An Overview Of The Health Benefits Of Chiropractic Care And Chiropractor For Arthritis
Chiropractors have long been recognized as a viable alternative for treating musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis and joint pain. These medical professionals specialize in detecting and correcting misalignments in the spine, which can contribute to a wide range of physical ailments.
By manipulating and adjusting the musculoskeletal system, chiropractors aim to restore proper alignment and improve the function of the joints. Chiropractor for arthritis and joint pain is growing in popularity, as more patients seek out non-invasive, drug-free solutions to their chronic pain. With their gentle but effective techniques, chiropractic care can help patients find relief from even the most stubborn and debilitating conditions.
However, therapy sessions in a chiropractic clinic are not limited to joint treatment alone, chiropractor jaw adjustment, and chiropractor electrical stimulation among others are other tasks performed by a licensed chiropractor. Chiropractors do not take the place of medical or surgical treatment, rather they complement them (1).
Who Is a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors are licensed practitioners that help in the management of health issues involving structures of the body. Chiropractors don’t deal with medicine nor perform surgical procedures, instead, they do body alignments involving the joints, spine, and other body areas to ensure their normal anatomical position and to reduce pain. Chiropractor education is centered around the fact that good body physiology is dependent on a well-positioned structure (2).
Two major systems a chiropractor deals with are the nervous and the musculoskeletal systems. Physicians recommend visits to a chiropractor for joints, spine, or other musculoskeletal problems.
The commonest reasons people see a chiropractor for adjustment are muscle pain, back pain, neck problems, and others. Patients can also consult a chiropractor for arthritis and other general joint issues such as pains in the jaw, shoulder, and elbows (1).
Chiropractor Education And Training
A lot of questions keep coming up as to the educational background of a licensed chiropractor, the training they received, certifications, and questions such as “are chiropractors real doctors”? The answers to these questions will be best explained below.
In the united states, to become a licensed chiropractor, one must have gone through a thorough education training of four years of degree courses to obtain a doctor of chiropractic certificate or degree.
Before anyone can practice in the united states, each of the states require that such a person must have sat for the chiropractic board examination and have a passed mark to obtain the license that will enable such a person to practice.
In the real sense, chiropractor education is a continuous learning process because it never really ends as there are new evolving techniques for joint and spine adjustment, as well as technological interventions (3).
The chiropractic educational requirement includes the:
- – The full program spans four years, the first two years are meant for basic sciences courses after which the students will sit for the part1 professional board exam and one must be successful in this examination before proceeding to the next level
- – The last two of the four years are for purely clinical training and the part 2 professional board exams come shortly after of which the student must be successful to sit for the part 3 examination
- – Part 3 professional exam is mandatory for chiropractors that will make use of physiological therapeutics in the course of their practice as chiropractors.
- – Part 4 examination tests clinical and practical skills only and these include the ability to use diagnostic imaging, management of cases, and most importantly how effective one can apply the chiropractic techniques acquired so far.
- – After graduation from college, in order to become a licensed chiropractor, there is a mandatory one-year internship that should be done in an accredited clinic for that purpose (4).
Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?
Without mincing words, chiropractors are doctors, they earn a degree in doctor of chiropractic medicine. However not have a medical doctorate (M.D.). several countries including the united states will only allow a licensed chiropractor after obtaining the degree of doctor of chiropractic medicine to practice in the country.
Chiropractors do not perform the duties of a medical doctor and they are not alternatives to orthodox medicine, but they rather complement the works of medical doctors. They diagnose and manage conditions in their areas of interest but are not licensed to prescribe drugs (5).
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor specializes in treating musculoskeletal and spine problems such as muscle aches, joint pains, and back pains from spine misalignment. Therefore, anyone with health challenges revolving around the above areas can consult a chiropractor and the treatment is without the use of drugs or surgery.
Some of the treatment options by a chiropractor are below:
- – Adjustments: For joint pains, dislocation, arthritis, falls, and others. A chiropractor will work on joint alignment to help relieve pain and improve function.
