Chiropractors specialize in manipulating and organizing the spinal column, as well as other joints, of the body by hand. By analyzing and manipulating the position of the spine, chiropractors aim to resolve problems with the musculoskeletal system, including issues with the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Chiropractic adjustments, as treatments are normally called, involves manual pressure by the chiropractor on the back and neck, and less commonly your arms and legs. You may feel some discomfort or feel your spine “crack” as the vertebrae are moved.
If it is your first time with the chiropractor, he will do a general health assessment, asking about your symptoms, family medical history and your own previous injuries and pre-existing health conditions. He may also conduct some medical tests, such as MRIs or X-rays. You will typically wear a hospital gown during the examination and adjustment.
After the exam and adjustment, the chiropractor may recommend exercises or complementary treatments like massage.
The theory behind chiropractic medicine is that adjusting the spinal column and other joints strengthens the body’s nervous system, thus allowing the body’s bones, joints, connective tissue and muscles to work together more harmoniously and promoting healing. Chiropractors do not prescribe medicine.
Types of Chiropractors
The American Chiropractic Association sponsors diplomate programs, further optional specializations for chiropractors. These specialties include