What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Many people see chiropractors for back pain, but these health care providers do much more. Chiropractors have specialized training in manual adjustment techniques.

During treatment, you lie face down on a specially padded chiropractic table. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor manipulates joints with controlled pressure.

Spinal Adjustments

During spinal adjustments, the chiropractor applies a controlled pressure, or thrust, to a misaligned vertebra. This is done manually or with mechanical tools, such as the activator adjusting instrument. Chiropractors believe that the spine is the center of the body, and that all problems with muscles, bones and joints stem from the alignment of the spine. This is why spinal manipulation is the primary treatment offered by chiropractic doctors.

Before performing a spinal adjustment, a chiropractor will use palpation to feel for joint motion. They will move each joint along the spine and look for restricted or misaligned areas, focusing especially on the vertebrae closest to the problematic area. They will also check for pain, stiffness and nerve flow to determine the best treatment.

Spinal manipulation is the main service that chiropractors provide, but they can also treat other musculoskeletal issues. These include neck pain, hip and knee pain, muscle and joint stiffness and unexplained headaches. Using spinal manipulation can help increase the flow of blood to the affected area and improve joint function. It can also reduce inflammation and decrease the need for prescription pain relievers.

While many people think that spinal manipulation is painful, it usually is not. There is a small chance that the initial treatment may cause some discomfort, but this will quickly dissipate. During the actual adjustment, a person will lie on a special table with sections that can drop down. This allows the chiropractor to apply a precise and quick thrust. You might hear a popping sound during the manipulation, similar to when you crack your knuckles. This is because of gases, like oxygen and nitrogen, being released from the joint space.

Aside from spinal adjustments, chiropractors can also manipulate other joints in the body, including the wrists, knees, ankles and feet. They can even do a mobilization, which is less forceful than spinal manipulation. A recent study suggests that cervical spine manipulation can reduce the need for opioid pain relievers in patients with chronic neck pain. However, it is important to note that the results of this study are not conclusive and more research is needed before we can know if this technique is effective for long term pain relief.

Muscle and Joint Pain Relief

Chiropractors have specialized training in manual adjustment techniques, which they use to eliminate misalignments that can cause a number of problems. These include back pain, neck pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, and headaches. Seeing a chiropractor can decrease your need for pain relievers and help you heal faster after an injury or illness.

The first step in a chiropractic treatment plan is to evaluate the problem. A best chiropractor St Pete will ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam and review X-rays or other diagnostic tests. This helps them determine if the problems are caused by a spine issue, such as a vertebrae subluxation.

A vertebrae subluxation occurs when a spinal bone shifts out of its normal position, which can lead to a number of health issues. The most common problems are slipped or herniated discs. A chiropractic adjustment can help ease your pain, increase your range of motion and decrease nerve irritation and inflammation in the affected area.

When your spine is out of alignment, the muscles and joints have to work harder to compensate. Over time, this can lead to stress, strain and injury. Chiropractic adjustments can return your spine to its normal state, which will alleviate pain and improve your body’s ability to function at its best.

Other conditions that a chiropractor can treat include whiplash, neck pain from sitting at a desk for long periods of time and shoulder pain from frozen shoulder syndrome. They can also help people with sciatica, which is caused by pressure on the nerves from a spinal misalignment.

The most obvious sign of a spinal issue is neck pain that causes stiffness and difficulty turning your head. A chiropractor can reduce your neck pain by performing manipulations, known as adjustments, in addition to recommending exercises and stretches to do at home. They may also suggest heat or ice to reduce swelling and pain. The popping sound you hear when a chiropractor manipulates your neck is caused by the release of gas in the joint that results in a decrease in tension.


A chiropractor can treat a number of symptoms and conditions, including migraines. Studies have found that spinal manipulations can alleviate migraine pain, decrease the frequency of the headaches and reduce the need for medications. Other forms of treatment for headaches include massage, hydrotherapy (soaking in hot or cold water), ultrasound and electrical stimulation therapy.

The main focus of chiropractic is to correct misalignments in the spine. Misalignments can cause pain in other parts of the body and affect how the nervous system functions. Chiropractic adjustments can help restore normal function to the nerves and ensure that your body can perform at its best.

While many people associate chiropractors with back and neck pain, they can also treat other problems in the musculoskeletal system. For instance, a chiropractor can address problems with the wrists, ankles, knees and feet. Those with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and bursitis may benefit from seeing a chiropractor. In addition to treating musculoskeletal issues, chiropractors can offer advice about diet and exercise, as well as recommend other wellness treatments such as acupuncture.

When you visit a chiropractor, they will take your medical history and perform an examination. The initial exam typically includes tests for blood pressure, reflexes and range of motion. Chiropractors can also perform diagnostic tests such as palpation, X-rays and MRIs to determine the best course of action for each patient.

A qualified chiropractor will be able to diagnose the root cause of your pain and create a treatment plan that will relieve your symptoms. While some patients will experience immediate relief, others may require multiple visits to the chiropractor to see results. If you are experiencing back or joint pain, it is important to find a chiropractor who has the right skills and training to provide you with the highest quality of care.

Ask your friends and family for recommendations or try using the American Chiropractic Association's Find a Doctor tool to find a practitioner in your area. Schedule a consultation with several different chiropractors to find the one who is right for you. Be open and honest with your chiropractor about your pain to give them the best chance of helping you get relief.

Poor Posture

A chiropractor may use many methods to perform spinal manipulation, but the end goal is to ease the spine back into alignment. A chiropractor uses short, quick forces to the joints in order to correct a misalignment, increase range of motion and release pressure on nerves. Some chiropractors use their hands to manipulate the joints, while others might utilize a drop table or activator. Still, other chiropractors rely on more gentle stretching techniques to ease the joints back into place.

Over time, daily activities cause the muscles in your body to tighten (shorten) or weaken (long). This imbalance can pull your spine and neck out of alignment. For example, sitting or standing for long periods of time while hunched over a computer will cause the curve in your back to become too large (a "swayback"). Similarly, slumping over while reading a book or watching TV on the couch can cause the shoulders to sag and bring the head forward into a "forward head carriage" posture.

This type of poor posture puts unwanted stress on the muscles and bones in your upper body, causing pain. The asymmetrical muscle balance also places extra load on the discs and vertebrae of your spine, which can result in painful bulging or herniated discs.

Slouching also compresses your abdominal organs, which can over time cause digestive problems. In addition, it can affect your breathing and even your mood, promoting depression.

Seeing a chiropractor for back and neck pain can help you recover from injuries and prevent future problems. A chiropractor can adjust your spine, and they can also provide a physical therapy treatment program to strengthen your muscles. They can suggest ergonomic furniture for your home or office, and they can show you exercises and stretches that will improve your posture and help you maintain a healthy body.

The best way to avoid poor posture is to practice good habits throughout the day. Try to stand up straight and sit with your shoulders back. Try not to spend more than 20 minutes at a time in one position, and be sure to change positions frequently.

Many people see chiropractors for back pain, but these health care providers do much more. Chiropractors have specialized training in manual adjustment techniques. During treatment, you lie face down on a specially padded chiropractic table. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor manipulates joints with controlled pressure. Spinal Adjustments During spinal adjustments,…