Industry Overview: Chiropractic Care

by Suzanne Carroll


Today, chiropractors use an array of approaches to improve the health of their patients. Photo: Springtown Wellness Center – Jag Dhesi, D.C. (2017)

Millions of Americans have sought pain relief through chiropractic treatments. As an alternative form of care, chiropractic doesn’t face the same scrutiny as traditional medicine, which makes it more important for patients to educate themselves about the field. The old image of chiropractors as “spine-crackers” is outdated; today, practitioners use an array of techniques to heal patients. Below, we’ll define some chiropractic approaches, offer some tips for spinal health and answer some questions you may have before seeking treatment.

Treatment Methods

Activator method
This method uses a small, handheld instrument to apply a quick, low-force pulse to the affected area, thereby restoring or improving the range of motion. It was developed as an alternative to manual manipulation of the spine and extremities.

BEMER electromagnetic therapy
BEMER stands for Bio-Electro-Magnetic Energy Regulation. This approach requires the patient to lie on a mat that delivers an electric pulse. Some patients report improvements in circulation and energy levels.
Also known as: electromagnetic therapy, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, pulsed electromagnetic therapy, electromagnetic pulse therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, electromagnetic field therapy, BEMER therapy

Chiropractic adjustments
This is a form of manipulation in which the practitioner applies a high-force, low-amplitude thrust to areas of the spine that are causing dysfunction and pain.
Also known as: chiropractic adjustment, chiropractic neck adjustment, spine adjustment, chiropractic back adjustment, cervical spine adjustment, chiropractic spine

Chiropractic biophysics
This approach emphasizes optimal posture and spinal alignment to reduce not only pain but disease and organ dysfunction as well.

Erchonia lasers
These are soft, cool or cold lasers that use low power. The lasers stimulate cells and may result in anabolic effects that promote rapid reduction of pain and accelerate healing time.

Inversion therapy
This technique is a form of mechanical traction in which the patient hangs upside down at an angle. The goal is to reduce pressure on the nerves and discs of the spine while increasing the space between the vertebrae. It may offer temporary relief for back pain.
Also known as: decompression therapy

Logan Basic Technique
This is a light-force, full-spine adjustment method that aims to improve spinal and pelvic biomechanics. With its emphasis on low-force manipulation, it’s appropriate for patients of all ages.

Sciatica pain treatment
Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the foot and is the longest nerve in the human body. Adjustments aim to address underlying biomechanical issues that may contribute to the inflammation.
Also known as: sciatica pain relief, sciatica nerve pain, sciatic nerve pain relief, sciatic nerve treatment, sciatica relief, lower back pain treatment

Whiplash treatment
Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the head suddenly jolts backward and then forward, such as during a car accident. Practitioners may use chiropractic adjustments or muscle relaxation techniques to restore mobility.
Also known as: whiplash injury treatment, symptoms of whiplash, whiplash injury, whiplash symptoms, neck injury, neck injury symptoms, neck injury treatment

5 Tips to Promote Spinal Health

  1. Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is crucial for the functioning of the entire body. When you’re dehydrated, it causes your muscles and spine to become tight and makes it harder for your kidneys to clean toxic buildup out of your system. Avoid this by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  2. Get proper sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep (especially REM sleep), your body has a harder time healing itself, which can exacerbate any pains or injuries you have. Besides getting an adequate amount of sleep, make sure you have a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillow.
  3. Invest in quality footwear. When it comes to the human body, the structures below support the structures above, which is why it’s important to have a solid foundation in the form of a proper pair of shoes. By wearing the right footwear, you’ll help minimize stress on your spine and your body as a whole.
  4. Engage in daily movement. For your spine to stay healthy, it needs regular movement. Set aside time each day to stretch and move your body—this will go a long way toward preventing spinal stiffness and discomfort.
  5. Maximize workplace ergonomics. Many people spend their workdays sitting at a computer desk, which isn’t great for spinal health. To minimize consequent back issues, make sure your work station is ergonomically correct. Better yet, get a standing desk that allows you to alter your position throughout the day.

FAQs About Chiropractic Care 

Q: What exactly is chiropractic care?
A: Chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system and the effects they have on general health. It works from the premise that with a normal functioning spine and nervous system, your body can heal itself. Your spine is the lifeline of your nervous system and controls the movement, feeling, and function of your body.

Q: What happens at a chiropractic adjustment?
A: The chiropractor will apply a specific force in a precise direction to a joint that is locked or not moving correctly. The purpose of the manipulation is to eliminate interference with the nervous system and improve spinal function and health. It may also boost your body’s immune system.

Q: Is it safe to go to a chiropractor?
A: Yes, chiropractors have an excellent safety record. These treatments enable patients to avoid invasive procedures and prescription drugs. Practitioners use conservative and natural approaches to improve your health.

Q: What makes the sound you hear when you receive a chiropractic adjustment?
A: Adjustments don’t always produce sounds, but sometimes they create a popping noise caused by air rushing in to fill the vacuum made when the joints are slightly separated. This is completely harmless.

Q: Can children go to a chiropractor?
A: Chiropractors can adapt their procedures for children’s spines, and some chiropractors specialize in pediatric care. Any such treatments should be done with the knowledge of the child’s orthopedist or pediatrician.

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