Can a chiropractor do...? It's one of the most common questions in the book. Patients are always curious as to what a chiropractor can and cannot do. Frequently asked questions we receive are:
Q: Can a Chiropractor Fix Posture?
A: Yes, a chiropractor can help fix posture. Chiropractic care is recommended for a variety of postural problems such as:
- Damage to the normal curvature of the neck, midback and low back
- Forward head posture
- Pelvis or hip unbalance
- Kyphosis (hunchback)
To begin treatment, your chiropractor will perform a postural assessment to gauge how good or bad your posture is. Your chiropractor will measure specific points from a front and side view, to determine symmetry between your shoulders, pelvic alignment, and more. They will then complete an examination to test your joint and muscles, and order X-Rays if necessary.
Once your chiropractor has assessed where the problems in your posture lie, they will help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue manipulation, stretches, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Cure Scoliosis?
A: There is no "cure" for scoliosis, chiropractor or not. Those who suffer from scoliosis have a spine that is irregularly curved, and despite the many advancements modern medicine has made, scoliosis can only be treated and not "cured." However, chiropractors do offer scoliosis-specific chiropractic care, which aims to gradually correct the spine into a normal spinal curve.
Because of the unique curvature of the spine of someone with scoliosis, there are many traditional adjustments that chiropractors opt not to use so as to not place unnecessary pressure on the surrounding nerves. Therefore, scoliosis-specific adjustments are precise and gentle. They aim to first coax the head back into it's natural alignment, and then follow down throughout the spine.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Make You Taller?
A: We get a kick out of this one! Yes and no - if you suffer from postural problems, such as hunchback, chiropractic therapy can correct your spinal alignment so that you're standing straight again. Your corrected posture would have you standing at full-height, when you were once stooped, which creates the illusion of growing taller.
Spinal and soft tissue manipulation can help relieve pressure that was forcing you to stand under your full-height. We cannot, however, stretch what you've got to make you any taller than you physically are.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help TMJ?
A: Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, known commonly as TMJ, refers to acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint connecting your mandible to your skull, and can be found between the cheek and jawbone. Symptoms are often caused by teeth grinding, excessive nail biting, trauma, or degenerative joint disease.
A chiropractor can help with TMJ by alleviating tension in the spine. A reduction of tension in the spine will reduce the pressure on the surrounding nerves, which will lead to a lessening of the pain caused by TMJ. In order to effectively feel relief from the symptoms of TMJ, patients will need to make routine appointments with their chiropractor for continual care. By proactively receiving chiropractic care, patients can be one step ahead of their pain symptoms.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Fix Vertigo?
A: Vertigo is a common side effect of neck and head trauma. Caused by disturbances in the nervous system or problems in the inner ear. Vertigo causes a sense of spinning or dizziness. Suffering vertigo can impact daily activities, as you may feel side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and sweating.
For issues of the neck and head, your chiropractor will use manipulation to target joints in the upper neck. After an injury, these joints may be creating faulty motion patterns, which misinform the brain. Essentially, your joints are sending messages to your brain that its in motion when it is not, resulting in an overwhelming sense of dizziness. By manipulating the joints, your chiropractor allows the nervous system to transmit the proper messages to the brain.
Likewise, if your vertigo is stemming from debris settling into the tubes of the inner ear, a chiropractor can manipulate the neck and head so that the debris resettles away from nervous system sensors. This process will allow the ear to function at its high capacity again, regaining equilibrium.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Tinnitus?
A: Tinnitus, a ringing, roaring, or whining in the ear, is a condition that is often related to TMJ or vertigo. Oftentimes, misalignment in the cervical spine - the neck - can aggravate tinnitus and cause an increase of the ringing. Chiropractic care utilizes spinal manipulation to re-balance the head on the neck, so as to decrease the amount of noise.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Migraines?
A: If you're struggling with migraines, a chiropractor can help alleviate your pain. Your chiropractor would utilize spinal manipulation to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on the body. Tension in the neck and upper back caused by chronic headaches can be treated with a variety of minimally invasive techniques.
For example, a chiropractor can use Electric stimulation therapy (E-stim) to help relax the muscles and treat upper body pain. E-stim helps reduce inflammation and decreases pain by causing a contraction in the muscle, and then fatiguing the muscle out so that it relaxes to a further state than it was prior.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Constipation?
A: Yes, a chiropractor can help with constipation as well as other digestive disorders. Your digestive system is linked to your nervous system, which has control over digestive function. When the nerves around the thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine are interrupted, digestive issues may arise.
A chiropractor can perform an alignment to correct subluxations that are impacting the nervous system's ability to control your digestive function.This realignment of the spine will omit interference between the two symptoms, allowing the digestive system to function normally again. This return of digestive function should help with constipation issues you may be facing.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Cause a Pinched Nerve?
A: A pinched nerve is a result of too much pressure being applied to nerves by surrounding tissue, such as tendons, muscles, cartilage, and bones. Pressure interrupts the nerve's function, and "pinches" it, causing discomfort, tingling, pain, or numbness. A pinched nerve can occur at various spots on the body, including the spine or wrist.
Some may fear that manual manipulation performed by a chiropractor can result in a pinched nerve. This is not the case. If you visit a qualified chiropractor, such as the specialists at ChiroCare of Florida, your treatment will not result in a pinched nerve.
