The chiropractic profession has been providing patients a non-surgical, drug-free, safe and effective solution to painful conditions like back pain, neck pain and migraine headaches for over 125 years. The purpose of this article is to give information about a recent research study that validates utilizing chiropractic treatment for various spinal conditions.
A scientific research study published in the American Family Physicians Journal, February 2019 determined that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) can provide improvement for patients with acute or chronic lower back pain. For patients with neck pain the research showed SMT provided better relief and improved function when compared with medications like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. The authors of the article also added that manipulative therapy was found to be as effective as the prescription medication amitrptyline for managing patients with migraine headaches.
Doctors of chiropractic utilize a form of SMT called “chiropractic adjustments”. Chiropractic adjustments are designed to correct misalignments and improper movements of the spine. These adjustments are provided by chiropractors who are highly skilled at performing this therapy.
For some conditions a chiropractor may perform a manual method called “mobilization”. Mobilization is a low force gentle technique that also helps with spinal conditions. Some patients are not suited for a manipulation or chiropractic adjustment and mobilization may be just what these patients need.
Many people wonder how chiropractors determine when there is a problem with a certain area of the spine. Chiropractic education focuses on this specialty. Chiropractors learn how to “feel” if there is an abnormality of the spinal area. This practice is called “palpation”. As a student at a chiropractic school many hours are devoted to developing this skill. Students learn to feel when muscles are abnormally contracted, tight or in spasm. They learn to feel if there is swelling, inflammation or edema. They are able to train to feel if the spinal bones, called vertebrae, are misaligned or if the spinal joints are moving improperly.
Chiropractic school also places an emphasis on learning the anatomy, or parts of the body. Chiropractors get extensive classroom work learning about the human body’s muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and fascia. Students also spend many hours in a laboratory doing actual dissection of human cadavers.
With this training many feel that doctors of chiropractic are the preeminent healthcare specialists in the areas of palpation and using manual therapies of chiropractic adjustments, manipulation and mobilization.
As the research shows it is best to see a chiropractor for problems of the spine such as back pain, neck pain and headaches.