Around 22 million Americans visit chiropractors every year. Around a third are seeking relief from back pain. Chiropractic care can help relieve pain and help you get back to your active lifestyle.
What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body's structures and functions. All chiropractors go through four years of study at a school that is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Before that, they must have at least two years of undergraduate study. Some chiropractors also engage in a two to three year long residency in order to train in specialized fields. Chiropractors in Florida are required to renew their licenses regularly and show that they pass examinations for your safety.
Chiropractic care can be helpful for a wide range of conditions that include lower back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and other types of musculoskeletal pain. Evidence suggests that chiropractic treatments can be effective for migraines, as well.
Most research on chiropractic has been focused on the treatment of lower back pain. In surveys, two out of three people who have been treated with chiropractic for back pain say that the treatments provide great benefit for them.
Chiropractic can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as massage, physical therapy, and medication pain management. Many people with chronic conditions find that they are able to rely less heavily on prescription pain medications when their pain is being managed with the help of chiropractic care.
How Are Chiropractic Treatments Performed?
Your chiropractor will start with a physical examination and an analysis of your medical history. You'll discuss your pain levels, triggers that cause pain, and any inciting events. You will go over the other treatments and medications that you are receiving to ensure that you are a good candidate for chiropractic treatments. Your chiropractor may use X-rays and other diagnostic tests to determine the best treatments for your pain.
Treatment most often involves manual adjustments of the joints. Most people are familiar with the toggle drop, a treatment that involves your chiropractor pressing on the spine in specific areas to align the vertebrae. You may also be treated using a lumbar roll, which is a twisting motion used to push the vertebrae back into proper alignment. Adjustments can also be performed on other joints as needed to provide pain relief. Specialized tools can also be used as part of treatment.
Many people experience a cracking or popping sensation during an adjustment. That is not the sensation of the joint itself moving; the sound or sensation is caused by gases in your synovial fluid rapidly moving out of the solution. While this sensation is common, its absence does not indicate that you were not properly adjusted.
Many people experience pain relief immediately after a chiropractic adjustment. Others may need several adjustments, sometimes paired with other treatments, before they start to experience relief of their symptoms. While most people do not experience any side effects, some may experience temporary headaches, feelings of tiredness or discomfort in the body part that was treated.
Conditions Associated with Chiropractic
Chiropractic is most closely associated with back pain. It has been shown to help with conditions that cause pain, stiffness and tension. Some conditions that can be helped with chiropractic care include:
- arthritis pain and stiffness
- other motor vehicle accident injuries
- sports injuries
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- general pain or stiffness
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At Gulf Coast Pain Institute, we believe that you should not have to live in pain. We bring together healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines so that you can get the customized care that you need. Call for an appointment today.