A chiropractor specializes in treating back, neck and muscle pain by manipulating the muscles and musculoskeletal structure to restore proper alignment and bring about lasting relief. Because headaches, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia are sometimes aggravated by misaligned muscles or joints, those who have chronic problems with one or more of these conditions may find that regular chiropractic visits can bring about some relief from the pain and discomfort caused by these particular conditions.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
In order to choose a good practitioner, a person will need to first of all understand what a person in this line of work actually does. Chiropractors use deep muscle massage to rectify muscle, joint and bone problems. In some cases, a practitioner may use his or her hands; in other instances other devices may be used for the massage. Some chiropractors also offer prolotherapy or sclerotherapy; these forms of therapy consist of regular injections and are meant to provide relief from pain but their efficacy has not been clinically proven.
In some cases, a doctor may refer a patient to a known chiropractic clinic. Those who have gotten such a referral should see the practitioner in question as such a practitioner is known and trusted by one’s own doctor and so is likely to be experienced in his or her field of expertise. In such instances, the doctor will usually (with a patient’s permission) pass on X-rays and information related to the case so that the chiropractic office taking on the patient can see what the problem is and how to best treat it.
If a person makes an appointment on his or her own, the chiropractic office will usually request a preliminary appointment to assess a patient’s condition and determine its root cause. In some cases, X-rays may be taken in order to properly diagnose the problem and create a treatment course, but not all problems needs to be diagnosed using an X-ray.
While it is not hard to find a medical professional or clinic that provides chiropractic services, a person should do some research before choosing a person to provide chiropractic care. Calling a number of clinics and asking about prices and procedures is a good way to find a person you can trust to deal with back, neck and/or muscle pain. Because different clinics have different prices, calling a number of places can also enable a person to save some money.
At the same time, cost is never the most important factor to take into consideration when choosing a person to provide medical services. It is better to find a person who charges more and does the job right than it is to work with someone who is experienced and/or incompetent. The location of the clinic and its standard should also be taken into consideration; every good practitioner will have a clean, pleasant office and suitable equipment.
When seeing a private practitioner, it is very important to make sure that he or she has a license and the necessary education to practice in the state of California. California law requires anyone who offer chiropractic services to have studied an approved, accredited educational institution and pass an exam given by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
Those who have studied chiropractic care for four years and have an undergraduate degree often have the initials “DC” following their name. Such individuals have the training needed to handle complicated or chronic back problems. However, a person will want to pay as much attention to experience as he or she does to educational expertise. A person should discuss his or her condition with the chiropractic practitioner and see if this individual has handled similar cases in the past.
It is important to realize that the type of massage work done by any given chiropractic practitioner varies according to the individual. Some practitioners use soft, relatively light massage strokes while others use harder massage methods. While both massage methods are known to be effective, a person should ask for details on how back massage is done. It is important for a patient to not only get effective treatment but also feel comfortable with the treatment methods being used.
What Does Treatment Involve?
Treatment usually involves visiting a practitioner three times a week for anywhere from one to three months. A person should steer clear of a practitioner who states that treatments longer than three months are necessary or who claims to be able to heal and/or treat conditions other than the ones mentioned above. If a treatment course is not showing positive benefits in a relatively short period of time, then a person will need to see another medical specialist for treatment. While chiropractic care is effective in treating a wide range of bone, muscle and joint problems, it cannot treat every form of back or neck pain.
Taking safety precautions is always wise. First of all, those who are interested in getting chiropractic therapy should discuss this with a doctor beforehand. A doctor may be able to recommend a good practitioner, or can at least provide valuable information regarding which forms of treatment to look for.
It should also be noted that individuals who have certain conditions should not seek chiropractic care. This form of care is not suitable for those who suffer from osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, or inflammatory arthritis as spinal manipulation can make these conditions worse.
Those who experience neck, back or joint pain will want to find a Long Beach, California chiropractic clinic that can deal with the underlying problem and bring about lasting relief. Fortunately, there are many such clinics in the area, enabling a person in most cases to find an experienced practitioner close to home or work.
At the same time, some chiropractic practitioners are better than others, and it is important to take the time to find the right one. A good practitioner should be licensed in the state of California, have experience and the equipment needed to deal with the problem at hand and offer reasonable prices. Taking the time to call a number of places and compare prices and services is always wise, as finding the right clinic will enable a person to get top notch care that can alleviate the pain and discomfort once and for all.