Chiropractic medicine provides a safe alternative to help you find relief from your pain without surgery or medications. Sanford Health chiropractors use the latest treatments to help you overcome painful conditions and enhance your overall health. Our team works with primary care physicians, physical therapists and other specialists to provide an individualized treatment plan designed just for you and your specific needs.
One of our chiropractors, Eric Seamands, D.C., answers some basic questions about the care. He sees patients at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, and uses scientifically sound treatment to care for conditions related to occupational or daily stress, sports injuries and accidents.
What conditions can be treated successfully with chiropractic care?
Low back pain, upper back pain, neck pain and headaches are the four most common reasons people seek chiropractic care. Radiating pain or numbness in arms or legs is commonly related to spine issues. Chiropractic care can also be beneficial for many types of problems in other joints, including the hips, knees, ankles, feet, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands or for TMJ in the jaw.
What is chiropractic and is it safe?
It is a natural approach to management of many health issues with the primary focus being the neuromusculoskeletal system and manipulation of the spine. It is among the safest treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions.
What does this manipulation do?
Chiropractic manipulation (the “chiropractic adjustment”) is a quick, shallow movement of the joint safely beyond its usual range of motion. The goal is to restore a more normal function to the joint, improving its range of motion while decreasing pain. Researchers think it does this through several mechanisms: it creates a temporary gas cushion between the joint surfaces, restores the synovial fluid flow over the joint cartilages, breaks down adhesions, repositions the joint surfaces and ultimately restores motion in a restricted joint. Stress on tissues and disks, as well as irritation of the nerves, is relieved and the body’s function is improved.
What can I expect if I seek chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care encompasses the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. It starts with gathering an extensive health history and conducting a thorough examination. Treatment aimed at restoring joint motion and reducing pain and inflammation might include manipulation, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, TENS (pain-reducing nerve stimulation), massage, and cold or hot packs. A chiropractor may also recommend stretching and strengthening exercises. Patients are given home management and prevention strategies to continue the healing process, help prevent reoccurrence and maintain good health.
Once I start, do I need to keep coming for the rest of my life?
No. Contrary to some myths, chiropractic care is not addictive and, when delivered properly, does not create any physician dependence. Care is always optional and patients should choose whether or not to continue based on whether they are seeing tangible benefits. Additionally, good chiropractic care will include efforts to teach a patient how to improve work, home and sleep habits to reduce stress on the joints and connective tissues and lessen the need for treatment.