Chiropractic: Definition And When To See A Chiropractor

The technique of the chiropractic adjustment is performed by the chiropractor

Chiropractic is a complementary medical technique that treats back problems and other injuries through the musculoskeletal system. Its primary focus is the care of the spine, its application is widespread and every day more people are visiting a chiropractor to maintain the care of their back and to solve ailments related to the neuromuscular system.

In this article, we tell you exactly what chiropractic is, what a chiropractor does and whether this type of physical therapy really works.

What is chiropractic?

The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir (hands) and praxis (practice). As its name suggests, it is a practical therapy. It is generally classified as alternative or complementary medicine.

This technique is based on the application of pressure on a person's spine or other parts of the body by a qualified chiropractor. This pressure allows the practitioner to adjust and correct the patient's alignment.

This type of physical therapy aims to reduce pain and improve mechanical function or the way a person moves.

Modern chiropractic is based on a spinal care model, but it hasn't always been that way. Traditionally, it was based on the belief that localized problems in the spine caused disease through the central nervous system. This belief is no longer officially part of this type of medicine.

Chiropractic theory has evolved since then. It is increasingly accepted as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain. Modern chiropractors, for the most part, define themselves as exclusively musculoskeletal practitioners with a special emphasis on spinal pain.

The musculoskeletal system consists of muscles, bones, joints, cartilage, and tendons. It allows people to move and protects the organs.

If you decide to see a chiropractor, it is important to know beforehand what a chiropractic session consists of and what are the methods used to treat our ailment.

In the first session, we will be asked about our musculoskeletal pain. They will also examine us physically, concentrating on our spine. Also, they can perform other tests, such as x-rays, to determine the necessary treatment to follow.

If we need treatment, the chiropractor will develop an individual plan. This treatment usually involves using the hands or a device to apply a controlled force to a joint quickly. The goal of this is to improve the quality and range of physical movement.

Other methods that can be useful during treatment are:

  • Heat and ice.
  • Electrical stimulation.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Advice on lifestyle factors affecting musculoskeletal health.
  • Dietary supplements.
The chiropractor must be a certified professional with the skills to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems.


What does a chiropractor do?

A chiropractor is a health professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, working on treatment through manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine.

Most of them seek to reduce pain and improve patient function, as well as let them know how they can improve their health through exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.

How does chiropractic work?

There is increasing evidence to suggest that chiropractic may be an effective treatment for certain conditions. One of these is cervical pain. According to a 2007 study, chiropractic sessions in the workplace can reduce cervical pain among office workers.

It is also used to treat pain in the lower back. A study conducted in 2016 found evidence that this physical therapy can be as effective for lower back pain as physical therapy. It was also stipulated in 2017 that spinal manipulative therapy is associated with modest improvements in pain and function in people with lumbar conditions.

Another of the ailments that can be worked with chiropractic is chest pain. A 2016 study showed that chiropractic care is more efficient than self-control for chest pain. It can be seen as a good primary care approach for people with non-specific chest pain.

As the profession has evolved, chiropractic has gained legitimacy as a complementary medical practice. In some countries, it is now considered part of conventional medicine.

In Switzerland, this therapy is considered a primary medical profession. According to a 2016 article, the studies and training program conducted by chiropractors in that country make them experts in spinal care.

However,  there is no scientific evidence that chiropractic works as a treatment for health conditions  that are not related to the musculoskeletal system.

Chiropractic can be an effective physical therapy for the treatment of some ailments.


Chiropractic side effects

As mentioned above,  chiropractic adjustment involves manipulating the spine. This action may cause some mild side effects such as:

  • More intense pain
  • Discomfort.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Headache.
  • Tiredness.

A 2007 study examined the safety of this treatment for cervical pain. It found that although side effects were common, they were rarely severe or long-lasting. The study concluded that the benefits of this practice for cervical pain outweigh the potential risks.

Chiropractic treatment for people with lower back pain has also been shown to be safe. A 2016 study found no serious side effects for low back pain.

The possible side effects mentioned above, usually manifest after the session; however,  do not usually last more than 24 hours.


Check out the original article: Quiropraxia: en qué consiste y cuándo ir a un quiropráctico at