Chiropractic aims to improve health by restoring structure and function to the spine and other joints. Stress, accidents, overexertion, or other injuries may cause minor displacement (subluxation) of the spinal vertebra. When a vertebra is displaced, muscle tension and other mechanical irritation to the spinal nerves can result, causing pain (e.g., neck, back, headache) and impairing overall health.
Chiropractors evaluate the structure and function of the spine and its effects on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They help to restore these systems to proper function. The chiropractic adjustment is the primary treatment used on the affected spinal and extremity joints; there are various types of adjustment techniques.
While giving an adjustment, the chiropractor applies a quick firm pressure with his hands to correct the subluxation and restore function. The adjustment may cause a "pop" or “crack” as gases are released from the joint. Patients often experience pain relief instantly. In patients with muscle spasm, chiropractors may use an alternative treatments (e.g., assisted stretching, massage, heat or ice packs) before giving an adjustment to help tight muscles relax.
Acute care treatment should follow soon after an injury to improve the healing of injured structures primarily to restore normal function, reduce swelling, muscle spasms, and give a relief from pain. Treatment as soon as possible after an injury maximizes the potential for full recovery.
Wellness care treatment is usually without signs or symptoms. It is used to maintain the nervous system’s normal function. This care helps prevent many potential problems and eliminates pain. Regular chiropractic care is as important as proper diet and exercise. As with any process, chiropractic care takes time to aquire its many health benefits.