What Does a Chiropractor Do?

With rising concerns over the side effects and addictive properties of opioids and a growing interest in natural healing, many people are turning to chiropractic care to find relief from back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. If you’ve toyed with the idea of seeing a chiropractor but are unsure about what to expect, you’re not alone. Chiropractors treat more than 30 million people annually, but there’s still a bit of mystery surrounding this form of alternative medicine. Here’s a quick rundown of what a chiropractor does and what you can expect from your first adjustment. 

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor, also called a doctor of chiropractic medicine, is a licensed medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, especially in the spine.

What does a chiropractor do?

While a primary care doctor might prescribe medication to help you manage your back pain, a chiropractor addresses the root cause of the problem for long-lasting, natural relief. Chiropractors are trained in manual adjustment techniques that correct misaligned vertebrae, or subluxations in the spine, which are often the root cause of a wide range of health conditions. In addition to hands-on adjustments, a chiropractor may also recommend exercises that will help a patient strengthen surrounding muscles and tissue.

A chiropractor does not perform surgery, invasive procedures, or prescribe any type of medication to his or her patients.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment involves a quick, hands-on manipulation of the spine. The chiropractor will first feel around the problem area, searching for tenderness, tightness, and joint immobility. Then, using his or her hands, the chiropractor will perform a high-velocity, low amplitude arm thrust to move misaligned vertebrae back into place. You may hear a “pop” noise during a chiropractic adjustment, which is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide from the “stuck” joints. While surprising at first, this audible release is completely natural and safe.

The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is for a patient to leave with an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, and improved function. The relieving effects of a chiropractic adjustment can typically be felt immediately, though some patients report minor, temporary discomfort. 

What does a chiropractor treat?

Many people think chiropractors only treat back and neck pain. Not so! While chiropractors specialize in spinal adjustments, they also believe there is a strong connection between the spine and the nervous system. In other words, misaligned vertebrae can cause problems elsewhere in the body. Chiropractors can treat:

Does chiropractic work?

The short answer – yes. Chiropractic works by realigning the body into its natural position, relieving pressure from surrounding nerves, and restoring healthy blood flow.  

There is plenty of research about the efficacy of chiropractic care. In fact, a 2004 study by the Cochrane Collaboration found that chiropractic adjustments were as effective or more effective at treating short-term back pain than conventional treatment methods. Another study published in the European Spine Journal revealed that chiropractic adjustments resulted in a 72 percent success rate at treating sciatica-related symptoms. We could keep listing the fascinating results of clinical research trials, but the best way to find out if chiropractic works is to schedule your first appointment.

What does a chiropractor do? Come see for yourself! 

Perhaps you got hurt on the job and you need to see a chiropractor to get workers’ comp benefits. Or maybe a car accident has left you in excruciating pain and searching for natural relief. If you suffer from persistent headaches, a stiff neck, or nerve pain that radiates from your back down your legs, your primary care doctor may have prescribed medication and referred you to a chiropractor for additional care. Whatever brings you to Loy Chiropractic; we’re glad you’re here.

As a premier North County Chiropractic Center in San Diego, we do a lot more than help you find relief from neck and back pain. We consider ourselves your partners in health. Dr. Loy is passionate about educating his patients on how to take a drug-free, natural approach to healing and wellness through chiropractic adjustments, meditation, exercise, and healthy eating. 

Call us today at (858) 436-7162 to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care and to schedule your first appointment.