Chiropractic focuses on the manipulation of the spine and other joints to treat a variety of problems involving the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
The aim of the chiropractor is to restore, by manipulation of the vertebrae, the balance and well-being of the body. The chiropractor will, using his or her hands, locate any vertebrae (especially those in the spine) that do not move properly.
These vertebrae (which are called subluxations) can cause inflammation and pain in nerves, joints and muscles. The chiropractor will make any necessary adjustments in order to correct misalignments and thus restore the integrity of the nervous system. The key differences between osteopathy and chiropractic are that osteopaths tend to focus more on soft-tissue manipulation, and they also use fewer hard thrust movements.
At the initial consultation the chiropractor will take a full medical history and also ask about the level of exercise the client takes, whether or not the client is involved with sedentary work or activities such as lifting, carrying and bending. The chiropractor may then request that the client has some X-Rays taken.
After that the client will be asked to lie down on a massage table or sit in a special chair, which allows the therapist access to the back. Depending on the treatment required the client may be required to remove their outer clothing and put on a gown; or treatment may be carried out on the clothed body. The chiropractor will then start to make any necessary adjustments to the head, neck and spine.
These adjustments may be slightly painful, and the client may be aware of popping or cracking sounds as the vertebrae are freed up and realigned. The chiropractor may also offer nutritional and lifestyle advice, and may recommend hot or cold packs for the affected areas. A consultation will usually last from between forty to sixty minutes and, in most cases, a course of five to ten treatments will be necessary.
Chiropractic is especially good for lower back pain and problems with the head, neck, shoulders and spine including loss of mobility and muscle spasms. This therapy is often also used to treat ear problems, sinusitis, headaches and migraine.
Clients report that chiropractic provides relief from back pain and other associated problems and that, for the most part, the treatments are very relaxing and enjoyable.
Chiropractic should be avoided if you suffer from a slipped disc, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, osteoporosis, inflammations, infections, cancer, circulatory problems or a recent fracture. If in any doubt at all, contact your own GP to discuss your intention to undergo chiropractic treatment.
Also, make sure that you fully disclose your medical history to the chiropractor who will be treating you. You may feel a little stiff and sore for a day or so after the treatment, but should quickly begin to experience increased flexibility and pain reduction.
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