What is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is one who has special training in how to manipulate the skeleton, in particular the spine, in order to treat neuromuscular disorders. Chiropractors are a part of a growing trend in medicine to view the body not as separate parts combined to make a whole, but rather a whole that is comprised of individual parts, all joined, and working together as a complete system. Chiropractors believe that the muscles and skeleton are all part of the intricate system that is the human body, and the treatment of any condition or illness necessarily involves parts not otherwise obvious at first instance.
A great example of this philosophy is that nerves travelling down the spine exit at specific junctions. The sciatic nerve can be compressed high up the leg, but cause pain and other symptoms in the buttocks, the knee, the lower leg and even the toes. Treating the pain in the lower leg won’t help the compressed nerve, which could be at the spine itself.
Chiropractors can treat conditions as diverse as:
- Back injuries and lower back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Pelvic and period pain
- Joint problems, such as hands, wrists and knees
Chiropractors utilise mechanical movement – hands-on techniques – to manipulate the body, either massage, sustained firm pressure, wedges (that utilise the body’s own weight to stretch and manipulate) or tables that are specifically designed to help with chiropractor deliver treatment.
Chiropractors will know if you can benefit from their treatments; they will take a detailed history, examine any scans you may have (or request new ones), and prescribe specific treatments for you and your condition. As always, its best to be honest with your practitioner as this will give them a good picture of what tailored treatment to give.