A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who focuses solely on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine. Chiropractors are concerned with the treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders or the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. These health care professionals often use their hands to treat disorders of the bones, muscles and joints, and they may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, as well as rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time. Some chiropractors may also offer alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
You might need a chiropractor if you are having problems with your spine, such as lower back or neck pain, though some could help you with a wider range of conditions such as asthma, infant colic, irritable bowel syndrome and many others. You may also need a chiropractor if you are suffering from shoulder pain and problems, slipped discs, leg pain and sciatica, pain and problems with hip, knee, ankle and foot joints, pain or problems with elbow, wrist and hand joints or fibromyalgia. Some people also often visit a chiropractor simply to maintain overall good health.
A chiropractor can help can help you with a variety of spinal problems and related injuries such as neck and back pain through adjustment and manipulation of the spine. However, it is not only specific pains and problem-areas that a chiropractor can help you with. A chiropractor can also help you with on-going preventive and wellness care, whether you are elderly, middle aged, in your late teens or you have toddler or infant who needs chiropractic treatment.
When you see a chiropractor you can expect that you may first be required to fill out some forms that provide your chiropractor with some background information about your symptoms and condition. In your first consultation you will then have a thorough chiropractic exam, which includes general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes as well as specific orthopaedic and neurological tests to assess things like muscle tone and muscle strength. Based on the results of these tests and exams you will be diagnosed and an individualised chiropractic treatment plan will be devised for you.