A Look into the Business of Your Back

Overview

Published: 11/30/2011

Photos

Chiropractor stretching a woman\'s neck

What exactly do chiropractors do? 

Chiropractors are specially educated in treating the joints and muscles of the body with their hands. Chiropractors are not doctors but specialize in spinal examinations and joint manipulations.  If you suffer from increased back problems, such as stiffness, you may want to consider using a chiropractor.
 
Here are some of the treatments that chiropractors use:
 
Manipulation is the chiropractor’s most important technique. With his or her hands, the chiropractor moves a joint a little further than the patient would be able to do on their own. The vacuum that exists in most joints in the body is overcome and small bubbles of gas are created in the synovial fluid between the joints. These bubbles can cause the audible 'snap', which can often accompany manipulation. This sound is not caused by bones grating against each other or by something being torn. The purpose of this treatment is to normalize the functions of the joints and muscles and to ease or remove pain.
 
Soft Tissue Treatment: The chiropractor also treats the soft tissues of the body – the muscles and tendons. This may be done by different forms of massage and stretching.
 
It is very important to understand your needs as well as your visit expectations before selecting a chiropractor.  Research is key before making your selection.  Be sure that the chiropractor that you select is registered with the General Chiropractic Council.