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Your spinal health is important. From when you get out of bed in the morning until you lay back down at night, your spine is responsible for carrying out your daily movements. At the same time, your spine is also responsible for behind-the-scenes work that supports your body’s vital functions, including your central nervous system. If you suffer from issues stemming from your spine, you may face larger health consequences.

At Prima CARE, we want you to understand the importance of spinal health. That is why we offer various chiropractic therapy and physical therapy services to ensure healthy living for our patients. If you are struggling with back pain, consider one of our various chiropractic care options:

What Is Chiropractic Care?

The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help relieve pain, improve bodily functions, and emphasize your body’s ability to heal itself naturally. This system of chiropractic therapy is generally accomplished through spinal manipulation. Chiropractors often use a hands-on approach to apply a controlled thrust to a joint in your spine, which adjusts your body’s alignment. 

While chiropractic care mainly focuses on spinal manipulation, it can also include:

Postural Exercise Education

How we sit or stand on a daily basis can impact the stiffness or pain we experience in our neck or back. In postural exercise education, a patient’s posture is assessed in sitting and standing positions. This allows chiropractors to develop an individualized treatment plan for the patient’s needs. The treatment plan may include which areas of the body a patient should frequently stretch depending on their postural tendencies. 

Ergonomic Training

Similarly to postural education, ergonomic training is intended to increase posture awareness and help patients understand how their posture during the workday may impact their back or neck pain. Desk height, chair type, and keyboard position are all considered. 

Nutritional Counseling

While we do not often consider the connection between our food choices and chiropractic care, 80% of chiropractors who participated in a 2007 study reported that they provide nutritional counseling in their practices. This is because chiropractors treat patients struggling with inflammatory conditions. Research suggests that eating less processed foods, eating high amounts of fruits and vegetables, and drinking more water are diet changes that can improve systemic inflammation.  

What Are Chiropractic Care Benefits?

Did you know that chiropractors treat over 35 million Americans each year? If you struggle with back or neck pain, chiropractic care is one of the best ways to relieve pain. Are chiropractic care right for you? 

Here are some of the benefits of this treatment option:

Relieves Lower Back Pain

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that patients struggling with chronic lower back pain begin pain relief treatment with non-drug therapy, such as spinal manipulation. Chiropractors restore functionality and range of motion to the back by readjusting the body’s spinal alignment. 

Helps Neck Pain

Chiropractic care focused on relieving neck pain is called cervical manipulation. Chiropractors manually twist the neck to snap vertebrae back into alignment, reducing pain caused by pinched nerves and muscle spasms.

Helps Relieve Headaches

In addition to treating musculoskeletal pain, spinal realignment can improve spinal function and alleviate stress on the nervous system. This reduces the buildup of stress and tension that causes headaches and pain and allows the body to function more normally. 

May Reduce Scoliosis Symptoms

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that affects nearly three percent of the population. Chiropractic care can provide a non-invasive treatment option for scoliosis that can reduce joint restrictions or spinal misalignments. This can improve the function of the affected joint and nervous system. 

Who Can Get A Chiropractic Adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustments are suitable for a wide range of individuals, including:

  • Adults: Chiropractic adjustments can benefit adults of all ages who experience musculoskeletal issues such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, or joint stiffness.
  • Children: Chiropractic care is safe and effective for children. It can help with colic, ear infections, bedwetting, and musculoskeletal issues.
  • Infants: Even infants can benefit from chiropractic adjustments. Gentle adjustments can help with breastfeeding difficulties, digestion problems, and sleeping troubles.
  • Athletes: Athletes commonly seek chiropractic care to improve performance, prevent injuries, and aid in recovery from sports-related injuries.
  • Pregnant Women: Pregnant women often experience changes in their bodies that can lead to discomfort. Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate pregnancy-related back pain and promote overall well-being.
  • Seniors: Chiropractic care can be especially beneficial for seniors with age-related issues such as arthritis, decreased mobility, and joint pain.

Remember to consult a chiropractor at Prima CARE to discuss your specific condition and determine if chiropractic adjustments are right for you. 

How Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Work? 

Before the Adjustment

Before the chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor will thoroughly evaluate your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also request diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRI scans to better understand your condition.

During the Adjustment

During a chiropractic adjustment, the patient reclines on a cushioned table as the chiropractor applies precise, controlled force to specific areas of the spine or other joints. The objective is to restore proper alignment, enhance joint function, and alleviate discomfort. The chiropractor may use their hands or specialized instruments to perform the adjustment. Patients may hear a popping or cracking sound, which is normal and caused by the release of gas bubbles in the joints.

