What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors use manual manipulation of the musculoskeletal areas of the body, including the spine, for proper alignment and functioning of the body’s systems. Most frequently, adjustments occur in the spine and involve the surrounding muscles and the related areas of the nervous system. In addition to providing traditional chiropractic care, look for Tulsa chiropractors who use an integrated approach while working with multiple disciplines to provide lasting relief for your continued overall wellness.
What can chiropractic care help with?
While chiropractic care typically involves the relief of pain from a debilitating condition or injury, this treatment can also provide you with the following benefits:
What type of conditions can chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors are mostly known for treating conditions that result in pain. Pain management often involves the use of chiropractic care treatment since ligaments that connect to joints can become tight or damaged from overuse or injuries, shifting the bones slightly out of their proper position.
Chiropractic care has been proven to be effective at treating multiple conditions, just a few of which are discussed further.
Perhaps the most common reason that you might seek chiropractic care is due to back pain. Back pain may result from arthritis, pulled or strained muscles, or injuries to the spine.
When the backbone is curved sideways in scoliosis, a chiropractic care adjustment may help to readjust the ligaments so that the vertebrae in the spine can align in the proper position.
Pain that radiates from the lower back or buttocks and through the hips or legs is often the result of compression of the sciatic nerve. While sciatica may resolve itself for several months, recovery may be shortened through chiropractic care manipulation of the spine, reducing pressure on the affected nerve.
Slips and falls and motor vehicle and sports accidents may result in injury to the spine, neck, or other joints. Any damage or injury to the musculoskeletal system may be helped through the use of chiropractic treatment methods.
If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know how debilitating this type of headache can be. Research is finding that chiropractic treatment can be very effective in treating and preventing migraines without the use of medications that could have serious side effects.
Several other conditions may benefit from the use of chiropractic care:
- Chronic fatigue
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
Do chiropractors crack your neck?
When you think about the word crack, it typically means to fully or partially break something open, such as when you’re cracking an egg. However, when it comes to chiropractic care, your provider isn’t hurting anything.
Cracking is simply a term that is commonly used when you manipulate ligaments surrounding joints. The reason this term is used is due to the sound that often occurs with such joint adjustment.
The crackling or popping sounds may occur for a couple of reasons. Joints contain fluid and several elemental gases. These gases collect into bubbles. When your joints are manipulated, the small but concise movement releases these trapped gases, resulting in a popping or crackling sound.
In other cases, noises may be heard due to tight ligaments or tendons releasing or due to arthritis. The reason the crackling appears to be so loud during a neck adjustment is simply that your ears are located very close to this area.
When should I see a chiropractic care provider?
Whether referred for chiropractic care treatment by your primary care physician or as a choice you’ve made on your own, there are times when it just makes sense to visit a chiropractor’s office.
Chronic back pain
As long as your pain issue isn’t caused by advanced degeneration of the joints, you could benefit from chiropractic care to help resolve long-term or chronic pain issues, mainly when previous treatments only mask symptoms and don’t alleviate the root cause of the pain. Additionally, if the pain is caused by slipped, ruptured, or herniated discs, you should determine if chiropractic care could do more harm than good.
Joint or muscle pain
Many times, muscle or joint pain can be caused by improper alignment of the musculoskeletal system. A chiropractic care provider can help determine what treatments will best return alignment, proper blood flow, and better nervous system functioning.
Accident or injury follow-up
As long as no bones are broken, many chiropractors have extensive experience helping patients regain their mobility and function following an accident.
Unexplained shooting or burning pains, numbness or tingling
The musculoskeletal system can dramatically affect the functioning of your nervous system. If there’s pressure on nerves, this can result in shooting pains or a pins-and-needles sensation. With proper adjustment, pressure on nerves can be released to provide relief from your condition.
If you experience migraines or tension headaches regularly, it might be because your body is out of alignment. Chiropractic care treatments can release the buildup of pressure to reduce tension and prevent recurrent headaches.
Weakness in your arms or legs
Weakness in your limbs that results in unsteadiness or inability to effectively complete your daily tasks could mean pressure on nerves or vessels that could decrease blood flow to the appropriate areas. Chiropractic care manipulation can help realign the proper body parts to allow better nerve function and proper blood flow.
How do I choose the right chiropractor?
Choosing the right Tulsa chiropractic care provider is an essential step in your healing and wellness. If you’ve never visited this professional before, there are several ways that you can choose chiropractic care.
