For someone who’s never been to a chiropractor, it’s common to want to learn more about chiropractic care and whether chiropractic adjustments are safe. At Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center, we’re here to provide a clearer understanding of what chiropractic treatment is, how it works, and what you can expect at and after an appointment.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
A chiropractor is a spine, nervous system, and muscle expert who is specifically trained to diagnose the underlying cause of pain and discomfort and provide treatment options to reduce pain, prevent the reoccurrence of injuries, and restore mobility. Unlike traditional medicine, chiropractic care does not involve the use of harmful medications or invasive surgeries.
The goal of chiropractic care is to relieve pain, improve symptoms, and improve a person’s physical functioning. A person should not accept living in chronic pain. Chiropractic treatment is generally considered effective, safe, and can help a person make great strides towards improving their quality of life.
When practiced by a licensed chiropractor, treatment has significantly less risk than more invasive options involving medication or surgery. In fact, chiropractic manipulation is widely considered one of the safest modalities, even for pregnant women and children.
However, as with all types of therapies, there can be contraindications. A patient with certain medical issues, such as severe osteoporosis, bone fractures, and some arthritic conditions, should possibly avoid chiropractic adjustments. But people who inform their chiropractor of existing health issues will find more gentle chiropractic treatments that can still be appropriate.
Types of Chiropractic Adjustments
There are several types of chiropractic techniques, and the goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to bring the joint back to its natural, normal fit. It can take more than one adjustment to achieve this.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
People turn to alternative medicine and spinal manipulation commonly for chronic low-back pain, subacute neck pain, or other types of chronic pain. This is often done when standard care, which usually consists of muscle relaxers, pain meds, and anti-inflammatory drugs, fails to help.
But there are many other benefits of chiropractic treatment that people are unaware of, such as:
- Improved flexibility
- Improved movement in the back, torso, shoulders, and neck
- Improved posture
- Relief from back and neck pain
- Reduction of musculoskeletal pain
- Relief from headaches
- Prevention of work-related joint and muscle injuries
- Correction of foot problems and gait
- Relief of pregnancy-related pain
Gentle, Safe, Effective Treatment
Chiropractic care typically consists of manual therapy, including soft tissue therapy, and joint manipulations and mobilizations.
A spinal adjustment, also referred to as spinal manipulation, is a small, quick thrust to the spine or other areas of the body that’s intended to improve range of motion, stimulate the neurology, and provide immediate pain relief. Mobilizations are more passive, slower stretches or movements that help relieve stiff joints. Soft tissue therapy involves a variety of techniques that focus on alleviating pain and discomfort without causing movement.
Chiropractors are also trained to recommend a course of action that may include injury prevention strategies, nutritional counseling, rehabilitation, physical therapy, laser or ultrasound treatments, and exercise.
What Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat?
Many people mistakenly believe that chiropractic care is only for people who are severely injured, when in fact, regular treatment offers a number of benefits for people of all ages, ranging from improved sleep, natural pain relief during pregnancy, and injury prevention in athletes.
While this isn’t an all-inclusive list of conditions a chiropractor treats, here are some of the most common:
- Sports injuries
- Menstrual pain
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
Medical Care Treatment Areas
Whether you’re suffering from chronic low-back pain, an old spinal cord injury, chronic neck pain, joint pain, or you’re struggling with a chronic condition such as inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis, chiropractic care helps restore function and reduces pain in the following areas:
- Lower back and pelvis
- Feet, ankles, knees, and hips
- Hands, wrists, elbows
- Neck and head
Chiropractic adjustments are a drug-free, safe alternative to more invasive treatments of conditions that involve the connection between the skeletal system, muscles, and nerves.
This natural approach to medical care does not involve surgeries or pain meds. Instead, a chiropractor will use a holistic approach to chronic pain relief.
Natural Pain Management
When people think of visiting a chiropractor, they often think of lying down on a table and hearing their bones crack and pop. While cracking and popping can happen, rest assured, spinal adjustments are painless and these noises indicate that the treatment is working. The popping and cracking sound you will hear when a chiropractor applies pressure to the spine is a release of air from between the vertebrae. This allows for improved range of motion in the spinal cord.
When a person gets adjusted, they will experience relief from neck and back pain and will see improvement in their spine alignment. If the dynamic part of their spine isn’t moving properly, it can affect their central nervous system as well.
While a chiropractor usually works on the spine they can also target the ankles, knees, hips, and neck. It will all depend on where the patient is feeling pain and what bones, joints, and muscles that pain is associated with.
Chiropractors commonly treat patients who are suffering from:
- Acute neck pain
- Hip pain
- Acute or chronic low-back pain
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Knee and ankle pain
- Whiplash injury
And more, without the use of opioid prescriptions or invasive surgery that can require a long recovery time.
What to Expect at a Chiropractic Appointment
To determine where to perform an adjustment, a chiropractor will go through the following steps:
- Discuss a patient’s medical history, including any past surgeries and medical conditions.
- A physical examination allows the chiropractor to identify a bone abnormality, poor posture, painful areas, and an underlying health condition that may be causing the patient’s pain.
- A chiropractor may order magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scan, or an x-ray. Some chiropractors will do this for every patient, while others will do so depending on the patient’s condition and medical history.
- They will analyze a patient’s range of motion by moving their joints and checking their reflexes.
- Once the chiropractor has identified the areas that require chiropractic manipulation, they’ll use a small handheld tool or their hands to place sudden and quick pressure on the affected areas. This force is meant to realign the chiropractic patient’s bones and push the joint through its full range of motion.
Medical Advice for Spinal Health
At the appointment, a chiropractic doctor may also discuss health concerns and recommend other treatments that will complement your chiropractic care, such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and other types of manipulative therapies. They may also discuss exercise with advice on safe forms of exercise a patient can perform to strengthen muscles and promote spinal health and natural pain reduction.
Is A Chiropractic Adjustment Effective?
How soon a patient will notice the benefits of physical manipulation will depend on individual factors, but as many as 60% of patients will feel relief after their first chiropractic therapy session. 30% of patients may require two to three adjustments to notice the benefits of chiropractic treatment.
Many patients will experience a reduction in headaches and joint stiffness and often claim they sleep better at night because their body feels more relaxed after an adjustment.
How Often Can a Patient Seek Chiropractic Care?
There’s no limit to the number of times a person can get adjusted. Each visit will take approximately twenty minutes. Once a patient’s immediate concerns have been addressed by receiving an adjustment one to two times a week for several weeks, a monthly maintenance appointment can be arranged or treatment can be scheduled as needed.
Side Effects of Chiropractic Adjustments
While spinal manipulation is considered low risk, there are some potential side effects to consider, such as:
- A temporary increase in joint pain
- Muscle soreness after an adjustment that often resolves in approximately twenty-four hours.
Noninvasive Treatment Tailored to Each Patient’s Needs
When you visit our facility, you will meet with one of our chiropractors to discuss your medical history and current health concerns. Each patient has unique needs, which is why we will create a treatment plan that will address your pain and health concerns, improve mobility, range of motion, and help you achieve your health goals.
Patients who are struggling with severe pain may require several weeks of treatment. A chiropractor will discuss the patient’s treatment plan and explain that effective treatment may require multiple sessions.
We also work with patients who may just need regular maintenance treatments to keep their bodies in optimal condition.
Schedule an Appointment with Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center Today
At Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center, we use a natural approach to health and wellness. Our chiropractors provide detailed attention and care to every patient and create individual treatment plans that are specifically tailored to each patient’s needs and wellness goals. At our facility, we treat patients of all ages. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionally licensed chiropractors and let us help you on your path to wellness and a pain-free life.