Chiropractors can help with a number of different issues. The nervous system, which is directly linked to the spinal column, is responsible for much of the body's function. Therefore, a healthy and properly functioning spinal column is essential to good overall health. It is the chiropractor's job to make sure that the nervous system is able to work at its peak. Chiropractic care providers often treat back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, injuries like whiplash, numbness and tingling, and even chronic illnesses. Chiropractors can offer counseling on nutrition, exercise, and overall lifestyle as well. Patients often see their chiropractor when they are not ill, too.
Chiropractors will begin with a medical history. The history will include all medical care in the past and will include a list of all current medications and treatments. Patients will be asked to describe their lifestyle, their symptoms, and anything that may have contributed to their current condition. The chiropractor will then do a physical exam. This hands-on examination will focus on the areas that trouble the patient the most, but will usually include the whole cervical and lumbar spine. In some cases, x-ray images can be an important part of the initial evaluation, too.
Conditions like cervical radiculopathy and sciatica can cause not only pain but also numbness and tingling. By correcting the nerve problem at its origin, the numbness and tingling can be stopped. For example, in cervical radiculopathy, the problem originates in the cervical spine, so the problem is corrected there.
Chiropractic treatment is customized for the patient's specific issue. For many patients, upper cervical care can relieve neck problems, back pain, and many other types of pain. The chiropractor can also perform gentle manipulations to the lumbar spine if needed. The chiropractor may also prescribe physiotherapy like ice packs or moist heat application to help with pain and inflammation. The chiropractor will often teach patients specific exercises that can strengthen the core, too.
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