While many people seek chiropractic treatment to relieve pain from back and neck injuries, spinal manipulation is also effective for a wide range of other health problems. Chiropractors are trained to assess a patient’s needs, prescribe treatments and provide education that will enhance their overall well-being.

Chiropractic is based on the belief that the body possesses innate self-healing abilities and optimal health can be achieved by ensuring proper alignment of the spine and nervous system, which allows for normal flow of nerve impulses. A chiropractor will gently manipulate the spine, through adjustments, to restore the natural position and motion of each segment, which is essential for nerve function and movement.

The most common chiropractic treatment is manual manipulation of the joints, using a controlled force to improve the quality and range of motion in a joint. This may include mobilization, distraction and manipulation of soft tissues, traction and active exercises. Chiropractors are also skilled in applying adjunctive therapies, including therapeutic massage, electric stimulation and low-level laser or light therapy.

Chiropractors are particularly good at treating sports-related injuries and have a high success rate with improving athletic performance. A 2019 study found that patients who saw a chiropractor for neck or back pain were able to play their sport at a higher level than those who did not visit a chiropractor. The study concluded that this improvement was likely due to decreased tissue restriction, reduced pain and improved nerve communication in the muscles and ligaments.

In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors can offer advice on lifestyle and diet. They can suggest exercise routines, nutritional guidance and techniques to relieve stress. These measures, when combined with spinal manipulation, can lead to long-lasting relief from back and neck injuries and other health issues.

Although spinal manipulation has a good safety record, it is not without risks. There have been a few cases where manipulation of the neck has caused herniated disks or strokes, but these are very rare. A medical doctor should always be consulted prior to receiving chiropractic care, especially for patients with herniated discs or other medical conditions.

For patients who are taking blood-thinning medications, spinal manipulation should be avoided. People with osteoporosis or inflammatory arthritis should also avoid this treatment. Chiropractors are able to screen patients to determine whether they should receive this type of treatment.

A spinal adjustment can be uncomfortable for some patients, and there is a risk of mild injury or soreness in the immediate aftermath. However, these feelings typically fade within 24 hours. Some patients may require multiple visits to a chiropractor to see lasting results, but this is not unusual and is to be expected. Most individuals seeking chiropractic care do so because they want to live a healthier lifestyle and are interested in eliminating their back or neck problems for good. For more information about chiropractic care and how to get started, contact the team at Atlanta family chiropractor today. We specialize in providing rehabilitation for patients with chronic neck and back pain, as well as a wide range of other injuries and illnesses.