Thinking of adding a chiropractor to your health care team? You’re not alone. Approximately 35 million Americans of all ages receive chiropractic treatment every year. However, your understanding of what chiropractic treatment entails may be incomplete. For example, some chiropractors focus solely on corrective techniques, including but not limited to spinal manipulation and adjustment, while others, like Total Health Systems, take a holistic approach to overall wellness that includes nutrition consultation, massage, physical therapy, and more. It is important to know what to expect from chiropractic treatment before signing up for the program.
Defining Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic physicians are primarily interested in how the body’s functioning relates to its structure. As the main support structure in the body, the spine typically receives a lot of attention from chiropractic doctors. However, while most people primarily associate the practice with chiropractic adjustment/spinal manipulation, it is by no means limited to these techniques.
The focus of chiropractics is on the nervous system and musculoskeletal system of the body, and the goal of chiropractics is to address disorders of these two systems in the interest of promoting better general health.
Answering Questions About Chiropractic Treatment
Some of the primary questions that many people ask before deciding whether or not to see a chiropractor include the following:
- What conditions does a doctor of chiropractic treat?
- Do chiropractic adjustments work?
- Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Research has shown that chiropractic treatment can be beneficial for disorders throughout the musculoskeletal system, including back pain and neck pain but also joint problems of the arms and legs, as well as neurological disorders such as headaches and migraines. Some doctors of chiropractic also treat conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and premenstrual syndrome, although the effectiveness of chiropractics at treating these conditions has yet to be conclusively demonstrated.
The treatment you receive from a chiropractor depends largely on your health history and the specific problems you are experiencing. Though there’s no way to predict how well it will work for you, over half of the patients who receive chiropractic treatment specifically for low back pain report symptom improvement as a result.
Safety is one of the primary concerns people have about chiropractors. Though some people report mild, temporary, ill effects after treatment, such as soreness, tiredness, or headaches, chiropractic care is regarded overall as one of the safest options available for neuromusculoskeletal or neurological treatment. In addition, it is noninvasive and drug free, meaning that you do not have to worry about the possible harmful effects of taking medications frequently used to treat musculoskeletal pain, such as opioids and anti-inflammatories. There have been rare reports of people suffering a stroke after receiving neck manipulation, but research suggests that the real cause is an underlying arterial condition, not the treatment, and these particular episodes occur no more frequently among chiropractic patients than in the general population.
Understanding What to Expect from Chiropractic Treatment
You will be expected to take an active role in your treatment. This means communicating clearly with your chiropractor about the problems you are experiencing, cooperating to develop a treatment plan, and being proactive about taking steps to improve overall wellness outside the clinic.
You probably won’t have a chiropractic adjustment during your first visit. Rather, that time will be spent gathering information. You can expect to answer questions about your history and symptoms, fill out paperwork, and possibly have an x-ray and/or diagnostic testing.
Your second visit may include an adjustment and/or therapeutic exercise. First, however, your chiropractor will probably review the results of any tests or x-rays that you have had done during your first visit, followed by a discussion of your treatment plan.
Choosing a Doctor of Chiropractic
As with all medical professionals, it is important to choose a chiropractor with a stellar reputation in the community and with whom you feel comfortable. Consider Total Health Systems if you’re looking for a chiropractor in Chesterfield, or any other Total Health Systems location. Our chiropractors put an emphasis on holistic wellness as well as taking a corrective approach to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. To learn more, contact us by using our convenient online form.