Things to Know About Going to a Chiropractor

When people get sick or injured, it is common to schedule an appointment with their family physician or walk into a local urgent care. But when it comes to back pain and injuries, neck pain and headaches, as well as general aches and pains, there may be a better alternative: visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors provide a wide range of treatment methods that are designed to relieve your pain and discomfort without the use of drugs or painful surgeries. Chiropractic care is a noninvasive approach to helping you heal naturally. Here are some things to know about your first visit to a chiropractor and the objective of chiropractic treatment

What Does Chiropractic Mean?

Chiropractic comes from the Greek words meaning “hands-on care.” Chiropractic care is a treatment method that places its primary focus on how the bones, muscles and joints affect your overall general health. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs, and they do not do surgery. Chiropractors use precise force, usually with their hands, to restore the movement in your joints. Chiropractic care may also include lifestyle counseling, exercise and physical therapy.

Chiropractor Education and Training

Before becoming a doctor of chiropractic care, chiropractors must first go to college and study premedical subjects that are similar to the coursework required by people studying to be medical doctors. They must attend an accredited college for chiropractic, generally for four to five years, and they undergo extensive studies. They typically study anatomy, the nervous system, bone disorders, exercise therapy, nutrition, manipulations and X-rays. A chiropractor must then pass a national exam in order to become licensed to practice in their state.

Chiropractors Treat Joints, Muscles and Muscle Attachments

Chiropractors can provide treatment for a wide range of diseases, conditions and illnesses. They typically treat people who have problems with joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. One of the most common reasons people go to a chiropractor is for back or neck pain, but chiropractors also treat a vast array of muscle and joint problems as well as pain. Research studies have shown that chiropractic care works best for people with back pain and injuries, headaches, neck pain, whiplash injuries and joint problems relating to the arms or legs.

What to Expect at Your First Visit to the Chiropractor

During your first visit, your chiropractor will ask about your concerns and do a physical exam during your visit. Depending on the problem, the chiropractor may order X-rays or laboratory tests, and your chiropractor may send you to a different doctor if the problem isn’t right for chiropractic treatment. If spinal manipulations will be beneficial for you, the chiropractor may provide treatment on your first visit. In some situations, it may be necessary to return for additional treatment, depending on your condition, so be sure to ask how many visits you should expect.

Chiropractic Manipulations

Chiropractors generally use their hands to do manipulations, but they also may use some equipment. During the manipulation, you may hear a popping sound, which is similar to the sound heard when cracking your knuckles. Following the manipulation, you may experience slight soreness for a day or two afterward. To relieve the discomfort, simply soak in a warm bath or take a warm shower and gently stretch to relax your muscles.

Manipulations Aren’t the Only Chiropractic Treatments

Chiropractors provide a wide range of treatments that may include relaxation training, heat and cold therapy, exercises and deep tissue work. Some chiropractors may use various devices to stimulate muscles. Chiropractors may also provide recommendations about your overall general health. For instance, you may get recommendations for weight loss, nutrition, diet and stress relief, as well as recommendations for other types of healthy lifestyle changes.

Musculoskeletal Specialists

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal specialists who have experience in providing care for a range of spine-related conditions, including lower back pain, neck pain and headaches. One of the primary differences between a chiropractor and other health care providers is the ability to find and correct a condition known as subluxation. Subluxation is a minor misalignment and restriction of motion in the joint space that connects two spinal bones. This type of restriction may lead to associated muscle tension and nerve irritation as well as a wide range of symptoms that may accompany it, including pain. A subluxation can cause anything from lower back aches to compromised lung functioning. If left untreated, it can result in the development of adhesions in joint spaces, which can also lead to premature osteoarthritis. A chiropractor can improve subluxated spinal bones by administering specific force, known as an adjustment, into the misaligned spinal bones and joint spaces in order to loosen the motion and improve alignment.

Objective of Chiropractic Treatment

The goal of chiropractic treatment is to reduce any pain that you may be going through in addition to improving your general health. Chiropractors are also excellent advocates for patient education. By educating their patients about proper maintenance of health, they can help you improve your life and lead you down the road to overall wellness. Although a chiropractor’s primary work revolves around the treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system, they are also experienced in diagnosing and treating issues relating to your nervous system.

Insurance Covered Chiropractic Treatments

It is important to keep in mind that depending on your problem, you may require several chiropractic treatments in order to experience full relief of your pain and discomfort. Although many insurance policies cover chiropractic treatments, it is recommended that you verify that your insurance company covers chiropractic care and the number of treatments that are covered in your policy. If you don’t have insurance, be sure to talk with your chiropractor about the cost you can anticipate for treatment services.

When searching for a chiropractor, be sure to only seek treatment from a licensed chiropractor. To find a local chiropractor, talk to family and friends for recommendations. Always be honest and upfront with your chiropractor about your pain, the severity of it and what may have initially caused the pain. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, it is important to inform your chiropractor so that they can do a full examination to determine if there are any injuries that aren’t currently causing you pain since symptoms may appear later.

To learn more about chiropractic care or to schedule a consolation, contact Cultivate Chiropractic.

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Contact

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Office

Hours

Monday
Morning
9:00 - 12:30
Afternoon
3:00 - 6:00
Wednesday
Morning
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Afternoon
3:00 - 6:00
Thursday
Morning
9:00 - 12:30
Afternoon
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