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You may have a vague understanding of a chiropractor’s services, but today, we’re offering a bit of clarification. Whether you’re ready to put that nagging back pain behind you for good, you want help with ongoing digestive issues, or you just want to know exactly what you might expect at your first visit, here are four things to know about the chiropractor.

Chiropractors Use Multiple Methods to Diagnose Your Condition

While all chiropractors are trained to evaluate patients through multiple diagnostic methods, including physical, orthopedic, neurological and lab exams, Dr. McSweeney prefers to begin her examinations with an oral exam. That is, you talk and she listens. After listening carefully to your complaints and explanations, Dr. McSweeney will perform several palpatory tests to help her determine the root of your condition. Only then will she offer her treatment recommendations.

In some cases, she may also order x-rays for a clearer picture of possible abnormalities in the spine, bones and joints.

Chiropractors Use Multiple Therapies to Relieve Your Pain

For most people, chiropractor is synonymous with “bone-cracker,” but that’s not the whole story. Yes, chiropractors use spinal and joint manipulation, but at Dr. McSweeney’s practice, you may also have massage therapy, myofascial release, and therapeutic therapies such as electric stimulation and ultrasound. Dr. McSweeney may also recommend specific corrective exercises and nutritional supplements.

You Don’t Need to Commit to a Lifetime of Chiropractic Care

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about chiropractic, the idea that one adjustment means you’ll have to keep going back forever. The truth is, most patients feel such an improvement that they want to return so they can maintain that improvement. While your chiropractor may recommend a few repeat visits to help relieve a specific condition, there is never an obligation to return.

The Chiropractor Can Offer Services Other Physicians Can’t

Unlike primary care doctors, a chiropractor has been trained to address your body’s structural integrity. They understand its relationship to bodily functions and our health as a whole. Chiropractic care is based on the understanding that proper function of everything in the body – muscles, nerves, the spine, and all bones – is necessary for overall health. That’s why many chiropractic therapies have a holistic element that a general practitioner may not use.