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What conditions can be treated with chiropractic care?
What is chiropractic and is it safe?
It is a natural approach to management of many health issues with the primary focus being the neuromusculoskeletal system and manipulation of the spine. It is among the safest treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions.
What does this manipulation do?
Chiropractic manipulation (the "chiropractic adjustment") is a quick, shallow movement of the joint safely beyond its usual range of motion. The goal is to restore a more normal function to the joint, improving its range of motion while decreasing pain. Researchers think it does this through several mechanisms: it creates a temporary gas cushion between the joint surfaces, restores the synovial fluid flow over the joint cartilages, breaks down adhesions, repositions the joint surfaces and ultimately restores motion in a restricted joint. Stress on tissues and disks, as well as irritation of the nerves, is relieved and the body's function is improved.
What can I expect if I seek chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care encompasses the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. It starts with gathering an extensive health history and conducting a thorough examination. Treatment aimed at restoring joint motion and reducing pain and inflammation might include manipulation, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, TENS (pain-reducing nerve stimulation), massage, and cold or hot packs. A chiropractor may also recommend stretching and strengthening exercises. Patients are given home management and prevention strategies to continue the healing process, help prevent reoccurrence and maintain good health.
Once I start, do I need to keep coming for the rest of my life?
No. Contrary to some myths, chiropractic care is not addictive and, when delivered properly, does not create any physician dependence. Care is always optional and patients should choose whether or not to continue based on whether they are seeing tangible benefits. Additionally, good chiropractic care will include efforts to teach a patient how to improve work, home and sleep habits to reduce stress on the joints and connective tissues and lessen the need for treatment.Jeff Askew, DC is a member of the American College of Chiropractic Orthopedists with 31 years experience in private practice. He joined Sanford Health in 2010. A native of Bismarck, he earned a bachelor's degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He is certified in basic and advanced whiplash traumatology from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego and is approved as a Best Practices Instructor by the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters.