How Chiropractors Learn To Provide Back And Neck Pain Relief


Chiropractic Back and Neck Pain Relief

Most people know that chiropractors provide back and neck pain relief. Many others have found that other painful conditions such as sciatica, shoulder pain and hip pain also respond to safe, gentle chiropractic care. How a chiropractor learns to provide pain relief, however, is somewhat of a mystery to many. This article will discuss what is involved in a chiropractor’s education and training and being able to provide pain relief for many conditions.

In my 35 years of practice, I’ve often had patients ask me how I learned the skills required of my profession. I reply that it is a long, rigorous process. Much like other healthcare providers, such as dentists, MD’s, podiatrists and optometrists, post graduate chiropractic schooling takes place after undergraduate education. In fact, chiropractic college involves a five-year program of intensive study after years at a traditional college or university.

Classes in anatomy (including the dissection of cadavers), physiology, chemistry, pathology and other basic health sciences are part of the curriculum. Clinical studies in pathology, diagnosis, imaging and blood and urine analysis are required. However, most patients and other lay people and even some healthcare providers of other professions are especially curious as to how chiropractors learn the skill of manipulation of the spinal vertebrae for pain relief.

Classes in actual chiropractic training start as soon as incoming students begin school. The first discipline that must be learned is palpation. Palpation is the skill of using one’s hands to feel various parts of the body to determine for normality or abnormality. Chiropractors learn to palpate spinal vertebrae to check for misalignments and improper motion of the spinal joints.

Students of chiropractic also learn to palpate swelling or edema, muscle spasms and abnormalities of fascia, ligaments and tendons. Palpation is an ongoing process throughout chiropractic schooling and takes many years to develop expertise. Chiropractors are the preeminent healthcare specialists in palpation of mechanical alignment problems of the spine.

Next in chiropractic education, is learning “techniques” of correcting spinal pain conditions. Students learn many methods of manual manipulation (also called chiropractic adjustments) and mobilization. Much training involves the use of “hands on” chiropractic techniques. There are hundreds of variations of chiropractic adjustments where students must learn to correct malpositions and abnormal movement of spinal bones of the neck, mid and lower back and pelvis. Chiropractors also learn to help problems of the shoulders, hips, ribs and extremities.

Techniques can also involve use of specialized chiropractic tables and adjusting instruments. Many chiropractors also use forms of deep pressure for muscular trigger points and myofascial strains, sprains and disruptions.

At the beginning of chiropractic technique training a student does not perform an actual “adjustment.” He or she only “sets up” the technique. This is done thousands of times. Only after a student has acquired competency in this phase do they proceed to the chiropractic clinics to provide actual chiropractic adjustments to patients. This is done under the observation and instruction of trained doctors of chiropractic, who are called clinicians.

Clinicians guide a chiropractic intern through this phase of education. At the end of their internships, a degree of doctor of chiropractic (DC) is awarded to the graduate and they are ready to become a licensed in all of the 50 United States and many of the other countries of the world.

Most patients who receive a chiropractic adjustment find it is a safe, pleasant experience because it relieves muscle spasm and tightness of superficial muscles by correcting a deeper spinal misalignment. Of course, chiropractors continue to learn and perfect their skills over their many years of being in practice.

When patients, laypeople and other health professionals learn the amount of training that goes into the skill, art and philosophy of chiropractic they understand why the chiropractic profession is foremost in detecting and correcting problems of the spine and providing back and neck pain relief.

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For Hip Pain Relief Do This…

Hip Pain Relief

When people have hip pain, they generally look, specifically, to the hip area to gain relief. They may have an injection into the hip joint or receive physical therapy for the hip, which may or may not work. However, recent evidence shows there is a correlation between imbalances in the pelvis and poor trunk and core muscle stability and flexibility and injury and pain of the hips. This article will discuss common causes of hip pain and a safe, gentle approach for his pain relief.

Certainly, hip pain can be caused by intrinsic abnormalities like degeneration, bursitis, tendinitis, etc. But many times, there are other complicating factors. One significant factor that I have seen countless times in my 35 years of chiropractic practice, is an association between hip pain and mechanical problems of the pelvis. To understand this fully let’s discuss the anatomy and structure of the pelvis.

The pelvis is made of three bones. The tail bone in the middle is called the sacrum. The wing bones on either side of the sacrum are called the iliac bones. There are joints between the sacrum and the two iliac bones called the sacroiliac joints (sometimes called the SI joints). The sacroiliac joints are gliding joints. When we walk, for instance, the SI joints glide back-and-forth.

