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The chiropractor is a mystifying doctor to many people, and that’s because they’re not really sure what the chiropractor actually does. The best way to characterize the chiropractor is as a doctor who addresses bone and joint pain and works as a complement to traditional medicine. Here are three things to know about your chiropractor – what they do, and what they don’t do.

Chiropractors Don’t Write Prescriptions

And that can be a really good thing. When the option to write a prescription for a pain killer is off the table, it creates opportunity for real change. Instead of suggesting that you pop pills to manage your pain, a chiropractor may recommend lifestyle changes that address the cause of that pain and not the symptom itself. Making these changes can empower patients to become active participants in their own health.

Instead of traditional medicine, a chiropractor may prescribe soft-tissue therapy (to relieve tight muscles and spasms, and to release fascia tension), adjustments (to realign joints, increasing range of motion), exercises and stretches, certain nutritional supplements and even Kinesio taping (to support sprained joints and muscles).

Chiropractors Treat More than the Neck and Back

While you may assume that a chiropractor is limited to working on your spine and neck, they can help with pain in other places too. The chiropractor can offer relief from pain in the head and jaw, shoulders, hips and pelvis, knees and ankles, even the elbows and wrists. That’s because they’re trained to address the entire musculoskeletal system, ensuring that all joints and surrounding muscles are moving properly.

Many common problems can be addressed by your chiropractor. She can help relieve chronic headaches, plantar fasciitis, and generalized shoulder pain by relieving jaw muscle tension, working on joints in the feet, knees and low back, and by assessing muscles surrounding the shoulder blade. Remember, chiropractors are trained to address the root of the problem – not just the symptoms.

Chiropractors Can Help People of All Ages

The patient and their specific condition will dictate the intensity and quality of any treatment. Plus, all potential patients are screened before any treatments begin. Chiropractic care for babies and children can be amazingly effective at treating a number of common childhood issues, and adults benefit too.

Remember, a chiropractor can help you with aches, pains, strains and creaks. The goal is always to improve and restore your health over the long term, and not to simply relieve your symptoms temporarily. If becoming an active participant in your health sounds appealing, you should begin with a visit to the chiropractor.