Managing Pain Through Chiropractic Therapy

Many people have come to think of chiropractors as merely back doctors, but this profession also offers treatments to address a wide range of issues. Rather than treating symptoms only, chiropractic therapy addresses the underlying cause of pain to improve joint function, increase muscle balance and reduce a patient’s susceptibility to disease.

The primary treatment offered by most chiropractors involves spinal manipulation, or manual adjustments to help align the vertebrae to their normal, natural position. This may be accomplished with a low-force method known as spinal mobilization, or a high-velocity technique that is usually only used on the neck or lower back. A number of adjunctive therapies are also available. These include ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create a massaging effect, electrotherapy (such as TENS units, which send small electrical pulses to alter the transmission of pain signals along nerves), and hot and cold therapy.

Chiropractors also often provide guidance on lifestyle modifications that support spine health. This may involve ergonomic adjustments for work or home environments, recommending proper sleeping posture, and advice on how to incorporate movement into daily routines to reduce stress on the spine. Nutritional counseling, advising patients on the type and frequency of foods that best support spinal health, is another common option.

Research indicates that chiropractic care is safe and effective for most people, and it’s especially beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis of the spine. The joint’s soft tissues can become inflamed when the bones rub together, and this can be exacerbated by certain activities, such as lifting heavy objects or sitting or standing for long periods of time. Chiropractic treatments, such as spinal manipulation and massage, can alleviate these aches by improving the flexibility of the joints and reducing pressure on the nerves.

In addition, the manipulation of the spine can reduce pain from degenerative conditions, such as herniated discs and spondylolisthesis. It is also a widely accepted treatment for a type of low back pain called sciatica, which occurs when the large nerve extending from the lower spine down to the legs becomes compressed or pinched by the vertebrae.

While the majority of chiropractic practitioners focus on adjusting the spine, some treat the pelvis and knees as part of their regular practice. This approach helps to relieve many musculoskeletal problems, including shoulder pain, headaches and arm or leg pain caused by injuries to the muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Some chiropractors are trained in other modalities, such as osteopathy, which emphasizes the relationship between structure and function, and is particularly useful for treating arthritic joints. For example, a chiropractor trained in osteopathy might use massage to relax the muscles and ease stiffness, or prescribe gentle exercise to improve strength and mobility and encourage the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Some chiropractors also offer acupuncture, which involves placing needles in specific points on the body to promote blood flow and reduce pain. These therapies are typically only recommended for chronic or severe pain, and should be referred by a doctor when more conservative methods have been unsuccessful. If you need the help of a good chiropractor for your pain management therapist in Atlanta visit Midtown Family Wellness.

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