Are you looking for a holistic way to take the edge off of those painful joints? Chiropractic medicine may be for you, as long as you remember to listen to your body.
Unlike what you see on TV, most of what chiropractors do today is more gentle than cracking backs or popping necks into place. In fact, there are more than 150 techniques that chiropractors use to manually adjust the spine, joints and muscles with varying degrees of force.
While an athlete with lower back pain may benefit from a high-velocity spinal adjustment, you would receive care specific to your needs. A chiropractor may gently manipulate your soft tissue to stop muscle spasms and relieve tenderness. Or she may use active exercises or traction to slowly stretch your joints and increase your range of motion. Your visit may feel like a more hands-on version of physical therapy.
Chiropractors focus on the relationships between structure and function. They are different from an osteopath, who uses manual manipulations but also treats the entire body and may use medication or surgery.
The thinking is simple. If the structure of a joint is not right then it can’t work as it was designed. “The place where chiropractic really shines is in maximizing the function of an arthritic joint, our goal is to restore patients’ function so they can have the kind of life they want.”
What Medical Doctors Think
In the past, chiropractic got mixed reviews from physicians. However, in early 2017, The American College of Physicians released new guidelines. It now supports the use of nonpharmacologic therapies, such as chiropractic and acupuncture, as first-line treatments for low back pain, before using medication.
Several studies, including a 2017 review in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that spinal manipulation reduces lower back pain.
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