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While most people have a general idea of what a chiropractor really does, they may struggle for specifics. The easiest way to explain what a chiropractor does is as a doctor who manages bone and joint pain. A chiropractor isn’t a substitute for traditional medicine, but rather a complement. If you’re considering a chiropractor, here are three things to know first.

No Rx – Chiropractors Don’t Write Prescriptions

When you come in with chronic low back pain or headaches, a chiropractor won’t write you a prescription for a pain reliever. Instead, a chiropractor is likely to recommend lifestyle changes that address the cause of that pain – not the symptoms. And this approach can be a good thing. When you’re an active participant in your own health, you feel empowered to make changes for the better. And that can be good for your health as a whole.

Instead of traditional medicine, a chiropractor might prescribe a variety of therapies:

  • Soft-tissue therapy (to relieve tight muscles and spasms, and to release fascia tension)
  • Adjustments (to realign joints and increase range of motion)
  • Stretches and exercises
  • Specific nutritional supplements
  • Kinesio taping (to support sprained joints and muscles)

Chiropractors Don’t Just Treat Your Sore Neck and Back

While it’s not uncommon to believe that chiropractors are limited to working on your spine and neck only, that’s really just the beginning. A chiropractor can help with pain in the head and jaw, shoulders, hips and pelvis, knees and ankles, even the elbows and wrists. That’s because they’re been trained to address the entire musculoskeletal system to ensure that all joints and surrounding muscles are moving properly.

Your chiropractor can address many common problems, from chronic headaches and plantar fasciitis to generalized shoulder pain. Remember, it’s a chiropractor’s job to address the root of the problem – not just the symptoms.

Chiropractors Help People of All Ages

A chiropractor will factor things like age into their overall assessment of a patient and their specific condition, so that she can recommend care that’s appropriate in intensity and quality. And potential patients are always screened before any treatments begin. Chiropractic care for babies and children can also be surprisingly effective at treating a number of common childhood issues, so remember that the chiropractor isn’t just for adults.

The Takeaway

While your chiropractor can help relieve common aches, pains, strains and creaks, the goal is to improve and restore your long-term health – not just relieve your symptoms temporarily. If becoming an active participant in your health sounds interesting to you, consider beginning with a visit to the chiropractor.