If you know of anyone, such as a friend, family member, or coworker, who has had chiropractic treatment, you may want to ask them about their provider. Someone close to you is likely to point out all of the good and bad points about their treatment from a specific provider. This is especially helpful if you’re experiencing a similar problem to that person.
With the internet, finding information on specific chiropractic care providers couldn’t be easier. Many websites are solely there to allow patients to relay their experiences to others. Check specifically for reviews of chiropractors who treat your condition for the best results.
While a good place to start may be the websites for specific care providers, be wary of using only patient reviews from these sites as only the best reviews may be posted.
Read doctor Bio’s
A provider’s web page should include information about the specific chiropractic care doctors in the office. Reading each doctor’s bio should provide you with information such as education, certifications, and years in practice. You might even find that a specific doctor specializes in treating the condition you’re looking for help with.
A just starting provider can give you similar quality of care as someone practicing for many years. Just make sure that the provider you’re considering has met all licensing and certification requirements. However, if you prefer someone with more hands-on experience, reading the provider’s bio will help you find this information.
A chiropractic care provider’s website should offer plenty of information on the conditions that they treat and how long they’ve been providing patient services in the area.
Some providers will even have blogs to provide prospective and current patients with information about specific conditions and treatment methods. While a website that offers tons of data can be good, be sure you combine this knowledge with reviews from other patients to ensure that this provider will be a good fit for you.
If you have additional questions, you can call or email the provider under consideration. It may take some time for someone with the appropriate knowledge to get back to you since they are busy with other patients during the workday. However, it’s still vital that you receive the relevant information promptly. Also, take note of how those who respond to you address your questions and concerns.
Additionally, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may want to make an in-person visit to the office. When you do this, you can note the condition and atmosphere of the office before you decide to become a patient. This can be especially beneficial if multiple chiropractic care providers are close to where you live or work. You want to make sure that you’ll be comfortable while you’re there.
Got a question about Chiropractic Care?
Click on any of these frequently asked questions to reveal the answer. Need more information than you can find here? Call us, or send in your question using the form on the right side of this page.
A: Each treatment plans is specific to each patient and condition; yours will be created with your specific needs in mind. We believe education and self management procedures can decrease your office visits and reoccurrence of injury. Treatment often blends manual procedures such as manipulation, soft tissue techniques and activity modification/education with progression of an exercise program specific to your condition. Duration of treatment is typically 1-2 weeks along with a detailed home instruction.
A: Every patient is unique. Spinal manipulation may be indicated for certain conditions, but are not absolutely necessary. The signature treatment is the education you will receive about the spectrum of treatment options that are recommended for you.
A: Usually 50 to 60 minutes.
A: Soft tissue massage is an integral part of most treatment programs. However, the goal of care is to get to the cause of your pain and the massage is mostly utilized for palliative relief.
A: About 80% of people with lower back pain are 80% better within 2-4 weeks.
A: If your sciatica is persisting for 2-3 month then you are possibly a surgical candidate. If it is causing progressive muscle weakness you would be a surgical candidate even sooner. If you have any bowel or bladder incontinence or both legs are “giving way” then a more urgent surgical consultation is required. However, 90% of people with sciatica will improve with conservative care.
A: Herniated discs are very common. It has been found that they are present in people who have no symptoms – even 20 year olds! Experts now say that spinal changes such as herniated discs and arthritis are related to age (like graying hair or wrinkling skin) not symptoms. It appears that the difference between a person with a herniated disc who has no symptoms and one who has symptoms has to do with how their body is coping or stabilizing their back. We specialize in enhancing your functional ability to stabilize your back so that the disc bulge is not as relevant.
A: Yes. We see many patients after their surgery. We work closely with each surgeon so we can forge a team approach to the timing and intensity of your rehabilitation program.
A: Yes. Pinched nerves in the neck or low back cause arm or leg symptoms such as numbness, tingling or weakness. We will perform the necessary examination to diagnose this condition. The first line of treatment includes ergonomic or lifting advice, physical therapy, and exercise. Often anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed by your medical physician is important too. About 20% of the time pinched nerve symptoms worsen in the first month or fail to resolve over a 1 to 3 month period. Such cases require additional testing such as with an M.R.I. and more invasive treatments such as epidural injections or surgery. We will make appropriate referrals in these instances.
A: No. We recognize the significance x-rays (and other various diagnostic tests) and will refer patients whose history and physical exam clinically indicates the need for further investigation to a trusted facility.