Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on assessing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with the neuromusculoskeletal system. A comprehensive evaluation that includes a combination of history taking, palpation, functional, sensory, motor and reflex testing, the Chiropractic Doctor will not only be able to find the source of the symptoms but will be able to locate any other disturbances or disruptions in the nervous system. The nervous system is what controls and regulates the entire body, including muscle, organ activity. Disruptions in this system will cause restrictions in the body’s normal and innate function which can manifest as pain, but not always. Instead, it can cause muscle imbalances which lead to decreases in strength, balance, coordination, and eventually joint degeneration before pain even manifests.
The most common method of treatment is the chiropractic adjustment. This procedure can be administered manually or with a tool. If done manually, the Chiropractor will place their hands on the joint, manipulate it so that it is at end range, and then administer a controlled but quick thrust, often timed with your breathing. The most common tool used to administer the adjustment is the activator. It operates similarly by contacting the area with the head of the activator and administering a quick thrust to the joint. A “cavitation” or a “popping” noise may or may not accompany the adjustment. Although the sound may be loud and scary to hear, it is simply the release of gaseous elements from a tight fluid filled joint and is not harmful in any way. A cavitation is not an indication of a successful adjustment, rather it is a possible benign side effect of the technique.
The goal of the adjustment is to correct the alignment, create movement, and improve the body’s function by optimizing joint health, vessel and nerve function, and communication with the brain. This will help not only reduce symptoms, but promote long term health by restoring proper body function.
Most Chiropractors combine their adjustments with other manual techniques or modalities. This can include, but isn’t limited to, soft tissue therapy, mobilizations, acupuncture, ice/heat therapy, taping, ultrasound and cold laser.