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Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

If you become a chiropractic patient, during your initial visit, the chiropractor will take your health history, perform a physical examination with special emphasis on the spine, and perform other examinations or tests, such as x-rays. Your chiropractor will then develop a treatment plan if you are an appropriate candidate for chiropractic therapy.
When the chiropractor treats you, he or she may perform one or more adjustments. An adjustment (also called a manipulation treatment) is a manual therapy (therapy delivered by the hands). Chiropractic adjustments involve applying a controlled, sudden force to a joint. The adjustments are given mainly to the spine, and they are done to increase the range and quality of motion in the area being treated.
Other healthcare professionals -- including physical therapists, sports medicine doctors, orthopedists, physical medicine specialists, doctors of osteopathic medicine, doctors of naturopathic medicine, and massage therapists -- perform various types of manipulation. In the United States, chiropractors perform more than 90 percent of manipulative treatments.

Other Chiropractic Back Pain Treatments

Most chiropractors use other treatments in addition to adjustment, such as mobilization, massage, and non-manual treatments.
Examples of non-manual chiropractic treatments include:
  • Heat and ice
  • Ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Rehabilitative exercise
  • Magnetic therapy
  • Counseling about diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors
  • Dietary supplements
  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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