Many people are unaware that chiropractics is a useful treatment option for a number of different injuries and conditions. While visiting the chiropractor is not a replacement for seeing a physician and/or physical therapist, there are a number of reasons to seek out a qualified chiropractor if you’ve sustained certain types of injuries, or suffer from certain chronic conditions.
The theory behind chiropractics is that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure—especially the spine—will allow the body to heal itself without medication or surgery. Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments to correct the alignment and restore mobility to joints, which may have restricted movement due to a tissue injury. These interventions can ease the pain in muscles, joints, and connective tissue. Many injuries such as hamstring strain, whiplash, and herniated discs can cause pain in these parts of your body.
Here are 10 common injuries that can be treated (in conjunction with standard medical treatment) by a chiropractor.
Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower spine down through the thigh and into your foot, becomes enflamed. Pain starts in the low back or buttock and travels into one or both legs. This is one of the most common neurological problems that chiropractors treat.
2. Hamstring strain
A common sports injury, hamstring train can be treated by a chiropractor. Treatment can include adjustments to address tightness in the joints, muscle work to break up scar tissue, and stretches to increase flexibility. Chiropractors will also check to see if patients have muscular imbalances, which could lead to recurring hamstring injuries.
3. Low back strain
For low back strain, chiropractors can do adjustments to increase your range of motion and reduce pain. They can also take you through lower back exercises and core training to make your back muscles stronger and more supportive.
4. Neck pain
Neck pain can be caused by a cervical sprain, which is caused by a soft tissue tear in the neck. Neck pain can also be caused by whiplash (a sudden movement of the neck often caused by car accidents). A chiropractor can make adjustments, stimulate or relax muscles, and suggest exercises and ergonomic changes.
Affecting about 5-7 million people in the U.S., scoliosis is a lateral curvature of more than 10 degrees in the spine. A chiropractor will do a physical examination, postural analysis, and possibly take x-rays. Spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and other treatments may also come into play.
6. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel is a painful condition that affects the median nerve in the hand and wrist. Chiropractors can make adjustments to the wrist and stretch specific muscles during the course of treatment. Many people who suffer from Carpal Tunnel find strong relief by visiting a qualified chiropractor.
7. Rotator cuff injury
Rotator cuff injuries are seen in everyone from baseball and football players to painters and carpenters. After the patient sees a physician, chiropractic treatment may include stretching, strengthening, and mobilization.
Bursitis of the hips is caused by inflammation of the bursa, which causes pain in the surrounding areas. Chiropractic adjustments can help restore a full range of motion and biomechanics to the low back, feet, and hips.
9. Pregnancy-related low back pain
About half of all pregnant women experience low back and pelvic pain. Manipulation and adjustments of the pelvis can provide pain relief. The chiropractor can also suggest stretches to ease the pain.
10. Herniated disc
Studies have found that chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective way to manage disc problems. Many patients experience significant improvements of their lumbar disc herniation within a few months of their first adjustment.
Should you see a chiropractor?
These are just some of the many injuries and conditions that can be treated by an experienced chiropractor. When you sustain an injury, it’s important to see a physician first; however, chiropractic care can help relieve pain and restore movement. If you decide to visit a chiropractor for your injury or chronic condition, make sure to choose the most reputable and experienced practitioner in your area.
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