Chronic Conditions 3 MIN READ 87 VIEWS May 27, 2024

Is Chiropractic Care Right for You? Exploring the Benefits and Disadvantages

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Over the years, chiropractic care has garnered significant interest and discussion. It is a type of alternative treatment to medicine or surgery which mainly focuses on diagnosing and treating mechanical problems of the spine and musculoskeletal system. 

Chiropractors believe that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system. Even though many people vouch for the chiropractic benefits, it’s important to be aware of its possible disadvantages. This blog will cover what exactly chiropractic care does, its key benefits, and potential disadvantages.

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A certified chiropractor uses their hands and specialised tools to adjust your body’s joints. This treatment is also called joint manipulation or spinal manipulation. A chiropractic adjustment can help with pain management, alignment correction, and physical function improvement. The treatment that you receive from chiropractic adjustments complements your regular medical care. 

What does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors treat aches, creaks, and strains. For issues related to the musculoskeletal system, a chiropractor can provide non-pharmaceutical treatments.

Treatments may include:

  • Adjustments: Joints can be gently realigned to improve the range of motion and reduce pain.
  • Soft-tissue Treatment: It aims to alleviate tense muscles, lessen spasms, and relieve tension in the fascia, the connective tissue enveloping each muscle.
  • Stretches and Exercises: To maintain and regain joint mobility and stability.
  • Kinesio Taping or Joint Bracing: It supports strained muscles or joints as they heal.

Chiropractic Benefits

Common chiropractic benefits include:

  • Relieve musculoskeletal system-related problems 
  • Treat chronic illnesses, aches or muscle stiffness
  • Alternative therapy options for people who want to avoid taking prescription medications.

Chiropractic care can also be received to treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Healing after an accident or whiplash
  • Joint pain and dysfunction
  • Sciatica
  • Stiff muscles or muscle aches
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the neck
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Headaches
  • Improves your posture

Furthermore, chiropractors can treat musculoskeletal discomfort in body parts like the head and jaws, shoulders, elbows and wrists, hips and pelvis, knees and ankles.

Process of Chiropractic Adjustment

Your chiropractor will provide a customised treatment during a chiropractic adjustment. To enable your chiropractor to apply pressure to a particular area, you have to lie face down on a chiropractic table that permits your body to divide into segments and elevate some parts slightly higher than the rest.

Your chiropractor may gently stretch your joints beyond their usual range of motion, or they may use their hands or equipment to apply a rapid, controlled force (amount of pressure) to a joint. This releases trapped gases in your joints and realigns your spine’s vertebrae if they were a little off-centre.

A popping or cracking sound could be heard and felt during a chiropractic treatment. The gases that escape from your joints include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen. Your joints have tiny spaces where gas may get trapped when you move and stretch. You hear a similar sound when you crack your knuckles, but this gas release may be apparent during chiropractic treatment.

Like with a workout, a chiropractic adjustment typically results in little to no pain during the procedure. You may experience very slight aches or mild soreness in the areas of your body that your chiropractor worked on. Usually, this feeling passes in a day or two.

Who can Get a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustment is a useful treatment for people of all ages, including adults and children. People aged 45 to 64 are the most common seekers of chiropractic care. Females are more likely to visit a chiropractor than males.

A screening is recommended before the session to determine if chiropractic care is suitable for you. Your chiropractor will refer you to another healthcare practitioner if they feel that chiropractic care is not suitable for your condition.

Disadvantages of Chiropractic Care

After a chiropractic adjustment, you can experience minor side effects which go away quickly, like:

  • Soreness or fatigue
  • Minor headaches 

Very rarely, severe side effects from chiropractic adjustments include: 

  • Stroke
  • Herniated disk
  • Pinched nerves in the lower back (also known as cauda equina syndrome).

If you receive chiropractic care from untrained and unlicensed people, you stand a higher chance of experiencing adverse side effects or consequences. You should only get treatment by a qualified, licensed chiropractor.

Conclusion

Chiropractic benefits individuals suffering from musculoskeletal pain and mobility issues. Its non-invasive nature, potential for pain relief, and ability to enhance athletic performance make it an appealing option for many. 

However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential disadvantages of chiropractic care and to take necessary precautions when considering it. By consulting healthcare providers and choosing qualified chiropractors, patients can maximise the benefits of chiropractic care while minimising potential disadvantages. 

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