Everybody knows that chiropractors specialize in the treatment of the spine. It’s the center of the body’s nervous system, and its importance can’t be overstated. Innumerable ailments and illnesses stem from imbalances in this area of the body. Instead of defaulting to drugs or surgery to correct certain ailments, chiropractors work to correct underlying spinal imbalances that cause these problems. The medical documentation in favor of chiropractic care is getting stronger every year, although many patients have yet to consider it seriously.
That said, people are very often unaware of that chiropractic care can help other areas of the body as well – namely joints. That means hips, ankles and feet are areas that can benefit from chiropractic treatment. These areas present some of the most common health problems out there, and people don’t often think of going to the chiropractor for relief.
Some of the common symptoms in these areas including pain, numbness, and limited range of motion. Most often, the assumption is made that that source of these symptoms are in the feet, ankles or hips themselves. Sometimes this is assumption is correct, and sometimes it isn’t. Symptoms in these areas can also be related to imbalances and misalignments in the spine.
So how is this determined? A Chiropractor will make a detailed assessment of the symptoms, and conduct a series of tests in order to affirm a diagnosis. If the patient has not yet been given a proper diagnosis by a medical doctor, imaging (including X-rays) may be conducted. It’s important to note that no reputable chiropractor will suggest that chiropractic treatment is a substitute for medical treatment – the two can work well together, but it’s always important to keep your medical doctor informed.
Once a proper assessment has been made, your chiropractor will discuss a treatment plan with you. If it’s determined that spinal adjustments could help alleviate your symptoms, the treatment can begin there and then. The adjustments will not hurt – this is a common concern amongst first-time chiropractic patients. Doctors of chiropractic have been through extensive training – usually 7 or 8 total years of post-secondary education – and have an extensive understanding of human anatomy. Provided you’re seeing a reputable practitioner with the requisite training and certification, you can rest easy.
It’s also very common for the chiropractor to make direct adjustments to the hips, feet, knees and ankles. It often comes as a surprise to people that chiropractor work directly on joints besides the spine, but this is often a key part of alleviating symptoms and correcting misalignments – in addition to spinal adjustments.
Whether or not you’ve been to a chiropractor before, you might have questions about how chiropractic care could potentially affect your hips, knees, ankles and feet. The most skilled and reliable practitioners should always be happy to answer your questions, whether or not you end up continuing treatment. That first consultation in particular should be all about answering your questions (and answering some questions about your treatment goals) in order to establish a mutual understanding of what chiropractic care could potentially offer you.