Full Body Chiropractic Adjustment
Most adults consider chiropractic adjustments to be a necessity only for those with back pain. What many people fail to realize, however, is that chiropractic adjustments can offer patients a range of benefits. These treatments are helpful following injuries and in treating chronic pain, but can also positively impact other aspects of life. Read on to learn about the various benefits of chiropractic adjustments and why you should make it a regular aspect of your life. In this guide, we'll discuss the benefits of a full-body chiropractic adjustment and what to expect from it.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a therapeutic treatment where a licensed chiropractor uses their hands or special instruments to manipulate joints in your body. This treatment is also called spinal manipulation or joint manipulation. A chiropractic adjustment can help reduce pain and correct your body's alignment and how your body functions physically. Chiropractic adjustments offer treatment that complements the traditional medical care you receive.
Chiropractors treat aches, pains, creaks, and strains. If you've got a problem that involves your musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor can offer alternative methods of treatment that don't involve prescribing medicine.
Treatment that a chiropractor may offer includes:
Adjustments: To gently realign joints to decrease pain and increase range of motion.
Soft-tissue therapy: To relax tight muscles, relieve spasms and release tension in the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle (fascia).
Exercises and stretches: To restore and maintain joint stability and mobility.
Joint bracing/taping (Kinesio taping): To support sprained joints or muscles as they heal.
Referrals to integrative medicine experts: For guidance on diet and nutrition to reduce inflammation and/or promote healthy eating to manage weight.
Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits
If you're like many people, you may only visit the chiropractor when you are in pain or have suffered an injury. However, getting an adjustment on a regular basis has so many benefits. Also, the goal is to prevent the pain from getting worse. So, here are the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment that you might not have been aware of.
Improves Joint Mobility
When you get an adjustment, your spine is being adjusted by sudden force, either from a Chiropractors hands or a small instrument. This spinal manipulation is intended to help adjust the spine to its proper alignment. Therefore, when the spine is misaligned, your joints can't get the proper movement. By getting adjusted regularly, you can improve your joint mobility to help you stay active and healthy.
Getting a Chiropractic Adjustment can help improve flexibility because when the spine is adjusted, the muscles align accordingly. As a result, an adjustment has been shown to help improve joint mobility. Other important factors that we recommend aside from an adjustment are having a proper diet, getting plenty of exercises, and getting a good night's rest.
Strengthens Immune System
When there is pain in your body, it begins to affect every part of your life. Whether it is mental stress or physical pain, also, stress can impact your immune system, which can be harbored in your spine. It's very common to have stress-related back pain. However, taking preventative measures to boost your immune system is very important for your overall health.
When you boost your immune system by reducing your stress levels - it can work wonders. Also, as with joint mobility - living a healthy, active lifestyle can offer great support. We recommend getting an adjustment to help keep you well balanced and healthy both mentally and physically.
A lesser-known fact is that a chiropractic alignment can help improve your circulation. Adjustments can treat joint restriction and release pressure in the spine. This can help you by restoring your body's circulation. When blood flow is restricted, you might experience some difficulties, including headaches, dizziness, and other issues.
When you go in for an adjustment, you might start to notice pain in certain areas of your body becoming less and less. Also, other issues like lack of blood circulation start to improve. One important thing to keep in mind is that this is a process. If you don't see results after your first visit, don't worry. It took time for your body to start to develop issues, and it might take some time for your body to begin to heal.
Chiropractic Adjustments Risks and Side Effects
Chiropractors have licensed healthcare practitioners who spend three to five years training for their profession. Moreover, chiropractic care is one of the safest therapies one can use in treating back and neck pain, headaches, joint pain, or any other conditions.
When performing a chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor typically follows these steps:
They will first discuss the patient's health history (medical conditions and past surgeries included)
Will physically examine the spine by analyzing posture
Order an X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography scan (CT)
Check reflexes and explore the range of motion
However, as there is no therapy completely free of potential side effects, it may be possible for some adverse effects to occur once in a while.
Chiropractic adjustment side effects
While chiropractic care is considered low risk, some potential side effects may appear. The most common side effects include:
Temporary increase in joint pain
Muscle soreness after a chiropractic adjustment (resolved in about 24 hours)
Most patients experience relief immediately following a chiropractic adjustment, but some can still feel mild aches or soreness. Similar to muscle soreness after exercise, it typically occurs within the first few hours after treatment. It is recommended to use an ice pack to reduce the symptoms.
If you want help with your neck pain, neck manipulation is known to be a safe procedure. However, some patients may experience side effects such as headache, fatigue, or continuing pain.
In rare cases, chiropractic adjustments can cause:
Stroke due to neck manipulation
Pinched nerves due to compression of nerves in the lower spinal column
Herniated discs in your spine or worsening of an existing disk herniation
All side effects are extremely rare and are more likely to occur if you seek medical care from an unlicensed practitioner. Reports show that a stroke associated with neck adjustments is extremely rare, about 1 case in 5.85 million chiropractic adjustments. You are more likely to suffer such an injury from everyday activity than chiropractic manipulation.
Separately, under no circumstance should you seek chiropractic adjustment if you suffer from:
Cancer in your spine
An increased risk of stroke
A known bone abnormality in the upper neck
Numbness or loss of strength in your leg or arm
What to Expect from a Chiropractic Adjustment Appointment
As a new patient in a chiropractic adjustment clinic, there are certain questions before the first adjustment. A lot of people are anxious before visiting the doctor because they connect chiropractic to the painful, cracking old-school technique. Some clinics offer the old-fashion way. However, they also have a variety of techniques for patients. Here are some of the things that a first-time patient can expect on their first chiropractic appointment.
