Many individuals only visit their chiropractor when they're experiencing back pain. While chiropractors can help to alleviate back and neck pain, chiropractic care can have many applications, treating everything from joint pain to migraines. Chiropractors specialize in spinal health because the spine impacts the entire body, including the tissues, joints, and nervous system. Frequently, the treatments methods used by chiropractors, like spinal adjustments, can improve seemingly unrelated health conditions. If you're experiencing chronic pain of any kind, schedule a visit with a chiropractor. Keep reading to find out more signs you need a chiropractor.
Limited Range Of Motion
As individuals age, their range of motion often decreases. Tight, inflexible joints can creep up on you; one day, you are touching your toes without a problem, and then all of a sudden, you can be struggling to tie your shoes. Several chiropractic treatments can help to combat a limited range of motion. For example, the repetitive motions of daily life can wreak havoc on your spinal alignment, which can lead to joint stiffness throughout the body, from the neck to the shoulders to the hips. When chiropractors realign the spine via manual adjustments, it releases pent-up tension, giving the affected joints a greater range of motion.
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Chronic Joint Or Muscle Pain
There are many reasons why individuals experience chronic joint or muscle pain. Sometimes, the pain is due to an old injury that never fully healed, and for others, decades of living an active lifestyle are what left their muscles in a state of constant fatigue. When treating chronic joint pain, chiropractors may use a technique known as flexion distraction, which stretches the back, aligns the spine, and targets any disk herniations. For chronic muscle pain, chiropractors might opt for soft tissue therapy, which can help rid the muscle of inflammatory scar tissue.
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Spinal manipulation doesn't just relieve neck and painâit can also help alleviate frequent headaches. Tension in the body, especially tension held in the neck, causes most headaches. When combined with a sedentary lifestyle or poor posture, neck tension can trigger painful, recurring headaches. When chiropractors perform spinal manipulations on individuals who experience headaches or migraines, it can reduce the amount of stress stored in the system. If the headaches are caused by poor posture, chiropractors can also teach patients relaxation techniques and stretching exercises. This helps to prevent the headache-causing tension from returning after the spinal manipulation.
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Many individuals sustain whiplash injuries after car accidents. Whiplash usually manifests as a soft tissue injury, and it's usually caused by sudden, unexpected flexion or extension. If you're suffering from recent whiplash, several chiropractic treatments may help with recovery. Neck adjustments, for example, help increase spinal mobility, thus speeding up the recovery process. They can also help loosen the adjoining muscles. Depending on the whiplash injury, chiropractors may also try rehabilitative exercises, mobilization, massage, and ice therapy.
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Sedentary Lifestyle Or Job
As sedentary lifestyles have become more common, the number of individuals suffering from back pain has risen. When individuals don't get enough exercise, their joints and muscles stiffen and atrophy, and they end up carrying too much tension in their bodies, which can lead to neck and back pain. The prevalence of office jobs has also led to an increase in back pain, as many individuals sit at their desk all day, with their shoulders hunched and their spine contorted. Poor posture can result in pain as well.
Many chiropractic techniques can help patients impacted by their sedentary lifestyle or job. Spinal manipulation will help to relieve the tension, but the pain will likely return if patients don't make a few lifestyle changes. Maintaining good posture helps a great deal; chiropractors can give patients tips on how to keep their spine aligned while they're at the office. Chiropractors may also prescribe supplements, give dietary advice, and provide patients with exercises to combat the effects of their workweek.
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Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic neck pain can be an indicator something in your musculoskeletal system is out of alignment. In addition, neck pain might be caused by problems with your posture a chiropractor can correct. Poor posture like leaning over a computer or desk can lead to straining of the neck muscles. It's also common for osteoarthritis patients to experience ongoing neck pain. A chiropractor will evaluate the cause of your neck pain and determine whether chiropractic treatment can help. If they believe there may be an underlying medical condition, they may refer you to another medical professional instead. Individuals with chronic neck pain might find their pain gets worse if they hold their head in a single position for long periods. They might have a decreased range of motion, and they might also experience tension headaches that radiate from the neck to the back of the head.
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Persistent Back Pain
A chiropractor may be able to treat persistent back pain, though it depends on the underlying cause. Several studies have indicated chiropractic care can help alleviate chronic pain in the lower back and to treat a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Patients who have chronic low back pain without any specific cause have been shown to have a better long-term outcome when they continue getting maintenance chiropractic work done after the initial manipulations. The treatment plan for dealing with back pain will vary depending on the disability issues present, the level of activity patients can tolerate, and the level of pain they're experiencing. In addition to providing spinal manipulations, a chiropractor might also make adjustments to your posture or suggest lifestyle changes that can help. Persistent muscle pain in the back might also be helped by chiropractic care if the underlying cause is a misalignment of the skeletal system. A chiropractor will do a physical examination to determine whether this is the case.
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Soles Wearing Out Differently
The soles of your shoes are wearing out differently could be a sign of an issue with your musculoskeletal system. This may be due to misalignment, or it may be the result of an underlying medical problem. When the skeleton is aligned correctly, and the muscles are working in harmony, weight should be evenly distributed between the feet. As you walk, each foot should exert the same amount of pressure and weight against the ground. If your shoe heels wear out unevenly, this indicates one side of your body is carrying more weight and pressure than the other. This can sometimes be an indicator of a lack of muscular strength, flattened arches, or a problem with the mobility of your joints and overall posture. A chiropractor can evaluate the cause of the imbalance and determine whether chiropractic care will be effective in treating it. Isolating and treating a gait imbalance can help prevent further issues from developing, including weakened joints and plantar fasciitis.
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Want To Live A Healthier Life
Chiropractic care may be helpful for those who want to live a healthier overall life. There are many different ways chiropractic care can promote health and wellness. Chiropractors are best known for helping reduce ongoing neck and back pain, especially when the spinal system becomes misaligned following an injury. In addition, there have been some studies indicating chiropractic care may help improve the immune system's function. For individuals who have a limited range of motion due to joint pain, chiropractic care can help increase mobility. This may also improve an individual's ability to exercise and partake in physical activity to keep their body moving. The release of tension and pain can also help patients with chronic back and neck issues to sleep better at night. Some studies have shown chiropractic treatment may help decrease stress, increase energy, and improve overall mood. Most of the studied benefits of chiropractic therapy are musculoskeletal, but researchers have also found some individuals experience an overall boost in wellness.
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Increased Level Of Physical Activity
Chiropractic care can help you increase your level of physical activity by increasing your range of motion and treating joint issues that cause pain. It's a lot easier to move and engage in exercise when you aren't experiencing pain from doing so. Combining lifestyle changes like increased exercise with chiropractic care tends to give patients a better overall outcome. On the other hand, if you've recently increased your physical activity, you might benefit from seeing a chiropractor to deal with any ongoing muscle or joint pain that's happening as a result of the exercise. Chiropractic care can help with ongoing pain caused by soft tissue injuries, which makes it a popular option for athletes who are likely to sustain physical injuries. If you want help to increase your activity level or to sustain a recently increased activity level, a chiropractor may be able to assist. They'll determine what lifestyle changes you should be making, as well as what type of chiropractic treatment might help.