Chiropractors (Doctors of Chiropractic) are best known as health care providers who treat back and neck pain using chiropractic manipulations and adjustments. You might have also seen a billboard for a chiropractor with an 800 number you can call if you have been in a motor vehicle accident and suffered the neck injury that is commonly referred to as “whiplash.” It is true that chiropractors regularly see patients with these conditions, but you might be surprised by what else they are able to treat. If you suffer from one of the following problems, consider seeing your chiropractor:
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpel tunnel results from repetitive use of the fingers, hand and arm, resulting in
pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the fingers, palm, and even the
Chiropractic manipulation of the joints and soft tissues of the upper extremity and upper spine can improve joint mobility and reduce pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the carpel tunnel.
Many headaches are caused by muscle tension or joint irritation in the neck and upper back. Sedentary life styles and maintaining certain postures for long periods are contributing factors. Spinal adjustments can alleviate muscle tension and restore proper function of the spine to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches or eliminate them all together.
This debilitating disorder can cause the sufferer to experience muscle pain and spasms, fatigue, poor quality sleep, and stiffness—among a host of other symptoms. Patients with fibromyalgia who receive spinal manipulation can—after a number of visits—see a decrease in pain and fatigue and an improvement in sleep.
Sprains and Strains
Injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments may occur in sports, accidents, or in daily activities. Chiropractic care can help to relieve pain, promote faster recovery, and improve alignment to reduce the risk of future injury.
Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
Degeneration of joints is a very common problem, occurring increasingly with age as well as with overuse. The disease is caused by direct damage to the joints themselves, particularly degeneration of the cartilage that lines and protects the bone surfaces. Although chiropractic treatments cannot cure osteoarthritis, they may be able to alleviate any joint damage that is caused by misalignment, particularly in the spine.
This is a condition in which the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock is tight or spasms, causing irritation or compression of the nearby sciatic nerve that leads to pain, tingling, and numbness of the lower extremity. Both piriformis syndrome and the related condition sciatica, with which it may be confused, can be improved with chiropractic treatment to restore function and mobility of the pelvic and spinal joints.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This is a common cause of back pain in patients that may be associated with disc herniation. Spinal manipulation or manual therapy can improve spinal motion and help to reduce inflammation, thus alleviating pain and helping patients avoid more invasive procedures.
This list is certainly not inclusive; your chiropractor may be able to treat or manage other conditions than those listed here. In addition, patients who receive regular chiropractic care may see improvements in other areas of the body as the function of their musculoskeletal and nervous systems is enhanced through chiropractic care.