Upon arrival, most likely, there is a need to fill out the required paperwork for documentation in the clinic. Patients are advised to bring identification cards, insurance information, and any medical information documents or information. Most clinics have a few questions; here are the frequently asked questions that a patient should take note of:
Family and personal medical history
Past operations or surgeries
Any prescription or over-the-counter medications
A brief description of the present condition
Any major illnesses
Sleeping habits, daily activities, work routine, stress level, and home life
Steps are taken to manage the condition
Herbal remedies and other supplements
Exercise and diet routine
History and Symptoms
After answering and filling up all the paperwork, patients proceed to the treatment room, where a chiropractor is waiting. Usually, the chiropractor will discuss the medical history and current ailment of the patient. In this stage, the patients should voice out their underlying concerns and honestly answer the chiropractor.
Questions about the purpose of seeking help, the time frame when the pain started, and any injuries that caused the pain are usually asked before starting the actual treatment.
Before the chiropractor starts putting any strength into the affected areas, a thorough chiropractic exam takes place. The exam involves pulse tests, respiration tests, blood pressure tests, and reflex tests. They also do neurological and orthopedic tests. It helps in assessing the range of muscle tone, muscle strength, motion, and neurological integrity.
Usually, there are additional tests conducted by a chiropractor to determine the affected area. The test may include posture analysis, chiropractic manipulation, or manner of the area affected.
After seeing the results of the history and chiropractic exam, diagnostic studies take place to aid in identifying any structural abnormalities and in revealing pathologies to have an accurate diagnosis of the condition.
Though there are cases that don't necessarily need a chiropractic exam, in some cases, the chiropractor requires the exam to provide more information about the patient's treatment program.
Here are the common diagnostic studies during chiropractic exams:
Other laboratory tests
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan
It is not uncommon for the chiropractor to recommend the patient have multiple sessions. If the patient has chronic pain, bears a lot of issues at once, or has a high level of discomfort, they will mostly need to undergo several treatments. A treatment session can be a regular or weekly session. Some are required to have a monthly meeting.
Treatments depend on the ongoing care needed by the patient. Most of the time, the chiropractor will consider the patient's overall health, goals, and current physical condition to create a proper treatment plan.
Every first-timer can have anxiety while taking their first appointment. The steps above are most likely the common expectation in a first chiropractic appointment. Either way, the result will be the best for the patient.
Choosing a Chiropractor
Finding the right chiropractor for your needs starts with research. There may be a dozen chiropractic offices within a 10-mile radius of your home or office, but you should take a closer look at some important details before you begin chiropractic care.
Education and Licensing
While it's true your chiropractor will not have a medical degree; they should have a degree from a chiropractic college and a license to practice in your state. Do not just assume these things are in hand: do your homework and check the provider's credentials.
Once chiropractic student completes their degree, they must achieve a passing score on a four-part test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners to be licensed. Every state has this requirement, and a chiropractor is only licensed in one state.
Beyond passing the board exams to earn a license to practice, chiropractors also take a state-level exam, which covers that state's scope of practice limitations, and submit to a criminal background check.
If you need a specialty within chiropractic medicine, you should also consider a provider who has earned additional certifications in particular practice areas. For example, chiropractors can earn post-doctorate certifications in areas such as neurology and radiology.
Some are also specialized in acupuncture, and you will even find some chiropractors with additional training for veterinary chiropractic! The provider's education and other credentials should be easy to find on their website and if you cannot locate the information, ask them directly before choosing that office.
Reviews and Recommendations
Do not just take one person's word for it when it comes to a chiropractor. Take the time to read multiple reviews and ask around. There are plenty of ways to find reviews about any doctor these days, including chiropractors. Google reviews alone should have plenty of material to get you started, and you can also check out Yelp or sites such as Healthgrade.com.
If you see 50 positive reviews and one negative, this could be an anomaly. But a mixed bag might tell you it's time to keep looking!
Treatment Costs and Insurance
The cost of a provider's treatment will be a major factor in your decision. While we would never suggest when it comes to spending on your health that you should "go for the best price" (sometimes a low price means the cheap quality of care), you also do not want to go with a chiropractic provider who is grossly overcharging for services.
First things first on pricing: let's talk about insurance. Do not assume the provider can answer these questions or do this work for you. It is your responsibility to look at your own health insurance plan and discuss whether your plan covers any level of chiropractic care with your insurance provider.
The good news is that many major health insurance providers offer coverage for chiropractic care. But there is also some "fine print" you need to consider, including these possibilities:
Your health insurance provider may require that you have a physician referral to a chiropractor as a stipulation in covering such services.
Your health insurance provider may limit the number of chiropractor visits they cover in a year (or possibly per month).
Your health insurance provider may cover chiropractic care for a specific period of time but not for a long-term or ongoing period of "maintenance."
Your chiropractor may not file directly with your insurance; rather, they may provide billing statements that you can submit directly to the health insurance company for reimbursement.
Your health insurance provider may require that you visit certain chiropractors within their network.
Your health insurance provider may not apply your out-of-pocket expenses at a chiropractor toward your deductible.
Costs for chiropractic care will vary based on everything from your specific treatment needs to your location.
There are also so many factors involved in cost that vary from patient to patient, including equipment and techniques used to the way a patient responds to treatment. Ask the chiropractor's office for detailed pricing information ahead of time, and be sure to find out about any penalties for canceled or missed appointments.
Scheduling your first visit with functional medicine can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know what to expect. Plus, being underprepared can negatively affect your experience. Use the above guide to start your chiropractic care journey with confidence. If you're ready to get started with holistic medicine, schedule an appointment with Natural Care Chiropractic. Fill out our appointment form, and we'll be in touch!