Sometimes the pelvis can become misaligned, rotated into a malposition, or develop improper movements of the sacroiliac joints. When any of these happen, it may cause one to carry more weight on one lower extremity than another. When this weight imbalance this occurs, it puts abnormal stress on one of the hip joints which can eventually result in hip pain. Mechanically, this may also cause wear and tear degenerative changes of the hip. It will also tend to place stress on structures like bursas and tendons which results in bursitis and tendinitis.

As a chiropractor, I am trained to evaluate and analyze mechanical problems of the pelvis and associated hip problems. I always look for misalignments of the pelvic bones and improperly moving sacroiliac joints. Additionally, it is prudent to look at the muscular function of the trunk muscles, the buttock/gluteal muscles and the muscles of the thighs and hamstrings.

In March 2018, Belgian researchers reviewed information from nine previously published studies, noting the importance of core stability and relationship to hip/lower extremity injuries. The investigators reported that core strength, core balance and coordination, are directly linked to the likelihood of lower extremity/hip injuries.

I direct my treatment towards realigning and restoring proper motion to the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints with gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments. I also utilize deep pressure trigger point therapy to muscles that are tight and in spasm. Finally, education and training for my patients, involving stretching exercises of the hamstrings, thighs and buttocks muscles, along with strengthening of the core muscles is introduced and encouraged.

Chiropractors are healthcare practitioners who are trained to mechanically evaluate the patient’s entire body from the feet to the head. We find that if this method of diagnostic analysis is utilized, instead of a limited, specific focus, it typically brings about favorable results. This is especially true for patients seeking hip pain relief through safe, gentle chiropractic adjustments and muscle strengthening and stretching.

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What Are My Best Choices For Back Pain Relief

Lower Back Pain Relief

When a person has back discomfort they may be confused as to which treatment option to choose for pain relief. Of all musculoskeletal conditions, low back pain is one of the most disabling, leading to chronic pain, lost productivity and other problems. This article will discuss pain of the back and which treatment option works best for the majority of people.

Discomfort of the back is ubiquitous. In the United States, by the time a person reaches 40 years old, they have an 80% chance of having had at least one significant episode of lower back pain. Not only is back discomfort common, it is one of the most painful conditions a person can experience and strongly affects quality of life.

In my 35 years of chiropractic practice, I have seen thousands of people who have experienced back pain. One thing they all note is that their condition, almost always, limits their ability to function normally in their activities of daily living. Activities like sleeping, working, performing chores around the house, child raising and simple tasks like getting dressed and cooking can become difficult, if not impossible.

When faced with this life altering malady one is confronted with a myriad of choices for treatment. A typical medical approach might be medication or referral to a back specialist for possible back surgery. One must be wary of taking medication for discomfort of the back. Back pain is one of the leading reasons people are prescribed opioid medications. Almost half of all US opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

However, another approach would be to seek chiropractic care for lower back pain relief. Chiropractic care is a safe alternative treatment for relief of back discomfort. Chiropractors do not prescribe medication, nor do they perform back surgery. Instead, chiropractors take an approach that is conservative.

When a patient initially goes to a chiropractor, they will be examined for possible misalignment and improper movement of the spinal bones. Research shows that the majority of people suffering from back discomfort is because of improper mechanical alignment and movement of the bones of the spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical, alignment problems of spine pain. Most patients who visit chiropractors find that the treatment is a safe and pleasant experience because it relieves tightness and spasm of the muscles by correcting the deeper spinal misalignment. The number of treatments and visits a patient will require to attain relief of their back, spinal pain will depend on how long they’ve had the condition and its severity.

A 2013 study from the journal Spine found that patients who saw chiropractors were less likely to have surgery for back pain. Researchers studied 1885 injured workers, suffering from back pain in Washington state and found that the healthcare provider a patient initially visited significantly affected a patient’s likelihood of receiving surgery. People who visited a medical doctor for their back pain were more likely to have an operation than people who visited a chiropractor. Nearly 43% of medical patients had surgery compared to just 1.5% of chiropractic patients. That means medical patients were 28 times more likely to have surgery.

Since the majority of patients with spinal back discomfort can be treated without the use of drugs or surgery, it seems especially prudent to consider safe, gentle chiropractic care for spinal back pain relief.

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