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Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy

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What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

  • Chiropractors are best known for treating patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders and related clinical conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and headache, using a gentle thrust or adjustment to a specific vertebra.
  • Doctors of chiropractic therapy believe that as a result of either physical overuse or disuse, the spinal column can become stressed and strained. They believe that this may result in imbalances within our nervous system, muscles, and blood supply, which can lead to pain, dysfunction, ill health, and eventual disease.
  • In addition to spinal manipulation, other acceptable modes of chiropractic treatment may include exercise instruction, lifestyle modification, and nutritional counseling, as well as the use of therapeutic modalities such as trigger point massage, electric muscle stimulation, and ultrasound.

What Is the Background of Chiropractic Adjustment?

  • The first known chiropractic adjustment was performed by D.D. Palmer in 1895.
  • Today's chiropractic professional must have at least two years of undergraduate training and an additional 4 years or 4,200 hours of professional study at one of 17 accredited chiropractic colleges.
  • Since 1974, chiropractors have been licensed to practice in all 50 states.
  • More than 400 hospitals across the country include chiropractic care.

What Are the Indications for Chiropractic Care?

A chiropractor can be a resource for patients with conditions such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Myofascial pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Chest wall pain

What Are the Contraindications for Chiropractic Care?

  • Most reactions to spinal adjustments are minor and self-limited. They typically arise and disappear shortly after treatment. The most common benign reactions are a short-lived local discomfort at the area of treatment. Serious side effects are rare.
  • Spinal manipulation is not recommended in patients with certain arthritic conditions, fractures, dislocations, cancer, or infection at the area of treatment.
  • Older adults with osteoporosis (thinning of the bone) or vertebral artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries to the brain) should inform the doctor before treatment. More gentle forms of chiropractic treatment may be performed.
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