What Exactly Does a Chiropractor Do?
How Chiropractic Care Got Its Start
ACA credits Daniel David Palmer as the founder of chiropractic. While spinal manipulation had been practiced for centuries, Palmer defined and developed the science so that others could understand the practice and follow in his footsteps. Palmer’s study of physiology and anatomy as it relates to spinal manipulation provided the necessary framework for this new field to become established. He treated his first patient in 1895.
When Should You Seek Chiropractic Care
It is recommended that you seek this type of care for lower back pain, headaches, neck pain, sports injuries, arthritis and after a car accident. Be prepared to give a full medical history at the time of your arrival. In some cases, patients may be referred to another specialist if they believe it is necessary.
Injuries are one of the major reasons patients seek medical care. Specifically, car accidents cause whiplash and a lot of pain. It is important to remember that pain may not be immediately noticeable after a car accident. It can take days before a car accident victim starts feeling the pain.
Therapies and Treatments
Spine-Health reports that chiropractors have been recommending natural therapy options on a regular basis since 1912. They do not prescribe medicine and focus instead on spinal manipulation, massage, exercise and other methods to promote healing.
Heat and ice therapies are common ways used to treat back pain. Alternating between the two is believed to enhance blood flow which makes the injured tissue heal faster. This type of therapy typically includes numbing the area with an ice pack for 10 minutes or so to be followed by an application of heat with a hot water bottle or heating pad for the same amount of time.
Ultrasound provides yet another way to reduce pain. The way it works is that sound waves apply heat therapy to joints and soft tissue to increase blood flow. The impact of this type of therapy minimizes back pain.
Massage is another “Go To” treatment used to encourage the healing process. This proven practice improves circulation and decreases swelling.
Acting as a form of electro-magnetic therapy, Diathermy can be used to provide soothing heat to dense tissues. Patients agree that this treatment is pleasant and relaxes stiff muscles.
Hydrotherapy uses water pressure to stimulate the healing process. Much like the heat and ice therapies mentioned above, cold water followed by hot water is recommended to increase blood flow and healing.
Electrical muscle stimulation, infrared radiation, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS), traction, dietary changes, infrared radiation and special exercises round out the many types of treatments used in chiropractic care.
Considering the number of active licensed chiropractors in the U.S., there is little doubt that the general public has embraced the benefits of this type of care. ACA reports that there are over 70,000 of these healers in the country. Pain relief is a big business, and patients appreciate the idea of being treated without drugs or surgery.