeling something "give" in his back. After assessing the situation, Palmer adjusted a misplaced vertebra in the man's spine, which improved his hearing. Palmer continued his study and established the Palmer School of Cure - Iowa in 1987, presently known as Palmer College of Chiropractic. His successful adjustment earned him numerous fans. Among them were his son, B.J. Palmer, and members of the healing arts of medicine and osteopathy.
By 1913, the first US state law licensing chiropractors was passed. Almost two decades later, 39 US states had legally recognized chiropractors. Today, all 50 states of America recognize chiropractic as a fully-fledged healthcare profession, with over 70,000 active chiropractic licenses.
In recent years, holistic treatments have steadily piqued the interest of most people. Traditional medicine is slowly opening up to include the chiropractic profession. People are turning towards alternative health treatments to relieve pain and cure pain and infections. Since chiropractic care ranks high among holistic health treatments, it is paramount that we understand some of the techniques used to treat our bodies.
Chiropractors use drugless therapeutic methods and incorporate natural agents such as massage, exercise, heat, cold, water, and light. These natural elements can significantly improve our body functions and relieve incredible pain when carefully manipulated. Let's delve into some of the standard chiropractic services involved in chiropractic care.
A chiropractor may choose to manipulate your soft tissues to improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation linked to back pain, relax tense muscles, and also increase endorphin levels. Most healthcare providers advise their patients to pursue manual therapy in addition to medical treatment.
Patients will also be advised to begin an exercise routine focusing on stretching and strengthening the back and other body parts. Some of the most common exercises include brisk walks, yoga, and aerobics, which, in turn, promote better circulation and keep body muscles toned.
Heat therapy is available in different forms and has been used for many years to aid various chronic ailments, such as arthritis. It is ideal for warming body tissues before treatment, enhancing blood flow, and speeding up recovery. Heat therapy also improves mobility by reducing muscle soreness and pain once the acute phase has passed.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is cold therapy. Chiropractors use ice packs to numb the lower back and other muscles for about 10 to 15 minutes for an acute situation, then switch to heat therapy to give you a whole-patient treatment. It is not uncommon to find cold and heat therapy used together.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
In this particular technique, chiropractors place electrodes on the skin, sending light electrical pulses to different body parts to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and stop muscle spasms.
Other techniques used in chiropractic care include ultrasound, traction, ergonomic suggestions, and dietary management. As previously mentioned, chiropractic adjustments or manipulations commonly treat human vertebrae issues. Below are some of the techniques used:
The skull can, in some cases, become stuck. A chiropractor can provide much-needed relief through your skull's specific movements, including properly aligning your jaw. Cranial manipulation, also known as cranial suture manipulation, entails applying gentle pressure along your head and down your spine to release tension. It's believed that carefully manipulating your skull's bones and tissues can improve various health issues like headaches, TMJ disorder (a compromise of your jaw joint movement), facial swelling, pain in the neck and shoulders, cranial dysfunction, etc.
Atlas Orthogonal Therapy
Atlas orthogonal is a specialty in the chiropractic field that is painless and provides safe spinal correction to restore the body's health and balance. Atlas Orthogonists are licensed doctors of chiropractic who correct spinal misalignment using the atlas orthogonal percussion instrument. In addition to the standard study timeframe, Atlas Orthogonists require post-graduate training to specialize in this field.
Atlas orthogonal differs from other chiropractic techniques since it is gentle and painless. Unlike other chiropractic techniques, no physical manipulations such as twisting or cracking are used in this treatment technique. Take note of any changes your body experiences, and keep your doctor informed. It is also crucial to note that while other chiropractic techniques treat precise ailments, muscle aches, backaches, and neck pain, Atlas Orthogonal relieves your body of any issues due to compensation resulting from the spine misalignment from the top down.
Disc Decompression (Spinal Decompression)
Anyone who has experienced endless back pain or other spine-related conditions knows how disruptive it can be. You can easily lose sleep or fail to concentrate on vital matters because of your pain. That said, it is crucial to note that spinal decompression therapy can provide you with much-needed relief. Although this therapy has two aspects, i.e., surgical and non-surgical, we will focus on the latter.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is motorized traction that works by gently stretching the spine and changing its position. This process removes pressure from the spinal discs by creating negative pressure in the disc, resulting in herniated discs' retraction. Thus, your spinal nerves will no longer feel pressured, and your discs will receive sufficient oxygen, water, and nutrients to promote effective healing. Disc decompression has been used to treat back and neck pain, herniated discs, injured spinal nerve roots, and worn spinal joints.
As previously mentioned, chiropractic adjustments or manipulations commonly treat human vertebrae issues. Below are some of the techniques used:
Since there's so much skepticism surrounding chiropractic care, it is crucial to highlight certain key concerns, some of which we shall address below.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Yes. Chiropractic is a universally recognized, non-invasive therapy technique used to treat musculoskeletal ailments. Chiropractors are medically trained and legally licensed to practice chiropractic care on ailing patients. Despite skepticism by many, chiropractic treatments have proven to be effective and are steadily gaining popularity.
Do I need a referral from an MD to see a chiropractor?
No. Depending on your condition, you can seek a chiropractor's help as you would a regular doctor. After physically examining and testing you, they will advise you on the right course of treatment.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic treatments?
Yes. Most insurance plans cover chiropractic care. However, you should contact our office to confirm whether your insurance company has partnered with us.
Choose Natural Care Chiropractic
If you want to expand your care beyond traditional medicine and incorporate holistic treatments and healthcare, then chiropractic care is the right fit. No matter your ailment, your health is safe in the chiropractor's hands. What's even better is that you can involve your whole family, including your kids, in your new-found journey.
Upon entering the office at Natural Care Chiropractic, the receptionist will greet you with a smile and welcome you as a family member. If you are a new patient, information will need to be gathered to provide our staff with general information about yourself and your condition. Next, a consultation will be performed by Dr. Nicole Gopaul to discuss your health-related problems, concerns, as well as potential treatment options.
At Natural Care Chiropractic, patients will generally receive their first treatment after the appointment. Depending on the condition, routine chiropractic care can help ensure that your physical problems do not return once your body has fully healed. When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that many people suffer. The doctors will discuss healthful tips to enhance your life, such as changes to your diet to decrease inflammation and supplements to take that may restore deficiencies or help with detoxification. Additionally, an exercise or movement plan can be discussed to bring you to the next level of physical performance.
If you have questions or concerns regarding chiropractic treatment, please call us. For more information about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.lindenhurstchiropractic.com. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicole Gopaul of Natural Care Chiropractic in Lindenhurst, IL, call 847-265-0600.