A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who treats the musculoskeletal system, which includes your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A chiropractor can help relieve pain caused by pinched nerves, slipped discs, and other conditions.
Chiropractors use hands-on manipulation to treat your aches, pains and creaks. They can also provide advice on stretching, exercises and healthy lifestyle habits. You don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor and most insurance plans cover visits.
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Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that is based on the link between spine alignment and the nervous system, which controls everything from breathing to hormone production. Many chiropractors believe that structural misalignments — or subluxations — can cause pain and other symptoms throughout the body.
You can seek a chiropractor’s services to help with back and neck problems, and some also treat your shoulder, wrist, ankle or knee problems. Most chiropractors work in private practice, but some work in multidisciplinary settings or as part of the healthcare team at hospitals.
When you visit a chiropractor, you will likely start with a physical exam and health history. Your chiropractor will ask questions about your posture, sleep patterns and diet, and perform a spinal and muscle test that measures your strength and range of motion. They may take X-rays or other diagnostic tests.
During treatment, you will lie face down on a specially padded table while your chiropractor realigns your spine or other joints using controlled force. You will probably hear cracking or popping sounds during the process, which is normal.