A chiropractor is a health care provider specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of the back, neck, and spine.

Chiropractors treat headaches and pain in the neck and lower back. They help improve patients' physical function, even after just one visit. A chiropractor may be right for you if you have any of the following:

- Misalignment: Having a misaligned body can hinder your range of motion and cause long-term pain. When your body is aligned - meaning it maintains a relatively straight line from your heads to your toes - you can feel significant health benefits.

- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a form of arthritis in which the cartilage around the bones wears down over time. While this type of arthritis can affect any joint in the body, it is most common in the spine, hips, hands, and knees.

- Low Back Pain: Chiropractic and manual therapies may help treat muscle strains in your lower back, also known as your lumbar spine. Studies have shown that chiropractic care may be able to help people experiencing lower back pain without the significant use of medication.

- Sciatica: This is a condition in which the nerve that runs along the lower back and down each buttock gets inflamed, causing shooting pain in the lower back. It can also cause other symptoms, such as foot and leg numbness.

- Range of motion issues: If you suffer from range of motion issues such as a frozen shoulder, chiropractic therapy might be an option worth looking into. A study done on frozen shoulder patients in 2012 found that chiropractic therapy helped improve range of motion.

- Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often happens during the growth spurt you have just before you hit puberty. Scoliosis can also be caused by other things such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Chiropractic therapy may be an option for those who have scoliosis. A 28-person study completed in 2011 noted a 9-10 degree change in scoliosis patients at the end of a 24-month treatment. There is not enough evidence about the safety of chiropractic in pediatrics. If your child has scoliosis and you are interested in this type of treatment, it is recommended you speak with a doctor about the best treatment options.

- Whiplash: This is a neck injury, commonly caused by rear-end car accidents, in which the neck has a sudden back-and-forth movement, much like how a whip is cracked. With the use of joint manipulation, chiropractic care, while paired with other treatments like exercise and physical therapy, may help treat pain caused by whiplash.

Chiropractors treat many of the same conditions as physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and osteopaths.

So why see a chiropractor, then?

Their approach is unique.

While chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons help with treat conditions of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system, chiropractors follow the philosophy that all bodily functions are connected, and that wellness and healing involve the entire body - not just the part that hurts.

Chiropractors often use techniques like adjustment and manipulation to realign the body and stop discomfort caused by back, neck, and joint pains.

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Chiropractors have a few different ways to diagnose your condition and craft a treatment plan that works for you.

To properly assess your condition, chiropractors use x-rays to check out your bones, joints, and soft tissue. From there, the course of treatment differs from patient to patient. Some common options include:

Soft-tissue mobilization therapy: This is a therapy in which your chiropractor manipulates the soft tissue using pressure and stretching. This technique is often used to treat sprains and strains.

Chiropractic adjustments: Also called spinal adjustments, this is a technique in which your chiropractor creates sudden force to a joint along the spine. This spinal manipulation can be done by manual adjustments, using the chiropractor's hands, or by instrument-assisted adjustments, which use a small device to perform the task.

Joint bracing or taping: In some cases your chiropractor may suggest a brace or tape to help ease pain. Joint bracing or taping can help increase joint stability, reduce swelling, and relieve pressure on the joints.

Exercises and stretches: Your chiropractor may assign you a treatment plan including exercises and stretches to help with mobility.

Spinal decompression therapy: This type of therapy gently stretches the spine. Though this may need more study, doctors have used this type of therapy to treat things like a herniated disk, neck pain and sciatica.

In some cases minor side effects may occur after your visit, including headaches, pain, or fatigue, and may last a few days after receiving care.

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Chiropractor visits can cost anywhere from $60-$100+, depending on the chiropractic office you visit. In many cases, chiropractic services are considered outpatient elective services, meaning you might pay for the full bill - even if you have insurance.

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Chiropractors can help patients with several conditions such as back, neck, and shoulder pain; sciatica issues; and sports injuries. In addition to pain management and pain relief, a chiropractor can also help improve your quality of life and overall health by offering massage therapy and at-home exercise treatment plans.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in Americans. Lower back pain can lead to missed work, decreased range of motion, and ballooning health care costs. Chiropractors play a key role in helping relieve pain and restore the quality of life that you deserve.

Most chiropractors work out of a chiropractic clinic, an outpatient office that is meant specifically for chiropractic services. In some cases, a chiropractor may offer home visits to patients who have mobility problems or who are unable to visit the office. These services are often more costly than an office visit and are not offered by all chiropractors.

