Does Chiropractic Hurt

A chiropractic adjustment may seem to have a reputation among the uninitiated that leaves one a bit apprehensive. Perhaps someone who has never had chiropractic treatment has only heard about the noises and the seemingly strange body positions during treatment. Even in amusement, the treatment is referred to as back cracking.

The unknowing can be enough to make someone presuppose it must hurt, but the fact is, chiropractic treatment does not hurt if it is performed correctly by a qualified and certified professional. Further, the chiropractor’s office has certain equipment and devices that allows the doctor to put a patient in ideal positions for the body to heal itself and to prevent any harm. Invariably, patients are compelled to visit their chiropractor after making a movement, whether inadvertent or not, that causes the bones to shift out of place, but they don’t shift back as they should. You often see this in the event of a vehicular collision, roughhousing or impact sports, abrupt changes in movement or other impacts with hard surfaces. For some, simply getting up off the floor or bending down is enough to inflict pain.

It all has to do with how the body moves. When the spine is not properly aligned, nerves are impinged, and swelling or inflammation may occur as the body is coming to the rescue, which then produces the symptoms of pain and discomfort. Think of it as the common complaint, “I must have slept wrong,” or “I don’t know what I did but my neck and shoulder are killing me today.”

You don’t always know what you did, but misalignment is enough to cause pain and discomfort. For some patients in the greater Birmingham area, routine chiropractic visits help keep them aligned and free from pain as they are able to move without aggravating the nerves. For others, it isn’t until they have had an injury of some kind and finally make their way to the chiropractor.

What to Expect from a Chiropractic Visit

A first visit typically entails a review of the health history of the patient. Chiropractic is not recommended for patients with cancer, a herniated disc or other condition that could increase the odds of inducing a stroke. The chiropractor must be aware of your health conditions before treatment is ever performed in order to take the proper precautions. Commonly, chiropractors see patients for the following conditions:

  • Structural correction
  • Scoliosis treatment
  • General chiropractic
  • Whiplash
  • Other conditions

That first visit is the opportunity to discuss any concerns that you do have. You will learn what occurs during an adjustment, discuss the results revealed in your X-rays and learn what you should do following an adjustment. During the adjustment, the chiropractor applies pressure with their hands and sometimes with other devices upon the back to realign the spine.

The movements are usually quick thrusts that apply pressure to “pop” the joints producing a noise similar to when you “pop” your knuckles. This is nothing more than what is called cavitation or creating a vacuum in the joint. When in proper alignment, the spine becomes the highway for the network of communication from the brain throughout the body; it is really a marvel of nature.

This realignment is referred to as spinal manipulation. This is simply movement and nothing is breaking or being snapped. If anything, it is a bit surprising. If there has been swelling or spasm relative to your complaint for which you are seeking treatment, it may smart a touch. Generally, though, it is nothing more than what you can produce when you press your thumb on the muscle where there is soreness.

Depending on the nature of the issue for which chiropractic is sought, there is the chance that some soreness or aching may occur for a short period following an adjustment. This is typically comparable to what one goes through following a vigorous workout. The benefit of chiropractic is that:

  • Vascular activity is increased
  • Nerves that are no longer impinged can send electrical messages to and from the brain
  • Endorphins are released

Overall, patients tend to feel a bit euphoric when the pressure and pain are relieved. Many patients appreciate chiropractic because it is part of holistic treatment that is a departure from the typical pharmaceutical regimen. If you are in Hoover or the greater Birmingham area and would like to learn more about chiropractic treatment for your pain and discomfort, call us today at 205-637-1363 and we can help.

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