Many musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, can be treated with chiropractic care. Here’s how.
How does chiropractic care work?
The main technique used by chiropractors is the spinal adjustment. This procedure aims to relieve pressure and stress in the muscles around the spine, increase the patient’s range of motion, and increase muscle strength. During the adjustment, the chiropractor will exert manual force to an affected area of the body, pushing it beyond its normal range of motion.
The cracking, or popping, sound that is often heard during an adjustment is considered normal and indicates release of pressure in the body, however, you can ask your doctor about options that may not induce this sound if it makes you uncomfortable.
Spinal adjustments are performed in a number of ways, with the specific method chosen by the chiropractor after he or she diagnoses the exact pain condition and location. Some of the different adjustment techniques include:
- Direct thrusts: Quick, high velocity movements to the affected area of the spine
- Articulatory technique: Low velocity movements that guide the joint through a full range of motion
- Indirect positional technique: A passive mode to release muscle stiffness and lengthen muscle tissue
- Functional technique: Gentle application of force to the joint to release restriction
- Muscle energy technique: A non-thrusting method of isometric movements in order to restore range of motion
- Myofascial release technique: Stretching and light pressure on areas of high tension
Chiropractic care can help chronic pain patients:
- Decrease their use of medication
- Recover from injuries more quickly
- See greater improvements in pain and activity tolerance
Studies have suggested that chiropractic care may be associated with up to a 75% reduction in cervical spine pain symptoms.
There are some risks of chiropractic care, including soreness at the impacted site. Greater risk factors, while rare, may include disc herniation, nerve compression that leads to pain or weakness in the legs, or in extreme cases, stroke.
Have you ever had a spinal adjustment? Did it help with your pain?