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Chiropractors specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions, which are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints, especially those of the spine, and their effects on the nervous system and general health.
Poor, inadequate or incorrect function of the spine can cause irritation of the nerves that control your posture and movement, resulting in pain, loss of mobility and muscle tension. The emphasis of chiropractic care is on manual techniques, most often involving adjustments or manipulations of the joints of your spine and other areas of the body where signs of restrictions in movement are found. This not only improves mobility, but also relieves pain and muscle spasms through stimulating certain receptors in the joint that affect the way your nervous system works.
On first meeting you, the chiropractor will take a detailed history of your presenting complaint as well as your medical history. A thorough examination will then be performed, including any orthopaedic, neurologic and chiropractic tests pertinent to your case. The history and examination will provide the practitioner with the information required to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. You will be given a detailed explanation of both before any treatment is carried out, taking your individual needs into consideration at all times.
In most cases treatment is immediate, at other times it may be necessary to seek further information from your GP or to arrange x-rays, blood or urine tests. Depending on your condition, the chiropractor will adjust parts of your spine or manipulate other joints, give advice on exercises, posture, diet and lifestyle. Some chiropractors also offer rehabilitation programmes.
An adjustment is a specific directional short impulse manually applied to a joint, which sets the joint in motion with the intent to restore its normal function. As the joint releases an audible “pop” may be produced, which is simply the sound of gas being released to fill the vacuum that occurs when joints are briefly separated by an adjustment, much like popping a cork from a bottle of champagne. However, this sound is not essential for the success of the treatment.
Generally, chiropractic treatment does not hurt although some patients may experience minor short-term discomfort or soreness, which quickly passes in most cases.
It is important that you talk to your chiropractor if you feel worried about anything either during or after treatment.
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