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Who Should Visit the Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a professional who has specialized in diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders through manual manipulation or adjustment of the spine.

The health care professional usually seeks to reduce or eliminate pain, improve his/her patient’s functionality as well as provide education on how a patient can account for his own health.

In medicine, chiropractic is classified as complementary or alternative medicine.

Goals and beliefs

When you visit a chiropractor, he/she will focus on the close relationship between the spine and nervous system while strongly believing that:

The spine’s structural and biomechanical derangement can have serious effects on the nervous system. Chiropractic treatment can re-establish the spine’s structural integrity, reduce pressure on neurological tissues and improve your overall health.
Who should visit a chiropractor?

The treatment method should be sought by patients who suffer from one or more of the following conditions:

a. Lower back pain

b. Arthritic pain

c. Neck pain

d. Car accident injuries

e. Repetitive strains

f. Sport injuries

g. Persistent headaches

Although a chiropractor primarily focuses on the treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders, his/ her skills and expertise isn’t limited to complications with the musculoskeletal system and nervous system only.

Chiropractic examination

When you visit a chiropractic, the following main activities will take place; consultation, review of case history and physical examination.

1. Consultation

You meet the health care professional and provide a brief synopsis of your condition e.g. frequency and duration of symptoms, what worsens the pain, description of symptoms, areas of pain, among others.

2. Case history

The chiropractor asks questions to establish your family history, psychosocial history, dietary habits, occupational history, et cetera.

3. Physical examination

The professional may use various methods to establish which spinal segments require chiropractic treatment, e.g. motion and static palpation techniques to determine spinal segments which are fixed or hypo mobile.


When you visit the chiropractor, he/she will classify your condition as; potentially serious, a nerve problem or non-specific.

Potentially serious: this diagnosis is made when there’s a tumor, joint infection, fracture, pacemaker problems, a major neurological condition, artificial joint implant complications, open wound or prolonged bleeding.

Nerve problem: if the root of the nerve is compressed or pinched, causing radiculopathy. It’s important to note that nerve root pinching is caused by a lumbar herniated disc, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.

Non-specific: when pain is experienced in the lumbar spine.

Upon discovery of a serious medical condition, the chiropractor will refer you to a surgeon or the right medical specialist.

Chiropractic Treatment/ Adjustment

Treatment usually involves chiropractic manipulation, spinal manipulation or manual manipulation.

It entails manipulation of vertebrae that have malfunctioned or have abnormal movement. When a subluxation is reduced, the range of motion increases, irritability of nerves is reduced and overall functioning improves.

What Does Chiropractic Adjustment Involve?

Manipulation essentially involves one or more of the following actions:

a. Application of a short lever, high-velocity arm thrust to the affected vertebra.

b. Joint cavitation/ release of pressure in the joints caused by oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen release.

Possible Side Effects

The most common reaction of chiropractic treatment is soreness or aching in the muscles or spinal joints. They occur a few hours after the procedure but rarely last for longer than twenty-four hours.

Chiropractic Therapy

The following are physiological chiropractic techniques that are usually applied by most chiropractors:

1. Heat and cold

2. Patient education

3. Exercise

4. Pelvic stabilization

5. Massage

6. Ergonomics

7. Dietary management

8. Cold laser therapy

9. Ultrasound

10. Infrared radiation

11. Diathermy

12. Traction

13. Hydrotherapy

14. Transcutaneous-electrical stimulation of nerves

15. Electrical muscle stimulation

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