What Do Chiropractors Do?
First and foremost, chiropractors evaluate an individual. They
seek to diagnose any possible problems and, of course, seek out causes for the problem that brought the patient in.
This evaluation begins with a thorough health history for the patient and then continues with a complete physical
evaluation, possibly including x-rays for a more complete picture of any abnormalities. Then the chiropractor
continues based on the information gathered. Assuming that this step has been completed and it has been ascertained
that the patient will benefit from chiropractic care then the real work begins.
Chiropractors crack backs. This is not all there is to it, but it
is a good starting point. Chiropractors actually perform spinal manipulation on patients. This manipulation seeks
to restore the proper alignment of the spine and, with it, the patient’s health. By health, this primarily means an
improvement in the condition that caused the patient to seek treatment in the first place although this act of
spinal manipulation can be used as a preventative measure and a way to improve overall health.
It is good to mention now that if a chiropractor does not feel
that chiropractic treatment is the appropriate method of treatment then the chiropractor will refer the patient to
an expert in another, more appropriate field. Chiropractic care can be helpful in many instances but not
necessarily all. When chiropractic care is not the method of choice then the patient will be referred to another
specialist. Chiropractic care is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment
If chiropractic care is the appropriate method of treatment then
the chiropractor uses techniques of spinal manipulation. The process of restoring proper spinal alignment may seem
rather simple and even a bit simplistic, but the effects are far reaching.
The process of spinal realignment is sought out through
adjustments. During an adjustment, a chiropractor applies sufficient pressure to joints to give them back their
mobility and to give them a chance to properly heal. This application of pressure is the common method of affecting
changes in spinal alignment.
What chiropractors do is try to seek out the root cause of the
symptoms that a patient experiencing. They do not content themselves with the simplest method of pain management,
such as medication, although other avenues including medication may be used as adjuncts to chiropractic treatment.
Instead, they seek the problem at its source so that the weed may be pulled out at the root and balance may be
restored. The restoration of balance is the key. Medication may be used to help manage symptoms, but it is viewed
as a temporary measure. The end goal is to correct the problem so that the patient may function without medicinal
aid. Every case is different so this may not always be possible or advisable.
The chiropractor does not just look for the source of the
immediate problems, however. They will also make an appraisal of the spine as a whole to discover any and all
problems that could benefit from chiropractic care. Today’s spinal misalignment could lead to tomorrow’s health
issues. By catching them early, these problems of tomorrow have a chance to be corrected before they become fully
realized. Pain may be averted and treatment is often simpler in all fields of medicine when problems are caught
Ideally, the action of spinal manipulation will serve on an
immediate level to restore mobility to joints. When they have reached a state of restricted range of motion, joints
may produce discomfort. Restoring the range of motion and releasing the tension that builds up from pain and disuse
can provide relief. On a larger level, this process of spinal manipulation will also hopefully allow the damage to
heal even as pain is lessened and mobility is restored.
This damage or pain may be the result of a tissue injury. This
tissue injury may have been caused by a single event, an acute trauma, or it may be the result of repetitive
actions that have stressed the body. This precipitating situation may have included a person remaining in a
stationary position with poor posture for extended periods of time or some form of awkward repetitive hand
movements that were also paired with poor posture.
The result of such an injury is pain and inflammation along with
an often decreased range of motion in the affected joints. The purpose of chiropractic care is returning these
joints to their natural state of functioning, restoring range of motion, decreasing pain, and permitting the
affected tissues to heal.