When you think of chiropractic treatments, spinal manipulation and adjustment may be the first thing that comes to mind. Chiropractic therapies aren’t limited to spinal adjustments, though. A skilled and knowledgeable chiropractor may employ a number of different therapies to manage their patients’ care.
Common Chiropractic Therapies
A basic understanding of common chiropractic therapies can help you make informed treatment decisions and find the right care provider for your unique needs. While every practitioner will have their own approach to care, there are some therapy types that are commonly employed by most chiropractors.
- ManipulationTechniques –This is the kind of care most people imagine when they think of visiting a chiropractor. Manual joint manipulation, when a chiropractor uses their hands to manipulate specific areas, address tight joint and muscle issues. Low-force manipulation is often employed for small children and infants, elderly patients or those in acute and immediate pain. This technique involves both manual treatment and the use of instruments when necessary and can provide both increased mobility and a reduction in pain. Lower back and hip pain may be treated with flexion-distraction manipulation techniques, which requires a special hydraulic table to gently stretch muscles and joints. There are many different manipulation techniques in addition to these, and most chiropractors will use a variety of them to better treat a wider range of patients.
- HeatandColdChiropracticTherapies –From alternating heat and ice packs to full cryotherapy, many chiropractors integrate some variation of heat-and-cold therapy to treat existing pain. This can reduce inflammation and promote healing to different degrees, depending upon the particular method used and the condition being treated.
- Massage –Manipulation of the spine and other joints isn’t the only kind of hands-on treatment provided by a chiropractor. Some practitioners will offer massage therapy as a means of promoting good circulation and faster healing while relieving pain, reducing inflammation and lessening swelling. Soft-tissue massages are a separate treatment from spinal manipulation chiropractic therapies but can have very real benefits for patients.
- DietandExerciseCoaching –Chiropractors who take a whole-body approach to treatment and health may offer dietary management tips and advice about supplements that may prove beneficial. They may also offer instructions and personalized exercise plans for self-care treatment you can complete on your own to better address your symptoms.
Who Needs Chiropractic Therapies?
People suffering from chronic or acute pain, conditions affecting the spine and joints or those working to recover from injuries are common patients for chiropractors, though some treat a variety of conditions.
No two patients are alike, and the same is true for practitioners when it comes to chiropractic therapies. Every practice is unique, offering a different range of treatment options depending upon the personal philosophy of the chiropractic practice. If you’re in pain, an experienced chiropractor may be able to help you find relief through manipulation, massage and a variety of other treatment plans tailored to your individual needs.