What conditions does a chiropractor treat?

A chiropractor also known as a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) care for patients of all ages with a variety of health conditions. They are well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back and neck pain as well as headaches by using their highly skilled manipulations and adjustments.

A chiropractor also cares for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, ligaments, and joints. Sometimes these painful conditions can involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. In addition, chiropractors will offer advice to patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modifications.

How do I select a Chiropractor?

One of the best ways to find a chiropractor is by getting a referral from a trusted friend, family member, colleague, or another healthcare provider.

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD (medical doctor)?

A referral is usually not needed to see a chiropractor, however, your health plan may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department or the insurance plan directly to find out if there are referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care! Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities especially sports. Common injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness, or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient.

Are chiropractors allowed to practice in hospitals or use medical outpatient facilities?

Chiropractors are increasingly being recognized to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities like x-rays, labs, etc. for their non-hospitalized patients. Hospital privileges were first granted to chiropractors in 1983.

Do insurance plans chiropractic care?

Yes, chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, worker’s compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others.

How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the Doctor of Chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor usually uses his or her hands or an instrument to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, to restore or enhance joint function. Often this helps resolve joint inflammation and reduce pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure in which the Chiropractor will adapt the procedure to meet the specific needs of the patient.

Why is there a “popping” sound when a joint is adjusted?

Manipulation or adjustment of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?

A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. The hands-on nature of manipulation is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor several times. Your chiropractor should tell the extent of the treatment plan recommend for you and how long you can expect it to last.

What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

A Doctor of Chiropractic is educated as a primary-contact healthcare provider, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for a Doctor of Chiropractic are among the most precise of any of the healthcare professions. The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired 4 years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and related lab work.

Requirements become even more demanding once accepted into Chiropractic college. A Doctor of Chiropractic is educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise nutrition rehabilitation and more. Chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation and adjusting techniques. Most of their time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures. Chiropractic College curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest non-drug and non-invasive forms of health care available for treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record. Many patients feel immediate relief after treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise.

A Doctor of Chiropractic is a well-trained professional who provides patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education prepares them to be able to identify patients who have special risk factors and to ensure those patients receive the most appropriate care even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.