The doctors at ChiroCare of Florida have had years of schooling and vigorous training to understand which spots of the body to manipulate and how much pressure each manipulation requires. They will never apply excess tension to tender spots of the body where nerves could possibly become compromised.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with a Pinched Nerve?
A: If you're suffering from a pinched nerve, a chiropractor is your best option for finding relief. Tissue, such as vertebrae, cartilage, tendons, or muscles, that are placing pressure on a nerve will result in a disruption in the nerve's function. This pressure leads to pain, tingling, discomfort, or numbness. A chiropractor will utilize gentle, non-invasive techniques to place the problematic tissue where it belongs. For example, if the pinched nerve is in the lower back, a chiropractor will incorporate spinal manipulation to place the vertebrae that are putting pressure on the nerve back in place.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Pain?
A: Yes, a chiropractor can help with shoulder pain. A myriad of events can cause shoulder pain, including auto accidents, sleeping in an incorrect position, or injuries received while playing sports. Typically, pain is caused by inflammation or swelling in the muscle.
An effective chiropractic method for reducing inflammation in the shoulder is instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). This instrument locates knots and trigger points within the muscle and increases blood flow to the area to relax it, and allow it to return to its proper position. The result is a shoulder free of pain.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Back Pain?
A: Back pain is a chiropractor's specialty. Pain in the back is typically related to subluxations in the spine. Subluxations are a misalignment of the vertebrae, the small bones forming the backbone. Vertebrae are attached to the back muscles, and contain soft, gel-like discs between each bone. Back pain can be related to a number of ailments, including:
- Herniated discs
- Soft tissue bruising
- Spinal compression
- Bulging discs
- Sprains and strains
If you've been experiencing pain in your back, a chiropractor will help pinpoint the cause of your pain. Your chiropractor can then recommend treatment, such as Electrical stimulation (E-stim), massage therapy, spinal manipulation, and adjustments.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help with Sciatica?
A: Sciatica is a condition affecting the sciatic nerve, the large nerve extending from the lower back and down the back of each leg. Sciatica pain often travels down the thigh and can reach the feet or toes. Chiropractors have a multitude of methods to combat sciatic pain, including cryotherapy, ultrasound therapy, and spinal manipulations. Cryotherapy can reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and stimulate the healing process, minimizing the painful effects of sciatica. Ultrasound therapy also works to reduce inflammation, by increasing muscle relaxation and blood flow, and helping with pain relief.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help Arthritis?
A: Essentially, arthritis is a disease of the joints, in which inflammation causes pain and stiffness.By using varying degrees of force to adjust misaligned joints, chiropractors try to improve the relationship between the spine and nervous system. Manipulation of the joints is beneficial for anyone suffering from acute and chronic low back pain, neck pain and knee osteoarthritis.
For those with an inflammatory form of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis, spinal manipulation can greatly reduce inflammation caused by the disease. Likewise, your chiropractor may recommend you receive cryotherapy, a treatment which uses freezing temperatures to reduce inflammation and aids in the soreness often related to arthritis. A regimen of gentle spinal manipulation, as well as routine exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet should reduce pain and inflammation, and improve mobility.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Fix Knee Pain?
A: Yes, a chiropractor is highly trained to deal with knee pain. Oftentimes, pain in the knee is caused by an inflammation in the joints. This inflammation results in pain that can throb, stab, or be constant, as well as the possibility of stiffness. The first step your chiropractor will take will be to perform an adjustment, as often the cause of inflammation in the knee is a joint that has fallen out of a alignment.
Following an alignment, your chiropractor may use a treatment called cryotherapy, in which a cryotherapy sauna or chamber is cooled using liquid nitrogen to reach temperatures ranging from -100 F to -274 F. Cryotherapy helps with muscle soreness, reduces inflammation, and reduces fatigue.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Help Hip Pain?
A: Hip pain can stem from a myriad of injuries, including inflammation, osteoarthritis or other inflammatory diseases, overuse, trauma, or sciatica. If you're experiencing hip pain, a chiropractor can help pinpoint the source of your pain, and develop a plan to alleviate it.
For inflammation, including arthritis, a chiropractor may turn to therapies such as cryotherapy, in which freezing temperatures are used to reduce inflammation and aid in soreness and pain. For sciatica or trauma, your chiropractor may use ultrasound therapy to increase muscle relaxation and blood flow, or instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) to reduce swelling and increase blood flow to the affected area.
For many, what they think is hip pain may actually originate from a different part of the body. Because the hips are utilized in almost every movement we complete throughout the day, it is easy to confuse the origin of the pain. A chiropractor will most likely complete a spinal alignment when treating your hip pain, to ensure that all vertebrae and joints are not irritating the lower back.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Order an MRI?
A: Yes, a chiropractor can order an MRI. A magnetic resonance imaging, can be incredibly useful when attempting to diagnose a patient's pain. At ChiroCare of Florida, we utilize MRI's to assure we are properly treating our patients. Additionally, if your injuries are a result of an accident, receiving an MRI from your chiropractor can be used when building a personal injury claim.
Q: Can a Chiropractor Prescribe Medication?
A: No, a chiropractor will never prescribe medicine. Chiropractors rely on alternative medicine, such as manual and instrument-aided manipulation and spinal adjustments to assure overall body health and implement the body's natural healing process.