So You Think You Know What a Chiropractor Is…
If you think of a chiropractor as the doctor who "cracks" people's backs and little else, then you're not alone. Many people think of chiropractors exclusively in terms of the treatments they provide for the spine and the neck. While chiropractors do indeed treat these issues, they also treat a wide variety of problems throughout the body, in addition to providing services designed to improve a person's overall well-being.
The Goal of Chiropractic Care
The goal of chiropractic care is to improve overall health with hands-on spinal manipulation and others types of therapy. This non-invasive approach to total wellness corrects improper spinal alignment and joint dysfunction, providing effective treatment for a range of conditions, including chronic pain, allergies, and digestive problems. Your chiropractic treatment plan may also include advanced therapies to reduce pain and encourage healing of the soft tissues, or the use of stretching and strengthening routines to reduce muscle imbalance. Finally, your chiropractor may recommend diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. This combination of treatments can reduce pain, improve muscle and joint mobility, and increase range of motion.
Choosing a Chiropractor
As with any other type of medicine, it is important that you choose your chiropractor with great care. Make sure that your chiropractor:
- Belongs to a reputable professional organization such as the American Chiropractic Association or the International Chiropractors Association.
- Has a chiropractic doctorate degree from an accredited university.
- Has a record free of complaints and disciplinary actions, according to your state's Chiropractic Regulation and Licensing Board.
- Is willing to work with your primary physician and other health care providers.
Taking the time to find the right chiropractor for you will pay the greatest possible dividends in the end.
Are you ready to start your search? Find a chiropractor in your area now.
How Much Does Chiropractic Care Cost?
The cost of chiropractic care tends to vary even more than the cost of most other medical treatments.
On the low end of the spectrum, a single session might cost around $30; toward the higher end, you might have to pay $200 or more.
There are several factors that can influence the overall cost of your treatment, all of which we detail on the Cost of Chiropractic Care page, including:
- The chiropractor's experience
- The location of the clinic
- Whether part or all of your treatment is covered by your health insurance policy
- The experience of your chiropractor
- The technology used by your chiropractor
Please keep in mind that, as in all types of medicine, a discount in chiropractic does not always represent a bargain. It is better to entrust your case to a skilled, reputable professional than a chiropractor who emphasizes his or her low prices over the quality of his or her care. You do not want to risk your health to save money - which, ironically, could end up costing you thousands more in the long run.
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What Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat?
Although chiropractors focus on the nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems, the benefits of chiropractic care extend to the entire body. Some patients may find that spinal adjustments also relieve the symptoms associated with respiratory, circulatory, and digestive problems.
Some of the most common conditions that chiropractors treat include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and other musculoskeletal conditions
- Traumatic injuries, such as those sustained in auto accidents
- Posture problems
- Nutrition problems
Like any other doctor, your chiropractor will sit down with you and discuss your medical history, health issues, and treatment goals. Using this information, he or she will customize a treatment plan designed to address your unique needs.
What Treatments Do Chiropractors Provide?
The "back cracking" that many people associate with chiropractic is called chiropractic adjustment. It is the most common treatment provided by chiropractors, but far from the only one.
Among the many treatments provided by chiropractors are:
- Soft tissue therapy
- Heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Lifestyle modification counseling
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- TENS therapy
- Traction therapy
- Wellness Care
Ultimately, chiropractic treatments are just part of the overall chiropractic experience. For some patients, this experience is a means of achieving pain relief without having to undergo invasive surgery. For others, it is a major component of their lives, helping to keep them physically and spiritually balanced.
Discover the role that chiropractic can play in your life. Find your chiropractor today.
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