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Chiropractic is one of the most widely used forms of complementary health care. Behind this treatment is the belief that health and wellness result from adjustments made to your spine.
All body function at some point involves the nervous system. Chiropractic works from the idea that if your spine (which protects and works with major parts of the nervous system) has a problem, your overall health can be affected. Areas of spinal inflexibility, misalignment, and pressure on nerves are called subluxations. Chiropractors make spinal adjustments to try to correct subluxations. This type of treatment may be especially effective if you have back, neck, joint pain, and related health problems.
Chiropractors may use other treatment methods in addition to spinal adjustments. For instance, they may use mild electrical stimulation, massage, heat, or ultrasound (soundwaves). But no matter what method is used, chiropractic may be an effective way to improve mobility and reduce pain.
Before you decide whether to have chiropractic care, talk with a chiropractor. Asking him or her some of these questions may help you make an informed decision:
What is your training? How long have you been practicing?
Are there any risks or side effects of chiropractic care?
Have you treated problems like mine?
What will a typical visit be like?
How long will treatment take and how much will it cost? Is your treatment generally short-term or long-term?
Will health insurance or compensation coverage help pay the bill?
People may pursue chiropractic if they believe it will relieve pain or improve spinal health. Many people also seek treatment for the neck and back aches that can come from daily stress or strain. And chiropractic may help people get back to work after being hurt on the job or in an accident. In some cases, chiropractic may be used to maintain overall health.
Discuss with friends and family any experiences they may have had with chiropractic. The people who know you are often your best resource. Also research chiropractic in your local library, on the Internet, or by contacting:
American Chiropractic Association www.acatoday.org
International Chiropractors Association www.chiropractic.org