- – Tissue therapy: The type of tissues a chiropractor works on are the soft tissues like the muscles and connective tissues. They work by helping to reduce pain and tension in these tissues thereby making the patient feel better
- – Exercises: The major type of exercise the chiropractor recommends is stretches. This type of exercise help to improve the mobility of joints.
- – Bracing: Braces are accessories used to improve stability affected by a faulty joint. With the use of braces, the chiropractor is aiming at improving joint function.
- – Referral: For every patient that visits the chiropractor for arthritis or joint diseases. One of the duties of a chiropractor is to refer patients that require the expertise of the other physician appropriately (1).
Chiropractor And Acupuncture
When discussing holistic practice in medicine, people often mistake chiropractors and acupuncture to be the same entity or practice in medicine. Although they are both noninvasive means of treating patients especially to relieve pain, they still have first-hand differences in how they operate.
The majority of their work is centered around the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system but contrary to what people believe, there are quite several distinctions between the two practices.
Unlike chiropractors limited to majorly the musculoskeletal system, acupuncture helps to promote healing in more diverse ways. Acupuncture has been traced to be useful in helping to relieve stress in infertile couples, alleviating symptoms in post-menopausal women, and treatment of addictions as in individuals who smoke.
Although both are referred to as noninvasive treatment methods, however, in acupuncture, acupuncturists are trained on how to effectively use needles along the energy lines of the body that has been believed to connect the health of a person at one point.
While chiropractic medicine is seen as complementary care for people, acupuncture is an alternative kind of treatment when individuals are trying to avoid medicine and surgery, it is a far less invasive technique that deals with even chronic pain in people.
The procedure for chiropractic medicine is less painful compared to acupuncture which requires needle insertion, and this needle insertion can be much more painful especially if it is not carried out by an expert or an experienced acupuncturist (6).
Benefits Of Choosing Chiropractor And Acupuncture As Dual Treatment Measures
Studies have revealed that using these treatment options together provides more synergistic health benefits than when they are being used isolatedly or individually.
For instance, while a chiropractor is working hard to enhance adjustment along the spine to correct subluxation in a patient, an acupuncturist is looking at how he can insert his needle at targeted areas to remove barriers causing imbalances in the body. This is how they both function to bring about their individual effects. Using them synergistically means that they are both working in their respective ways to achieve the same result of correcting subluxation in a patient and aiding healing.
Medical Conditions Chiropractor And Acupuncture Can Function Together
Both acupuncture and chiropractic medicine can work together to aid better outcomes in the individual medical condition where they are isolatedly needed. Some common examples of such conditions are:
- – Neck pain
- – Back pain
- – Migraine
- – Sciatica
- – Arthritis
- – Others are sports injury, difficulty sleeping at night, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension (7).
Chiropractor vs Massage
The majority of patients often ask to know who is better to be seen between a chiropractor and a massage therapist. Many people seem to get confused because looking at both peripherally, they have similar functions but, they are indeed different in function when studied deeply. Read further to understand what each of the does and to know if you see a chiropractor or massage first.
When To Consult a Chiropractor
One of the best times to consult a chiropractor is when you are experiencing chronic pain, especially pain starting to affect your mobility or causing gradual loss or reduction of function. Such include neck pain, lower back pain, and joint pain among others (8).
Chiropractor Or Massage First? Which Is The Best?
There have been several questions as to whether to visit a chiropractor first before going to the massage therapist or to go a body massage first before chiropractic care. There is no express answer as to which of these should be done because both are beneficial either way. Hence, it is best to discuss the pros and cons of either situation.
- – Chiropractic care before a massage
Going for a chiropractic adjustment before a massage gives the chiropractor first-hand information and the ability to have a more workable diagnosis for a physical examination of the body, thus, giving room for better chiropractic care.
