You may schedule your first visit to your chiropractor when your lower back hurts, but spinal adjustments are not the only services chiropractors perform for patients. Many chiropractors pursue postgraduate training in a wide range of drug-free therapies that promote wellness such as massage, electro-therapy, and ultrasound waves.
Nutrition counseling to identify allergies or lose weight
Many chiropractors will provide patients with tips on the effects of healthy eating or recommend weight loss to improve a related medical condition. Some practices have nutritionists on staff who can design a customized diet plan for patients who need to lose weight or help a patient identify an allergen by implementing an elimination diet. Many practices offer dietary supplements recommended to improve overall wellness.
X-rays to evaluate the cause of pain
Most chiropractors have in-house x-ray equipment and will take a few images of new patients during a thorough evaluation before determining the care plan. X-rays are also used to quickly evaluate patients making an emergency chiropractor visit with a complaint of back and neck pain. The images help identify spinal curvature angles, spinal decay, and subluxations that may need treatment.
Typically the x-rays cover the five areas of the spine, which include the neck, mid-back, low-back, pelvic, and sacral regions.
Ultrasound and Diathermy to apply heat and massage
Ultrasound waves applied to soft tissues can help reduce pain and increase blood flow so that patients heal faster. Diathermy uses short wave electromagnetic pulses to provide heat to denser tissues, which relaxes the muscles and decreases spasms. Increasing circulation accelerates healing.
Hydrotherapy to alleviate pain
Water is a powerful tool which is used to apply heat, cold, and pressure in the form of whirlpools, saunas, ice packs, and hot and cold baths. The application of temperature and pressure can alleviate pain and promote blood flow to heal the area more quickly.
Application of kinesiology tape to restore proper movement
Athletes choose chiropractors to prevent injuries, speed recovery and improve balance and coordination. Chiropractors are committed to restoring proper movement, which gives athletes a competitive edge.
One of the tools used is kinesiology tape, commonly known as KT. After restoring mobility to an area of the body with another therapy, kinesiology tape can be applied to stabilize and provide feedback to the muscles involved. The practice helps maintain the restored range of motion by re-educating the area’s support structure.
When used correctly, the tape can reduce inflammation, promote better circulation, prevent injury, and facilitate healing.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators (TENS)
TENS units are commonly used to alleviate pain via electrical stimulation. Electrodes are placed over the painful area to stimulate the nerves carrying pain signals. TENS has been shown to block pain signal transmission as well as boost endorphins.
Advice on ergonomics and workplace setup
Chiropractors are experts in modifying workstations and can recommend specific placement of equipment to minimize repetitive stress injuries. The focus on wellness and movement provides the necessary expertise to address ergonomics at work and home.
Wide Range of Wellness Treatments Available
Chiropractors can advise you on topics like nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, and the use of high-tech tools to diagnose and treat injuries. The profession has a unique focus on wellness and movement, so practitioners are skilled at a broad range of therapies designed to help patients. They can also complete additional training in areas like pediatrics, sports rehabilitation, neurology, and addictions.