Chiropractic therapy

Chiropractic therapy is based on the theory that a person's health is generally determined by the condition of the nervous system and how it relates to the spine and the muscles. Many chiropractors use spinal manipulation, or spinal manual therapy, to relieve back pain.

Spinal manipulation is done through a variety of techniques. For example, the practitioner may use his or her fingers or hands to apply pressure to and move the vertebrae slightly beyond their normal range of motion. Treatment may also involve careful twisting of the head, shoulders, and hips. Heat, ice, corsets, ultrasound, strength and conditioning exercises, biofeedback, and relaxation therapy may be used to supplement spinal manipulation.

Some chiropractors use X-rays to diagnose conditions. Some use diet and exercise along with spinal manipulation. Chiropractic therapy does not use medications or surgery to treat conditions.

Spinal manipulation should be done by a specially trained, licensed practitioner, usually a chiropractor, physical therapist, or an osteopathic physician.

Last Updated: December 11, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

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