What Does a Chiropractor Do?

A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who diagnoses and treats conditions caused by mechanical dysfunction of the joints, especially of the spine. Chiropractors also perform spinal decompression therapy.

Spinal manipulation is the most common treatment. It involves moving a joint to its end range, followed by a light thrust. Some patients experience a popping sound and sensation, which is normal.

Poor Posture

When you slouch or stand with poor posture, you are placing excess stress on the muscles and joints in your body. Over time, this can cause a variety of issues.

The good news is that you can correct bad posture with the help of a spine chiropractor. Changing the way you sit, stand and walk can make a big difference in how you feel and look.

Good posture is more than just standing straight-it’s about balance. Over time, consistent poor posture can affect your hips, knees, shoulders and back. In addition, it can cause imbalances that lead to pain.

Common posture problems include a forward head position, also called tech neck, and swayback. The former occurs when your ears are in front of the vertical midline of your head. The latter is characterized by a hunched upper back, also known as kyphosis. Both of these postures cause a compression or decompression of the spinal discs and can put pressure on ligaments and tendons.

Joint and Muscle Pain

If you suffer from joint pain, your Chiropractor in West Edmonton may use techniques like a deep massage and therapeutic exercises to help improve flexibility. Your doctor might also prescribe supportive aids and medications to ease discomfort.

Joint pain can feel sharp or dull and come and go. It can be caused by arthritis, which is when the joints are inflamed, or it could be from other reasons, like fibromyalgia, thyroid disease, or gout.

A sudden onset of joint pain is usually an indication of a serious issue, such as a fractured bone. A common example of joint pain is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a condition that causes nerve compression in the wrist. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and weakness. This condition is most commonly associated with people who type for a living, and the symptoms are relieved through concentrated spinal and joint adjustments. Using NormaTec compression therapy, your chiropractor can increase blood flow to the affected area and promote healing.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive treatment that reduces pain, inflammation, and promotes healing of herniated discs. It also helps alleviate sciatica and pinched nerves. It’s used for anyone with herniated, bulging or protruding discs, spinal stenosis or any neck and back pain caused by a damaged spine.

While traction and physical therapy can help relieve herniated disc pressure, they cannot achieve negative pressure inside the disc like spinal decompression can. This decompression creates a vacuum inside the herniated or bulging disc, which allows the trapped tissue to retract. It also increases the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients into the injured area.

The procedure involves lying on a special table outfitted with pulleys and weights to stretch your spine. You feel a series of cycles of stretching and relaxation that gradually increase in intensity over the course of several minutes. It’s usually completely painless, though you may feel some muscle soreness after your first few treatments.

Chiropractic Education

During their four years at a chiropractic school, students learn how to perform spinal manipulation and adjustments. They also learn how to evaluate patients and take x-rays.

In addition to learning these physical sciences, chiropractors must master the “intangibles” of the profession such as communicating with patients, making referrals, and billing insurance. This is why many chiropractic schools require internships as part of their programs.

Many chiropractic schools like the University of Bridgeport have dual degree programs where you can earn a bachelor or master’s degree and then transition into their Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) program. This can cut a year off your DC education and help you get into the field faster.

As you research chiropractic schools, make sure they are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). This ensures that they meet high educational standards and will prepare you for a successful career. Also, check out the cost of each school to make sure it is within your budget.

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