After chiropractic care, the body joints, connective tissues, muscles, and the spine would have been well adjusted and aligned allowing good flexibility of the body. Therefore, going for a massage after such chiropractic care allows the body to thoroughly enjoy the massage process and absorb it better.
- – Chiropractic care after a massage
On the other hand, very stiff body muscles and structures may not have the full benefit from chiropractic care. The such body will benefit more from doing a massage first before visiting the chiropractor as the body is better relaxed for the chiropractor to also work with.
Also, individuals visiting a chiropractor for the first time are advised to go for a massage first to help relieve their anxiety about chiropractic care.
From the above points, there is no direct answer as to whether a chiropractor or massage first as both have benefits attached to them (9).
However, studies have revealed that one should go directly to a chiropractor if confused about who to see first, the reason being that chiropractors are well-trained to diagnose and refer cases to other practitioners. Hence, a chiropractor can also help to decide when it is best to see the massage therapist (8).
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care And Chiropractor For Arthritis
There are several health benefits of chiropractic care today. Below are a few of them:
- 1. Improves neck pain
Neck pain is commonly seen these days among corporate workers and this has been traced to sitting for a long duration of time in a day and frequent bending of the neck as a result of adopted poor posture. A chiropractor for joints will work effectively on adjusting and aligning joints around the neck to help relieve the pain.
A study carried out in 2012 revealed that chiropractic care for spine adjustment among over 272 adults came out to be very effective compared to when drugs are been prescribed to treat the pains within a space of three months.
- 2. Improves back pain
The majority of lower back pains felt in adults, in both genders have been traced to issues affecting the spine. Therefore a chiropractor for joint adjustment might be a good deal in these cases as a treatment measure for back pain.
Physicians in America often encourage their patients and clients to seek nonmedical means and lifestyle modification ways of improving back pain before settling for medications and surgery. Fortunately, one of the most effective means is chiropractic care. A consult with a chiropractor and acupuncture therapy are good options.
- 3. Management of osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis has been traced to tear and wear occurring at a joint resulting in degenerative changes of the cartilage. A chiropractor for arthritis care will help in the treatment of osteoarthritis by aiding adjustments at the affected joints. Studies also reveal that good chiropractic care will help to reduce the speed of progression of arthritis in affected patients.
- 4. Management of headache
Spine alignment by chiropractors has proven to be effective in the treatment of headaches whose pain radiated to the neck. Examples of such are migraine headaches and tension headaches (10).
- 5. Jaw adjustment
The jaw is one of the head and neck structures made up of bones and joints that functions together to enable one to chew, speak, and also take part in the movement of the head. Excessive stress often manifests sometimes as jaw pain.
A chiropractor jaw adjustment works by realigning the temporomandibular joint by ensuring that the condyles are in the right places and well lined up. The main goal of the chiropractor jaw adjustment is to relieve pain in the jaw and to do this in time because of the delicate nature of the functions of the jaw (11).
- 6. Maintaining good posture
Can chiropractors help with posture? Yes, they can. Good chiropractic care is suitable for readjustment in certain kinds of posture. Examples of such are scoliosis, kyphosis, unleveled pelvis, and high shoulder (12).
Good chiropractic care will help to improve poor posture especially posture affiliated with neck pain and traceable to sitting for a long period each day. And a regular visit to a chiropractor for posture correction is not limited to just correcting the posture, it also helps to improve the quality of life (10).
- 7. Management of sciatica
Sciatica is medical terminology describing the pain felt as a result of pinching of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve took its course from the lower back down to the legs, hence a pinch to the nerve will manifest as pain along its course of travel.
Can chiropractor make sciatica worse? This is a controversial question as there have been several studies looking to encourage or cancel the use of chiropractic care in the management of a patient with sciatica.
A study done in 2015 encouraged the use of chiropractic care in all back pains including sciatica and such patients were found to have more relief with no harm done to them compared to when they visit only a physician.
