Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat complaints including back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
For patients with chronic low back pain, American College of Physicians recommends that physicians and patients initially select non-drug therapy with exercise, chiropractic, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, motor control exercise (MCE), progressive relaxation or electromyography biofeedback.
Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. 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 doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of this treatment is to restore spinal joint mobility and reduce painful symptoms. At our office we focus on techniques that often do not involve standard “popping” style manipulation. Treatments include spinal traction, impulse adjusting, stretching, mobilization and individualized exercise.
Spinal damage and injury can be caused by traumatic events, lifting injuries, or through repetitive stresses, such as routinely sitting and repetitively poor posture. These stresses cause spinal tissue damage and lead to inflammation, pain, and diminished function.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, proper exercise and chiropractic care may be the best method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition. Our office works very closely with numerous medical facilities in our region to better help our patients.
Information provided by ACA
Numerous studies have shown that chiropractic treatment (manual therapy) is both safe and effective. The following are excerpts from medical studies. By examining the research supporting chiropractic care, you will find that chiropractic offers tremendous potential in meeting today’s health care challenges. If you look to our Spine Center of Williamsburg Facebook page you can review hundreds of studies on spinal care and numerous other health studies. If you would like to see our Facebook page click on the facebook icon below:
Just a few studies
“The management of headaches associated with neck pain should include exercise. Patients who suffer from chronic tension-type headaches may also benefit from relaxation training with stress coping therapy or multimodal care. Patients with cervicogenic headache may also benefit from a course of manual therapy.” Eur Spine J. 2016 Feb 6. Are non-invasive interventions effective for the management of headaches associated with neck pain? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration.
“Evidence suggests that spinal mobilizations cause neurophysiological effects resulting in hypoalgesia (local and/or distal to mobilization site), sympathoexcitation, and improved muscle function. ” Mechanism of Action of Spinal Mobilizations: A Systematic Review. Aguirrebeña IL, et al. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016
Chronic headaches were reduced by half with the highest and most effective dose of chiropractic visits with (spinal manipulation). Spine J. 2018 Feb 23. Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial.
“Those reporting post-SMT improvement in disability demonstrated simultaneous changes between self-reported and objective measures of spinal function.” Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 May 27. Do participants with low back pain who respond to spinal manipulative therapy differ biomechanically from non-responders, untreated or asymptomatic controls? Wong AY1, Parent EC, Dhillon SS, Prasad N, Kawchuk GN.
“We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke.” Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case–control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations Thomas M Kosloff1*, David Elton1, Jiang Tao2 and Wade M Bannister2 Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2015
“Results suggest that manual therapy and exercises are effective in reducing pain and functional limitations related to CR” (cervical radiculopathy) . Comparison of 2 manual therapy and exercise protocols for cervical radiculopathy: a randomized clinical trial evaluating short-term effects. Langevin P, et al. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015.
“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
In a Randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
— Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal
In Comparison to Other Treatment Alternatives
“Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.”
– Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
“In our randomized, controlled trial, we compared the effectiveness of manual therapy, physical therapy, and continued care by a general practitioner in patients with nonspecific neck pain. The success rate at seven weeks was twice as high for the manual therapy group (68.3 percent) as for the continued care group (general practitioner). Manual therapy scored better than physical therapy on all outcome measures. Patients receiving manual therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or continued care, and manual therapy and physical therapy each resulted in statistically significant less analgesic use than continued care.”
– Hoving et al (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine
“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”
— Duke Evidence Report, McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001)
“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.” ‘
— Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Boline et al. (1995)
“Chiropractic care appeared relatively cost-effective for the treatment of chronic low-back pain. Chiropractic and medical care performed comparably for acute patients. Practice-based clinical outcomes were consistent with systematic reviews of spinal manipulative efficacy: manipulation-based therapy is at least as good as and, in some cases, better than other therapeusis.”
– Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
“Chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients. Results from observational studies suggested that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies conclude that patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than they were with physical therapy after six weeks.”
— Hertzman-Miller et al (2002), American Journal of Public Health
Popularity of Chiropractic
“Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions. CAM patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. There is steadily increasing patient use of chiropractic in the United States, which has tripled in the past two decades.”
– Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine