ChiropractorCosta Mesa, CA
A chiropractor focuses on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders, primarily through the manipulation and/or manual adjustment of the patient's spine. The goals of a chiropractor are to reduce any pain and discomfort being experienced by the patient and to improve their mobility and functionality. They also educate patients on how to prevent and manage their condition with exercise, therapy and ergonomics.
While chiropractic care focuses mainly on neuromuscular issues, it is not restricted to only these problems. The treatments used by a chiropractor are classified as complementary or alternative medicine. The practice is based on certain medical ideas:
What to expect when getting treatment from a chiropractor
Getting treatments from a chiropractor might require multiple sessions. The procedures are usually covered by most insurance providers.
During the initial visit, the chiropractor will evaluate the patient, discussing their symptoms and medical history with them. A physical exam will be performed, and based on the results, other diagnostic tests like X-rays may be done as well.
Treatments provided by a chiropractor
Chiropractic treatments can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Lower back pain
- Lower leg pain
- Repetitive strains
- Injuries caused by car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Joint pain caused by arthritis
The types of treatments typically used to address such problems include:
1. Chiropractic/spinal adjustment
During a spinal adjustment, the chiropractor uses a small instrument or their hands to apply a sudden, controlled force to a spinal joint. The procedure is performed to improve the patient's physical mobility and spinal motion.
Chiropractic adjustments are typically performed to fix issues like:
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
During a chiropractic adjustment, the patient will be placed in a specific position so the affected area can be treated. For most, it involves them lying down face down on a padded table. The doctor will then use their hands to apply a sudden force to the affected joint, moving it past its usual range of motion. The patient might hear a cracking or popping sound as the chiropractor manipulates their joints.
Research shows that chiropractic adjustments can be an effective way to treat back pain. The results that patients get are comparable to the results one would get from more conventional methods. Certain studies have also shown that spinal adjustments can effectively address other issues, like neck pain and headaches. Most patients begin to notice improvements after a few weeks of treatment.
2. Spinal decompression
This consists of using motorized traction to alleviate back pain. It gently stretches the spine, changing its position. This reduces the pressure on spinal discs, which serve as cushions between the bones in the spine. It also takes the pressure off other structures in the spine, like nerves. It promotes improved transportation of nutrients, oxygen and water to the discs, which allows them to heal.
Spinal decompression can be used to treat:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Worn-out spinal joints
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Damaged spinal nerve roots
The treatment is performed while the patient is fully clothed. The chiropractor fits them with a harness that goes around their trunk and another for their pelvis. The patient may be asked to lie face up or down on a table that is controlled by a computer.
The doctor customizes the treatment for each patient according to their needs. Each session lasts about 45 minutes or less, and patients might need anywhere from 20 to 30 treatments over approximately seven weeks. Spinal decompression is often combined with other treatments, like:
- Cold or heat therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical stimulation therapy
3. Physical therapy
Chiropractors also provide physical therapy for people dealing with muscle pain that refuses to go away, people recovering from injuries, and people who are only looking to rejuvenate their joints and muscles. The type of therapy used varies depending on each patient's unique circumstances.
Anyone who is dealing with a sports injury or has been in some type of accident can benefit from the physical therapy provided by a chiropractor. It can also be used to manage long-term pain and discomfort.
Physical therapy involves the use of mechanical and manual spinal manipulation techniques. It concentrates on keeping the patient's musculoskeletal system properly aligned. It is used to address issues like nerve and back pain.
4. Whiplash treatment
Whiplash is an injury commonly sustained by those in auto accidents. It can also be caused by hard hits during contact sports like football. Each case of whiplash is unique, so there is no general treatment.
The treatment that a chiropractor decides to use is aimed at any dysfunctions detected during the patient's evaluation. The procedures typically used to address whiplash include:
- Physical exercises
- Spinal manipulation
- Muscle stimulation or/and relaxation
- Ergonomic changes
The most commonly used treatment for whiplash is spinal manipulation. It consists of the chiropractor slowly moving the affected joint in the direction that its movement is restricted. It can also involve the use of a controlled, short thrust in the same direction.
During the procedure, the chiropractor will perform the movements many times, encouraging proper mobility. Finger pressure might be applied to specific areas around the affected muscles to alleviate the pain being caused by tight muscles.
Other techniques like the use of sensorimotor and stabilization exercises can be used to treat whiplash. These exercises involve basic movements that are taught to the patient in the office but can be easily performed at home. These exercises make it possible for patients to take control of their recovery. Performing them trains the nervous system to be more coordinated and improves the stability of the muscles in the neck. These exercises have been shown to be effective at reducing the trauma caused by whiplash.
Get chiropractic treatment
If you have any sort of pain that you think may need to be treated by a chiropractor, schedule an appointment with our chiropractic office today. You deserve quality, long-lasting pain relief solutions - we can provide them. Call today.
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