The study further revealed that chiropractic care didn’t cause the pain to progress or worsen than it, which supported that chiropractic care does not make sciatica worse if done rightly, especially on the recommendation of a physician. (13,14).
- 8. Improves pinched nerves
A pinched nerve occurs when there is nerve compression by tissues surrounding the nerve such as vertebrae and soft tissues compressing on nerves around the spine. An inflamed soft tissue can also cause direct compression on its supplying nerves.
Can chiropractor fix pinched nerve? Yes, a chiropractor can fix a pinched nerve through manual adjustment and alignment of the surrounding bones, joints, and tissues compressing on the nerve. Although spine surgery can help in some cases that is with a high likelihood of side effects than chiropractic care. Hence, it is best to consult a chiropractor to fix a pinched nerve (15).
- 9. Chiropractor electrical stimulation
Chiropractor electrical nerve stimulation is otherwise referred to as E-stim. E-stim is a muscle stimulation method that works on the muscle and surrounding soft tissues to help accelerate recovery processes, especially from pain, inflammatory processes, and poor muscle tone.
The chiropractor electrical stimulation sends electric signals to nerve endings at injury sites, causing them to be stimulated and enhancing the free flow of blood to the site which is necessary for the healing of tissues to take place (16).
Chiropractors are licensed healthcare professionals who specialize in the musculoskeletal system, primarily the spinal column. They offer a non-invasive and holistic approach to addressing various ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis and various other type of arthritis. These forms of arthritis are characterized by inflammation, stiffness, and pain, primarily in the joints.
By realigning the spinal column and ensuring proper nervous system function, chiropractors can help reduce inflammation and relieve arthritis symptoms. Moreover, their way of treating patients is safe and natural, unlike medications, which may have side effects.
The chiropractic treatment for arthritis involves not only spinal adjustments but also adjusting other joints affected by the disease. This approach helps to minimize the progression of the disease and helps improve joint mobility. A visit to the chiropractor for joints is best done at the onset of arthritis symptoms to prevent the disease from becoming more advanced. Overall, a chiropractor for arthritis is a valuable resource for managing the disease and improving one’s quality of life.
- 1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21033-chiropractic-adjustment
- 2. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/chiropractic-care/8-things-that-can-be-treated-by-a-chiropractor
- 3. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-chiropractor
- 4. https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractor-educational-requirements
- 5. https://www.bridgeport.edu/news/are-chiropractors-doctors/#:~:text=Yes%2C+chiropractors+are+doctors+of,diagnose+and+treat+musculoskeletal+conditions.
- 6. https://www.drtimerickson.com/the-benefits-of-using-chiropractic-and-acupuncture-together/#:~:text=Both+chiropractic+and+acupuncture+work,which+leads+to+optimum+health.
- 7. https://www.westtexaschiropractic.com/chiropractic-vs-acupuncture/
- 8. https://www.movementhealth.ca/chiropractor-vs-massage-therapist-which-is-better/
- 9. https://equilibriummassagetherapy.ca/chiropractor-and-massage/
- 10. https://www.healthline.com/health/chiropractic-benefits#10-benefits
- 11. https://debolechiro.com/blog/chiropractic-jaw-realignment/#:~:text=A+jaw+realignment+refers+to,up+correctly+with+one+another.
- 12. https://thetaylordocs.com/can-a-chiropractor-help-improve-my-posture/#:~:text=A+chiropractor+can+help+you,the+body+is+functioning+optimally.
- 13. https://stanleychiro.com/can-a-chiropractor-make-sciatica-worse/
- 14. https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/chiropractor-for-sciatica#chiropractic-and-sciatica
- 15. https://tristateclinic.com/2021/03/10/what-causes-a-pinched-nerve-how-chiropractic-can-help/#:~:text=A+chiropractor+can+use+adjustments,otherwise+lead+to+side+effects.
- 16. https://chirohealthkc.com/chiropractic-care-and-e-stim-treatment-when-is-it-right-for-you/