October is Chiropractic Awareness Month. This year, marks 122 years since the first documented spinal adjustment was given in Davenport, Iowa. Over the last century, our profession has evolved through research and clinical data to become the gold standard for treating back pain, neck pain and many other musculoskeletal ailments. But chiropractors are also becoming well known for their work with athletes, children, pregnant women and many more specialties. In honor of Chiropractic Awareness Month, here are a few facts you should know!
Chiropractors complete 4 years of professional school following an undergraduate degree and obtain the same amount or more hours of classroom education than medical doctors. The main difference is less education on pharmacology and more on nutrition.
Chiropractors are doctors who are licensed to diagnose hundreds of conditions. In order to complete a diagnosis, they are also licensed to order complicated images including MRIs, CT Scans and of course Xrays.
While their primary method of treatment involves spinal joint manipulation, sports chiropractors are well versed in many methods of manual therapy including Active Release Technique (ART), Graston, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) and Kinesiology Taping to help heal the athlete or weekend warrior quickly.
Spinal manipulation is incredibly safe and effective for patients from 1 day old to 100 years old! Chiropractors are able to scale and alter their techniques based on the needs and tolerance of each patient.
That popping noise you hear during a spinal manipulation is simply pressure or gas being released from joints as they are moved rapidly. Much like what happens when a person ‘crack’s their knuckles. In fact, the phenomenon occurring in the spine when two vertebrae become locked-up is much the same as a jammed knuckle, and therefore the relief experienced by a skilled, specifically targeted manipulation is also just as immediate.
Spinal manipulation is the most efficient way to reduce pressure in the spine that is causing pain. A full spine manipulation could take as little as 5 minutes and provide instant relief. Typical treatments last longer (15-20 minutes) and incorporate manual therapy for a more complete, whole body approach. A full course of treatment for a standard mild to moderate back or neck injury may be 4-10 treatments. In some cases less, and in more serious cases, more.
Chiropractors who treat pregnancy are helping in three ways. 1. Decreasing pain for pregnant women 2. Improving pelvic alignment to promote a successful birth 3. Decreasing torsion on the uterus which aids in optimal fetal positioning.
Common reasons infants see chiropractors are 1. Colic 2. Reflux 3. Ear Infections 4. Torticollis.
Common reasons children see chiropractors are 1. Sports (or other) Injuries 2. Sleep Trouble 3. Growing Pains 4. Headaches
Back pain is one of the main reasons for emergency room visits. While back pain can be severe and very scary, often times a visit to the chiropractor may get you out of pain faster (and for much less expense).