As chiropractic care gains popularity among patients, an increasing number of people want to learn more about it. Allow us to help you gain a better understanding of what kind of healthcare system chiropractic is and how it can benefit you.
What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a healthcare system that focuses on the proper alignment and function of the human body’s underlying structure, particularly the skeleton, and joints. Chiropractic doctors treat medical conditions under the premise that any pain a patient experiences results from problems in their musculoskeletal and nervous systems. This means that if you are suffering from back pain, neck pain, or headaches, you are most likely exhibiting the symptoms of a misalignment in your skeleton or inflammation in your muscles and joints, which disrupts the natural flow of your body.
There are over a hundred different techniques used in chiropractic, but there are just about ten that are most commonly used by chiropractors. To give you an idea of what the most common chiropractic techniques are, here is a quick overview:
1. Direct Thrust
This technique is what most people mean when they talk about spinal manipulation. It is the most well-known and widely-used chiropractic technique. This is the technique that typically causes that cracking sound many people are worried about, but is actually just the result of air released from between the joints.
This technique targets injured joints, with the goal of restoring your full range of motion in those joints. The goal is achieve through the careful application of force as the affected joints are moved through their normal range of motion.
3. Muscle Energy Technique
This chiropractic technique requires the patient’s participation. It targets stiff areas in your body that cause pain. The idea is for the patient to move specific parts of his body. While he does that, the chiropractor will apply counterpressure. This is done until the full range of motion of the affected area has been targeted.
4. Cervical Spine Manipulation
The cervical spine is the part of the spine where your neck is. Problems in this area can lead to upper back pain, discomfort in the upper arms and shoulders, headaches, and a reduced range of motion in the shoulders and neck. This technique is targeted towards eliminating the problem with the use of the same basic techniques used in direct thrust.
5. Functional Technique
This technique targets restricted joints. The purpose of the technique is to improve overall mobility by removing the restriction. In using this technique, the chiropractor gently moves the affected joint through its normal range of motion. When he detects a restriction, he will hold the joint at that point and apply gentle pressure until the restriction is released.
When you consult a chiropractor, it is best to ask about the technique he plans to use in your case. A deeper understanding of the chiropractic technique to be applied goes a long way towards easing any apprehension you may have regarding this alternative form of treatment.