When you suffer from back pain and other musculoskeletal issues, your spine might be in dire need of adjustment. And who better to help you with this than a chiropractor? If you feel like this is something your health will benefit from, you need to find someone whose views and techniques align with your preferences and needs. Websites such as eChiroPractor.org provide a comprehensive directory of licensed professionals, so you will surely find someone in your area to get along with. However, before paying them a visit, it’s important to know what to expect. Here is everything that you need to know about chiropractic care if you are a first-timer.
About Chiropractic Care
The etymology of the word ‘chiropractic’ dates back to ancient Greek, and it literally translates as ‘hands-on care’. This type of treatment focuses on the ways in which the musculoskeletal system is correlated to one’s health. However, instead of resorting to surgery or prescribing medication like traditional doctors, chiropractors use the force of their hands.
Through targeted movements, they aim to restore mobility and alleviate pain or tension. What is more, this type of care sometimes includes an exercise plan and some light counseling. This varies from doctor to doctor, as some prefer to stick to the basics. And even though the medical community sometimes dismisses their qualification, chiropractors are well-trained.
First of all, they have to go to college for pre-med, much like doctors would. Then, they attend an accredited chiropractic university for either 4 or 5 years, where they get their diploma and the initials DC after the name, much like a doctor would earn their MD denomination. In order to be licensed to practice in a state, they must pass a rigorous national examination.
They are specialized in various fields, including anatomy, exercise therapy, bone and nervous system disorders, and nutrition. But according to Oklahoma Integrative Chiropractic’s Caleb Spreiter, D.C., the main focus is on spinal health. The main premise of the function is that our nervous system is in control of all the other bodily functions.
Therefore, a chiropractor will take care of more than just back or neck pain. He or she will help you deal with anything from radiating pain and numbness to tendonitis. Due to this, chiropractors mainly use a method known as adjustment to free some of the spinal nerve interference. These are done either manually or mechanically with a delicate instrument.
What to Expect from Your First Visit
If you haven’t been to a chiropractor before, knowing what to envisage can be tricky. Popular media images tend to illustrate the experience similarly to a massage. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you first attend an appointment, you will get a preliminary physical exam from the doctor.
Depending on your problem, laboratory tests and an X-ray might be involved as well. If your situation is not suitable for chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor will refer you to a physician that can help. However, if he or she can offer you the necessary therapy, you might start it during the same session.
No Pain, No Gain!
Spinal manipulation is not uncommon for first-time visits. At the end, you will schedule future appointments and outline a plan. If your condition is a bit more serious, the chiropractor will decide to alternate between various options. In addition, the more severe it is, the more sessions you will have to attend so that full recovery is achieved.
The manipulation and adjustment movements the chiropractor will perform are by no means painful, so you don’t have to worry about that. It is perfectly normal to hear the joins popping around for a bit, but you shouldn’t experience anything more than a minor discomfort in the case of ampler operations.
Still, expect the muscles in the area to be sore for a day or two after the intervention. Do not let this alarm you, as it happens in most cases. To alleviate the tightness and tension, take a warm bath and relax. This will help you unwind, and the tenderness will fade away eventually. Luckily, the more sessions you attend, the more accustomed you will get to the procedure.
Finally, keep in mind that a chiropractor’s principal aim is to prevent long-term complications. Therefore, be prepared to adopt a treatment plan that will extend to your everyday life as well. Besides the in-office therapy, you will have to move, stretch, and exercise thoroughly in your spare time as well.
Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors are more than just glorified massage therapists. They are thoroughly educated doctors whose main professional aim is to heal patients using a hands-on approach. Therefore, if your musculoskeletal system is in dire need of some therapy, you might want to consider scheduling an appointment right now.