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Many people do not understand what a Chiropractor does. Think of a Chiropractor as a doctor who cares for any kind of muscle, joint or bone pain. It’s important to inform your care physician about any pain you are experiencing, whether it is recent or chronic (lasting more than 3 months). Your primary doctor can rule out potentially serious problems that need treatment. A Chiropractor can complement the traditional medical care you receive. Here are a few things you should know about what a Chiropractor does.

1. A Chiropractor will not prescribe medication

A Chiropractor does not prescribe medication and this allows them to think outside the box. Many people would rather take a pill than change a few lifestyle habits, but finding an alternative approach as a huge positive because it empowers patients to take more control over their health.

A Chiropractor may prescribe:

Soft-tissue therapy: To relax tight muscles, relieve spasm and release tension in the fascia.
Adjustments: To gently re-align joints and increase range of motion.
Joint bracing/taping: To support sprained joints or muscles as they heal.
Exercises and stretches: To restore and maintain mobility and range of motion.
Referrals to integrative medicine experts: For guidance on diet and nutrition to reduce inflammation and promote weight loss.

Treatments generally do not hurt, but soreness can be a side effect, similar to what you might feel after a workout.

2. A Chiropractor doesn’t just treat the back and neck.

A Chiropractor can treat pain anywhere in the body, in the head and jaws, the shoulders, the elbows and wrists, the hips and pelvis, and the knees and ankles. We look at the whole musculoskeletal system and treat the treat the root of the problem. We make sure not only that the joints are moving properly, but also that surrounding muscles are functioning well. After the primary care physician has evaluated your pain, A chiropractor can offer complementary care for many common problems.

Headaches: A lot of headaches and migraines are caused by tension in the jaw. Patients are unaware that they clench their jaw at night. A Chiropractors job is to relieve jaw muscle tension to increase blood flow, which ultimately helps alleviate the headaches.

Planter Fasciitis

Podiatrists typically recommend orthotics and massage for temporary relief of this painful foot condition. But chiropractors also make sure the joints in the foot are mobile, then work upward to evaluate other possible causes. Sometimes the knees are lower back are the real problem, affecting the way patients walks, which eventually leads to plantar fasciitis.

Generalized Shoulder Pain

If shoulder pain persists but an MRI shows no problem, chiropractors will assess the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade. They may also look for ribs that are restricted and prevent the shoulder from moving.

A Chiropractor treats problems in people of all ages. Depending on the patient, the intensity and force of treatments vary. All patients are screened to ensure that are good candidates for chiropractic care. For example, many older patients have some thinning or softening of the bones that would rule out joint manipulation. If chiropractic care is too risky for a patient, we will guide them to the right people and resources.

3. A Chiropractor Focus On Prevention

The goal of a Chiropractor is to restore your health over the long term, rather than to relieve your symptoms over the short term. A Chiropractor will ask how you move throughout the day (standing, sitting, walking) and how you sleep at night. Learning how to reposition your body at your desk, when you’re standing and moving, and when you’re in bed and incorporating stretches into your daily routine can be invaluable in preventing problems in the future.

To sum it up, understanding what a Chiropractor does is pretty simple. Think of aches, pains, creaks and strains. If you’ve got a problem that involves your musculoskeletal system, a Chiropractor can offer alternative methods of treatment.