Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling. The most common therapeutic procedure performed by chiropractors is known as a chiropractic adjustment. The purpose of an adjustment is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement.

Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished nervous system function for the sufferer. Adjustment of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.

Decreased joint movement leads to decreased input into the nervous system. The nervous system is the master control system of the body- directing all other body systems: immune, endocrine, skin, digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular. Thus, dysfunction or decreased input into the nervous system will cause other systems to also fail. This failure will result in symptoms, which are actually just warning signs to let you know that there is a problem within your body. To silence such a warning without identifying the underlying cause will result in even greater dysfunction. Chiropractors address the cause of disease.

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Chiropractic adjustments rarely cause discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours. In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the neruomusculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.

Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.

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