What is Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a health care profession which focuses on health and wellbeing. Gentle techniques are used to manually adjust the bones in the body to enable correct and optimal functioning. Chiropractic is a safe form of treatment and can be used for many conditions including back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain plus much more.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors care for patients of all ages, dealing with a variety of health conditions. They are most well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches amongst others. They also provide care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system as well as injuries and disorders involving the muscles, ligaments and joints.
These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction in an area of the body which is not in the region of the injury. Chiropractic care can also be beneficial to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. Chiropractors can also give out advice on a patients diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the skills developed during years of intensive chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician will usually use their hands or an instrument to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This will often help to resolve joint inflammation and reduce the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort and the chiropractor will adapt the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately after receiving treatment.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. However despite chiropractic having an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. That being said, the risks associated with chiropractic are very small.
Many patients will feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild discomfort in the form of mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do when first undertaking most forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomforts such as these typically fade within 24 hours after undergoing spinal manipulation.
Chiropractors are well trained professionals who provide safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education and training has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if the appropriate care requires referral to a medical specialist.
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor. Initially a treatment plan would include 3-4 appointments regularly to track progress and then after a review a maintenance plan can then be adhered to which only requires treatment every so often. This course of treatment also involves the patient practising exercises and sometimes stretches at home which work alongside the chiropractic treatment. Your chiropractor should tell you the extent of recommended treatment including the expected time frame for completion on the first visit so that the patient is aware of what is required of them.
Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from a GP?
A referral is usually not needed to see a chiropractor, however your health plan may have specific requirements regarding referrals. To find out if there are any referral requirements you may want to contact your employer’s human resources department or the insurance plan directly. Most plans allow you to call and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor.
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