When to See a Chiropractor
Always see the right doctor for your specific health condition. Find out when to see a chiropractor.
It’s important to understand what type of doctor to see when you have a specific health concern. For example, when you have trouble with your teeth or discomfort in your jaw, you would see a dentist. If you receive a deep gash or cut on your arm, you would go to the Emergency Room. If you have difficulty with your vision, you would see an optometrist. What then are occasions when a person might make an appointment to visit a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are doctors who concern themselves with the nerves and with the muscles and skeleton. They offer a very natural approach that does not involve drugs or surgery. Chiropractic is gentle and safe for most adults and children. Because they often help the body to function better, chiropractors can be useful in a number of situations.
Headaches. Sinus headaches, tension headaches, and certain types of migraine headaches can be helped with chiropractic. Although each patient’s situation is different, gently relaxing muscles and improving the alignment of the bones in the neck, can reduce chronic tension. This can lessen uncomfortable nerve irritation, soothe tired muscles, and help the person to relax. Aligning the vertebrae (spine bones) at the top of the spine can also help the sinuses to drain better. This relieves annoying sinus irritation. Removing pressure from the occipital nerves that run along the bottom of the skull
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Every nerve that exists in the wrist and hand comes from one of the nerve roots that exit the spine in the area of the neck. Sometimes a nerve can have impingement (a situation when the nerve gets pinched and irritated) that can create feelings of numbness and tingling. Therefore, it’s important to check the entire path of the nerve as it goes from the neck to the hand to make sure that the joints are moving correctly and that nothing is causing a nerve to become trapped. Chiropractors with experience in helping people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are able to correct misalignments in the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. This can often reduce uncomfortable nerve irritation, and help the arm and wrist to heal.
Texter’s Thumb. Repetitive, overuse injuries such as texter’s thumb can be assessed by a chiropractor. The bones of the thumb, and the carpal bones (located in the wrist where the thumb attaches to the wrist) can be checked to make sure they are aligned properly. A person’s neck angle, shoulders, and overall posture can be analyzed to determine if prolonged texting has detrimentally affected the skeleton. The doctor can then create an individualized treatment plan with stretching exercises and recommendations for how to prevent texter’s thumb from reoccurring.
Low Back Pain. A large number of adults experience low back pain at least once in their lives. When a person’s low back becomes strained or injured, it’s important to get this condition corrected as soon as possible. Unless the skeleton is restored to its initial, proper alignment, muscles can heal incorrectly. The distance between a muscle’s origin and insertion points may become lengthened on one side of the spine and shortened on the opposite side of the spine. If the skeleton has shifted, it can change the angle of muscle contraction, making the muscle less efficient.
Sciatica. Pain, electrical sensations, tingling, and unpleasant feelings radiating from a person’s back side down into their leg are just a few of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with sciatica. This painful condition can sometimes cause shooting pain down the thigh, to the back of the knee, and even radiate the entire way to the foot. Sciatica can be caused by prolonged sitting, inflamed muscles, or shifting of the bones of the low back and pelvis following an injury. Sometimes sciatica can become more painful when a person is seated. Other times, it can cause a person to be unable to sleep at night. Sciatica can be self-resolving, healing naturally on its own. However, if the bones of the skeleton have shifted, or if the muscles near the affected nerves become inflamed, sciatica may turn into a chronic condition that has a tendency to flare up at the most inconvenient times. Many people with sciatica have been helped with chiropractic treatment.
Earaches. Both children and adults suffering from earaches may get relief from conservative chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic techniques have helped many people by enabling the sinuses and Eustachian tubes to drain more effectively. Children who receive regular chiropractic care may not require tubes in their ears, because their ears begin to drain more naturally.
Bed Wetting (in children over the age of 4). Some children and their parents become concerned and embarrassed when their older child continues to wet the bed. The child sleeps so soundly that they are unable to wake up at the proper time to void their bladder. No matter how hard the child tries, they continue to wet the bed. Years go by and now the child is over the age of 10 and the problem continues. In these situations, it’s often a good idea to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor who has experience working with children. The chiropractor can check the skeleton and nerves of the spine. The objective is to make sure that the child’s brain is able to effectively receive the important information that their bladder is full. Sometimes it takes a series of treatments, but many children have received help for this sensitive issue with chiropractic.
Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a painful, life altering condition that tends to affect more women than men. It is an autoimmune disorder that is still not well understood by the medical community. Conservative chiropractic treatment can reduce muscle pain. However, individuals suffering from fibromyalgia must understand that chiropractic treatment may cause discomfort, especially during the early stages of treatment. Many fibromyalgia patients report that they sleep better after receiving chiropractic adjustments. People with fibromyalgia may need to see a chiropractor more often than other patients. This is because the chiropractor may need to do fewer chiropractic adjustments per visit to minimize the patient’s discomfort following treatment.
Mouse Shoulder. Shoulder pain from poor ergonomics and / or leaning on the arm of the chair while using the computer mouse can cause a chronic shoulder condition known as Mouse Shoulder. Chiropractic treatment for people suffering from this condition may involve aligning the bones of the shoulder and elbow, as well as suggestions for improved ergonomics while on the computer.
Sports injuries and sports performance. Chiropractic techniques can often help sports injuries to heal faster. In addition, enabling the bones of the skeleton to remain symmetrical (the same from left to right, so that the bones on one side of the skeleton are not lower than the opposite side) can allow muscles to function more efficiently. Chiropractors on the US Olympic team offer athletes a competitive edge. Many athletes see chiropractors regularly as they train.
Kids carrying heavy backpacks. Kids often benefit from seeing a chiropractor twice a year for chiropractic check-ups. Children who regularly carry a heavy backpack are more at risk for developing musculoskeletal problems and may need to be seen by a chiropractor several times a year.
When possible, try to find safe, natural alternatives to taking medications. Natural alternatives are a wonderful way to maintain a healthy lifestyle without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Contact your local chiropractor if you have questions about whether or not chiropractic can help you or your family.