A chiropractic adjustment is a way to address chronic pain and mobility issues in the body. It’s important to identify how much pain after treatment is normal. When your spine is out of alignment, it can cause chronic pain and a wide variety of other symptoms. If the misalignment is in the upper part of your back, you may experience headaches and neck pain, and if it’s in the lower half of your spine, you may experience lower back and hip pain. Other symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. A chiropractic adjustment can address many of these issues. If you’ve never been to a chiropractor, you may be skeptical about the effectiveness, and you may also be worried about the pain that might follow. Are chiropractors safe? In general, yes, but the more you prepare and educate yourself, the better your experience is likely to be.
Concerns About Chiropractic Treatment
It’s natural to have concerns about any new form of treatment, and chiropractic care is no different. After your first visit, you may experience pain and soreness due to realignment and adjustments to your body. This pain is similar to the pain you feel when you do strength training exercises. In many cases, you may feel worse before you begin to feel better as your body heals. There are several things you can do to reduce the after effects of treatment. Because these adjustments release toxins into the body, you should drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Proper eating habits with nutritious foods can also help support your body as it heals. This new pain and soreness is normal and will go away as your body begins to heal. If you receive chiropractic adjustment regularly, you may notice you experience less pain and more relief with each treatment. While mild soreness is a common occurrence after a treatment, chiropractic treatments from a licensed professional don’t hurt and can sometimes provide instant relief.
What Is Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic treatment is a form of manual therapy performed by licensed health care professionals. The goal of chiropractic care is to help the body heal itself through quick and gentle hand manipulations. Health and nutritional counseling is often included in this type of care, and adjustments may range from gentle stretching and continued pressure on specific parts of the body to joint movements. Chiropractors address issues involving the musculoskeletal system, including the joints, tendons, muscles and nerves. Chiropractors are often used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Arthritis pain
- Cold symptoms
- Digestive issues
At your first visit, you’ll talk to the chiropractor, who will assess your condition and offer a plan of treatment. Because chiropractic treatments are used to reduce pain associated with specific medical conditions, your chiropractor may work alongside your other physicians for the best care. Your treatment may include manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, including massage, ultrasound or laser therapy, stretching and advice on exercises you can do at home.
How Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Differ From Physical Therapy?
Both chiropractors and physical therapists hold doctorate degrees and are highly trained in their field. They both also focus on noninvasive and drug-free methods of care. There are a few overlapping methods of treatment, including massage therapy and heat and cold therapy, but the biggest difference between the two is that chiropractors typically focus on spinal manipulation while a physical therapist relies mainly on a prescribed stretching and exercise program to restore a patient’s full range of motion.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Everyone?
Knowing when you should and shouldn’t see a chiropractor is important for both health and safety. Most individuals with chronic pain can safely see a chiropractor regularly without any detrimental effects, but there are specific conditions that place individuals in a high-risk category for a chiropractic adjustment. If you have any physical injury, including a slipped disc or a herniated disc, it’s best to seek the advice of your physician before scheduling a chiropractic visit. Individuals with arthritis or those with a bone fracture, physical abnormality or osteoporosis should take extra care. Osteoporosis is a disease where your bone mass changes. These changes can make the bones more susceptible to breaking. Like with all forms of medical treatment, serious complications can arise from chiropractic treatments, but these are extremely rare. Other individuals who should avoid chiropractic care unless specified by a physician include those with:
- Neck abnormalities
- Cancer of the spine
- An increased risk of stroke
If you have any questions about whether you should or shouldn’t seek treatment, you can also book an appointment with a chiropractor. During your initial consultation, the chiropractor will go over your medical history, along with any diagnostic imaging tests, to determine if chiropractic care can help and is appropriate.
Anecdotal Evidence Goes Both Ways
Each year, more than 35 million individuals within the United States seek treatment from a licensed chiropractor. Out of those, approximately 77% feel chiropractic adjustments provide relief to their conditions. When asked, these same individuals agreed that chiropractic care helped more with chronic pain than massage, exercise and over-the-counter medications. Some even agree that when combined with traditional medical care from their primary care physician, chiropractic adjustments provide greater relief than standard medical care alone. On the other hand, approximately 1 in 4 individuals claim that chiropractic care is dangerous. These fears are usually due to a lack of information, and most of these individuals have never been to a chiropractor.
Choosing Chiropractic Treatment
At Sun Health Center, we focus on noninvasive methods of treatment to help you feel the best that you can. If you or someone you love is experiencing chronic pain, we can help. Our outpatient treatment services are provided by a professional team of therapists, doctors and specialists to help you on the path to recovery. Contact us to book an appointment or get answers to your questions concerning treatment.