Statistics show that close to 70 million Americans have reported some form of back pain in recent years. About 16 million of them have chronic back pain that significantly affects how well they can carry out their daily activities. That means they’re always looking for ways to ease their pain to make their lives easier and chiropractic care is one of those options. While seeing a chiropractor can be helpful, it’s important to know what that entails and manage your expectations.
When Is A Chiropractor Helpful?
Generally, chiropractors use pressure on specific joints to realign your spine and reduce your discomfort. Chiropractic care is most effective for acute pain that has only been bothering you for less than three months, flare-ups of chronic pain, and neck pain. Treating these can also help you with chronic headaches, poor posture, and balance issues. Some chiropractors also offer soft tissue therapy to relax tight muscles, exercises to maintain stability, and Kinesio taping to support strained muscles or joints.
You should also note that there are circumstances where you should avoid seeing a chiropractor. That list includes when you have severe arthritis, broken bones, bone tumors, bone infections, severe osteoporosis, and pinched nerves that are associated with numbness or tingling in the extremities.
What To Expect From Your First Visit
When you visit a chiropractor for the first time, it’s common for them to spend some time getting to know your medical history. Some of the information they may request is any illnesses or injuries, the medications you’re taking, your diet, and your lifestyle.
They will also want to know more about the condition or symptoms that lead to you seeking chiropractic care. There may also be a physical exam. Depending on what they learn, you may need to undergo further tests like an X-ray to determine if a spinal adjustment is right for you. Some chiropractors may request that you do these tests before coming in.
If the chiropractor decides to go ahead with the treatment on the first day, you’ll be asked to lie down on a specialized table. It’s common for the manipulation to be done by hand as they move the joints in your spine. It can jerk your body around but it shouldn’t hurt. If you feel any pain during treatment, let your chiropractor know immediately. Sometimes, they may do a soft tissue massage as well. After a treatment, it’s typical to have some soreness and stiffness for a few days. Some people also report feeling tired.
The chiropractor might recommend some exercises or stretches that will help to support your treatment.
How To Describe Your Pain
The first thing to note is that you should always tell the chiropractor if you have any numbness or tingling as this can indicate nerve damage. You also need to use the right words when describing your pain so the chiropractor knows what they’re dealing with. It’s essential to let them know if the pain is sharp or dull, stinging, burning, stabbing, or feels like electrical shocks.
Other things to mention are whether the pain stays in one place or seems to move to other parts of your body, whether the pain starts in