The research about chiropractic care is growing. According to theAnnals of Internal Medicine, recent studies show that spinal manipulative therapy performed by a chiropractor, along with exercise, relieve neck pain more effectively than medication.
Furthermore, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that an integrated approach to health care -- including chiropractic care -- results in a 51.8 percent reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43 percent fewer hospital admissions.
You should consider seeing a chiropractor if you experience frequent pain in your back, neck or joints, as well as headaches. This is especially so if intense soreness follows accidents, household chores or prolonged periods of poor posture.
Back and neck pain
Chiropractors are best known for safely and effectively treating acute back and neck pain, as well as headaches. Whereas a medical doctor might prescribe pain medicine, muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs, and an orthopedic doctor might suggest surgery, a chiropractor will treat your back problems by hand, through manipulation of the spine.
Chiropractors bring the musculoskeletal structure into proper alignment. Chiropractors change the position of your body and apply pressure to particular points along the spine that are not properly aligned. This results in a popping noise similar to the one created when you crack your knuckles. The noise is created by a change in pressure in your joints as gas bubbles are released.
By adjusting the spine with their hands at particular pressure points, chiropractors unblock nerve energy and allow it to flow better down your spin and throughout your entire body. Repeated visits can, over time, realign your spine to optimize overall health.
Chiropractor Brian Elwartowski said the brain sends messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves to the rest of your body. If certain nerves are squeezed by a twist in the spine, they won't function as well as if they were straight. "Chiropractic [care] allows the nerves to work at their most optimum ability," he said, "allowing the body to heal at its optimum ability."
Many chiropractors seek to care for the whole person, from general wellness to disease prevention. They examine every patient, not only for the reason of their visit but also their level of health. After diagnosis, a chiropractor develops a treatment plan.