After the Adjustment

After the adjustment, patients may experience immediate relief or reduced symptoms. Depending on the severity of their condition, some individuals may require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results. The chiropractor may suggest follow-up appointments and advise on posture, exercises, and self-care techniques to maintain spinal health.

What are the Side Effects or Complications of a Chiropractic Adjustment?

After a chiropractic adjustment, it's common to experience certain side effects, typically temporary and mild. While chiropractic care is generally safe, as with any medical procedure, being aware of potential risks and complications, however rare, is important for informed decision-making.

Common and Temporary Side Effects

  • Soreness or Discomfort: After a chiropractic adjustment, it is common to experience mild soreness or discomfort around the adjusted area. This sensation resembles muscle soreness after a workout and typically subsides within a day or two.
  • Fatigue: Some individuals may feel temporary fatigue or tiredness following a chiropractic adjustment. Resting and staying hydrated can help alleviate this symptom.
  • Headache: In rare cases, a mild headache may occur after an adjustment. This headache is usually short-lived and resolves spontaneously.

Rare but Serious Complications

  • Herniated Discs: Although extremely rare, there have been reports of spinal disc herniation after chiropractic adjustments. This condition involves the displacement of disc material and may cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area.
  • Cauda Equina Syndrome: Pinched nerves in the lower spine, known as cauda equina syndrome, are another rare complication associated with chiropractic care. Symptoms may include severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, and weakness in the legs. Immediate medical attention is necessary if these symptoms occur.
  • Stroke: While exceptionally uncommon, there have been reported cases of stroke associated with neck manipulation. The risk is estimated to be extremely low, especially when performed by a licensed and trained chiropractor. However, individuals with certain pre-existing conditions, such as arterial dissections or blood clotting disorders, may have a higher risk.

Your First Visit to Prima CARE

Prima CARE provides a wide range of chiropractic and physical therapy services led by our board-certified orthopedic physicians. If you are seeking pain relief and considering visiting one of our chiropractic specialists, here is what you can expect during your visit: 

  • Physical Exam- To better assess your pain, a chiropractor may perform a physical examination. This includes feeling your spine, moving your joints, and evaluating how you walk. Depending on these results, your specialist may order an X-ray.
  • Spinal Manipulation- During this session, a chiropractor will use their hands to apply force to different joints of your spine. This procedure will realign your joints and increase your range of motion. 
  • Treatment Plan- Based on your symptoms and exam findings, a chiropractor from our care team will work with you to create a treatment plan. This plan may include nutritional or dietary advice, icing or heat therapy, massages, exercises and stretches, or suggestions for managing stress to reduce tension in your muscles. 

Looking for chiropractic care near you? Prima CARE’s chiropractic care specialists, Katherine Knowles, DC, and Kristen Morgan, DC, offer services in our Fall River, MA, and Tiverton, RI locations. 

Do not allow back or neck pain to continue disrupting the quality of your life. Schedule an appointment at Prima CARE today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if chiropractic care is working?

You can tell chiropractic care works if you experience reduced pain, improved mobility, increased comfort during daily activities, and enhanced well-being after starting chiropractic treatments. These positive changes generally indicate that the chiropractic adjustments effectively address your health concerns.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and other health care professionals?

While medical doctors focus on disease diagnosis and treatment, chiropractors primarily focus on the health of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors use a holistic approach and may incorporate nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle advice into their treatments. Additionally, chiropractors are trained to perform spinal manipulation therapy.

How does chiropractic care help with back and neck pain?

People seek chiropractic adjustment to relieve back and neck pain because it is a non-invasive, drug-free approach that focuses on correcting the underlying cause of pain rather than just treating symptoms.  Chiropractors are highly trained in evaluating and treating musculoskeletal conditions, making them a go-to choice for those experiencing back and neck pain.  Additionally, chiropractic education includes extensive spinal anatomy and biomechanics training, allowing chiropractors to identify and address the source of pain effectively.

What education and training do chiropractors have?

Chiropractors receive extensive education and training, including a minimum of seven years of college-level education.  They must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, pass the National  Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, and obtain state licensure to practice. Additionally, chiropractors are required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their license and stay current with the latest advancements in the field.  This ensures that you receive safe, effective care from a highly trained professional during your visit to Prima CARE.