Chiropractors treat more than 35 million people in the US each year, and can help their patients with a variety of ailments ranging from high blood pressure and headaches to sciatica. Unlike traditional medicine, a chiropractor does not prescribe medication, and can offer a natural and holistic option for those seeking a complementary or alternative form of treatment. This article will provide information on the role of a chiropractor and the potential benefits they can offer you.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor uses their hands to treat and prevent many conditions which affect the musculoskeletal system. People commonly visit a chiropractor for help with lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, problems with their muscles, joints and bones as well as stiffness in their joints. Chiropractic treatment can also positively affect the nervous system.
The most common form of treatment that a chiropractor will perform is a chiropractic adjustment. This involves manipulation of the spinal joints through short, sudden and controlled force to correct misalignments and improve motion and overall physical bodily function. Such adjustments to the spine help to align the vertebrae and as they do, the pressure of gasses within the joints are released making a popping sound known as joint cavitation.
Are Adjustments Painful?
While the sound from a chiropractic adjustment may sound painful, there is little to no pain during the treatment. The gasses released from the joints include nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide and are similar to those heard when cracking your knuckles. Below are some of the main benefits of seeing a chiropractor.
Chiropractic treatment can be especially beneficial for easing back pain and provides an alternative for those seeking non-invasive remedies such as injections or surgery. Instead, treatment options may include spinal manipulation, yoga, acupuncture, tai chi and progessive muscle relaxation. Common causes of back pain for which patients seek treatment include bad posture, sciatica, disc herniation and arthritis.
By manipulating the head and neck, chiropractic adjustments are also effective in treating a number of different types of headaches which include migraine, cluster, sinus and tension headaches. Research carried out by Duke University has also found chiropractic as a viable treatment alternative for relieving tension and cervicogenic headaches without the negative side effects of conventional pain medication.
A chiropractor can help you identify the root cause of your headache by locating misalignments in your vertebrae which can then be treated by chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation.
Many sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring and narcolepsy can be effectively treated through chiropractic care. For example, you may experience sleep apnea due to improper spinal alignment or problems with your nerve function causing interference between your nerves and brain.
Through their knowledge of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor can identify the underlying causes of your sleep disorder and make corrections to areas of your body that are creating the problem. This may involve restoring stability in your spine, aligning muscles and ligaments and adjusting your posture to greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
As this article has highlighted, there are many benefits to visiting a chiropractor which range from easing pain and discomfort to helping you sleep better at night.