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Chiropractors and physio/physical therapists both treat pain and range of motion issues. However, physical therapists (or PT) generally focus on the whole body, while chiropractors have special training to help treat musculoskeletal conditions related to the back, neck, and shoulder joints. If you are experiencing persistent headaches or migraines, a chiropractor may be able to help with those too, as they are often a side effect of persistent back pain.

Some techniques that chiropractors use to specially treat the back, neck, and upper body joints include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments/ Spinal manipulation
  • Joint bracing/ taping
  • Spinal decompression therapy
  • Range of motion exercises/ stretches

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Chiropractic adjustment is a special treatment option that can be used to address lower back pain resulting from injury (sports injuries, injuries from car accidents, etc...), misalignment, sciatica, and scoliosis.

Also referred to as spinal adjustments, chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pain and restore a healthy lifestyle to patients who are dealing with nagging discomfort and tightness. Spinal manipulation is often done with the hands, like a massage. The chiropractor will apply sudden and controlled force to joints in the back; this sets joints in alignment and restores range of motion in the back.

It is common for patients to experience soreness and pain after a spinal manipulation session. This is due to the realignment of joints and muscles in your back and the sudden force applied during adjustment. These side effects usually clear up within a few days.

Studies have shown that spinal adjustment is effective in treating lower back and neck pain as well as headaches. If you have any existing injuries or persistent pain, talk to your chiropractor before any adjustment session. Your doctor may look to avoid the area causing you pain or may adjust joints in the body around that area to help with alignment.

If you're dealing with persistent low back pain, there are several treatment options to help with pain relief and muscle tension. Over-the-counter pain relievers, cold packs, and heating pads - along with old-fashioned bed rest - are among the most commonly prescribed treatments for lower back pain. Chronic low back pain can be complicated, though, and additional back pain treatment may be needed. Some of the best treatments for back pain include:

Hot/ Cold Therapies: Bed rest and a steady dose of heating pads and ice packs can help stimulate blood flow to the ligaments and muscles in the back. This can help reduce inflammation of the soft tissues in the back and speed up recovery time, especially when complemented with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with back pain relief. Drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve) will reduce inflammation and reduce pain symptoms.

Muscle relaxants: Muscle relaxants are used to treat acute, rather than chronic, low back pain. These drugs are usually used if NSAIDs are unable to help with pain management. Muscle relaxers will release muscle tension in the back, which can help reduce muscle spasms and back pain.

Physical therapy/ chiropractic care: A physical therapist can offer medical advice, acupuncture therapy, and stretching exercises to increase physical activity and strengthen the abdominal muscles that can help support the back. Weak abdominal muscles are one of the most common causes of low back pain. Strengthening these muscles can help with the stability and support of the lumbar vertebrae. Physical therapy can help restore mobility affected by:

  • Herniated disk
  • Back sprains
  • Compression fractures
  • Spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis in the back)
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoporosis/ Osteoarthritis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

Chiropractors can also help with pain management and injury prevention by providing hands-on health care like spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation thrusts joints in the spine into their proper place, helping take pressure off certain areas of the spine and improve posture.

Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in America, with nearly 60-70% of adults experiencing some form of lower back pain every year. Chronic low back pain can lead to missed work, high health care costs, and reduced quality of life. Fed up with a constant ache in your back? Get in touch with a real, quality doctor on Sesame to book a convenient and affordable back pain consultation. Doctors on Sesame will address your symptoms, recommend treatment options, and offer referrals if needed. Don't wait to treat your low back pain. Save up to 60% when you book an in-person or video visit on Sesame - no insurance needed.

According to the low back pain fact sheet released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), acute low back pain is the result of trauma or injury and usually goes away within a few days or a few weeks. Most low back pain is caused by injuries such as sprains, or disc herniation. There can be congenital causes of low back pain, such as scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine), as well as degenerative causes such as arthritis, spondylosis (the wearing down of the spine due to age), and spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the spine).

Most forms of acute low back pain are treated with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), coupled with hot/ cold presses, and gentle stretching. These treatments are meant to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and gain mobility in the back and core muscles. Most primary care physicians and chiropractors can offer medical advice to help treat low back pain with at-home remedies and over-the-counter medication.

Pain management is a field of medicine that focuses on alleviating chronic pain and improving the quality of life of patients who suffer from it. Pain management doctors use a diverse array of methods - from physical therapy to acupuncture to pain medication- to minimize and manage all sorts of chronic paints in patients.

The types of medical professionals who manage chronic pains and medical conditions vary significantly. Primary care physicians, pharmacists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, pain specialists, and other medical professionals can all work to diagnose your condition, manage your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you.

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