What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. They provide a drug free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.

Chiropractic techniques include:

  • Adjustments to realign joints, relieve pain and increase movement.
  • Soft-tissue therapies to loosen tight muscles.
  • Exercises and stretches, and dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Research suggests that chiropractors help patients reduce the use of prescription pain relievers. For more information, click the Chiropractor Near Me to proceed.

Musculoskeletal Alignment

The musculoskeletal system is the system of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage that support our body, allow movement and protect vital organs. Most musculoskeletal pain conditions arise from imbalances or dysfunctional patterns of the muscles, tendons and ligaments that cause the skeletal structure to pull improperly on other skeletal structures. When these problems occur, they can affect the posture, movement, and overall function of the body. These types of problems can be very difficult to diagnose and treat with conventional medical methods. Most musculoskeletal conditions can be resolved through skilled manual therapy and corrective exercise. The goal is to relieve and eventually correct the pattern that causes pain, avoiding invasive surgery or toxic pain medications.

The human body is designed to sit, stand, and move in a specific way that maximizes physical performance and minimizes wear and tear on the muscles and joints. This proper positioning is called “body alignment.” The term “body alignment” is also used to describe how the load bearing joints (places where bones connect) line up both vertically and horizontally. When the load bearing joints are lined up correctly, the forces of gravity are evenly distributed throughout the entire body which prevents excessive stress on individual muscles and joints.

Tight, stressed muscles contribute to back and neck pain by limiting freedom of movement, while weak muscles provide inadequate support for the body. This imbalance creates a cycle that leads to posture problems, stiffness, and other symptoms. Myofascial and skeletal alignment techniques address the fundamental problems in the muscles and fascia that are contributing to the pain by breaking this painful, endless cycle.

Using assisted stretching, deep tissue massage and joint mobilization/manipulation, a myoskeletal alignment session can help to alleviate tension and reduce the underlying muscle imbalances that contribute to misaligned joints and faulty movement patterns. By addressing the underlying issues, we can eliminate painful symptoms, improve biomechanics and posture, and enhance athletic performance.

Pain Relief

If you suffer from back pain, neck pain, headaches or other musculoskeletal conditions, a chiropractor may be able to help. These healthcare professionals are known for their hands-on spinal adjustments that alleviate common bone and joint ailments like neck pain, back pain and sciatica. However, they can also offer other services that may help ease symptoms, including acupuncture and therapeutic massages.

Before devising a treatment plan, a chiropractor conducts a physical examination of the patient to identify the source of pain. They take into account the patient’s medical history and lifestyle factors, such as their job, exercise routine and diet. They then ask the patient to describe their pain. They look for specific locations and types of pain, such as sharp or dull, and if it comes and goes. They may order x-rays or other diagnostic tests to determine the best course of action.

A chiropractic adjustment can help loosen tight muscles and joints, relieve pressure on nerves and improve blood flow to the affected area. It can also improve the function of surrounding muscles and tendons, as well as reduce inflammation in the body. During treatment, patients may experience some soreness, but this typically resolves within 12 to 48 hours.

Chiropractors also use soft tissue therapy to ease spasms and relax tight muscles. They might perform other modalities such as massage, ultrasound and Kinesio taping, which is used to ease inflammation and promote healing in the body. They can also refer patients for other treatments such as weight loss and nutrition counseling to assist in the management of their health condition.

Many chiropractors are self-employed and operate their own practices. They may have employees to help schedule appointments and assist with billing, but they are generally responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business. They are required to have excellent organizational skills and communication abilities. They talk to their patients extensively to learn more about the aspects of their lives that contribute to their medical problems and how they can manage those issues.

If a chiropractor finds that their treatments are not helping, they will refer the patient to a physician or other healthcare provider. They will coordinate care with the other healthcare professional to ensure the patient receives the best possible results.


Although many people think of chiropractors only for treating back and neck pain, they are trained to deal with a wide variety of soft tissue problems and to provide lifestyle and nutritional counseling. Chiropractors typically spend 4 years in undergraduate school, studying a variety of subjects including anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and psychology. After completing their undergraduate degree, aspiring chiropractors must enroll in a chiropractic graduate program. The programs are similar to medical school, requiring a number of hours in classroom instruction and hundreds more in clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed chiropractor.

During their initial visit, a chiropractor will usually take a patient’s detailed medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination. In addition, they may order diagnostic tests such as X-rays or an MRI. After a complete evaluation, they will develop a working diagnosis and begin treatment.

The most common technique used by a chiropractor is spinal manipulation. During this procedure, a chiropractor uses their hands or specialized instruments to apply controlled force to the joints of your spine in order to realign them. This can lead to popping sounds and other noises as the bones move into a new position. Many patients find themselves achy or stiff for a few days after their manipulations, because their bodies are adjusting to the new alignment.

Other treatments that chiropractors use include massage, therapeutic exercises, stretching, acupuncture, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, and various other techniques. Chiropractors are also trained to recognize when a patient’s condition is outside their scope of practice and can refer them to other health care providers when necessary.

Seeing a chiropractor can be a great way to relieve pain without taking pain medications. In fact, a recent study found that adults who visited a chiropractor for back pain were less likely to receive an opioid prescription compared to those who only saw their primary care doctor. It’s important to note, however, that if you have herniated or slipped discs or arthritis of the spine, you should not see a chiropractor because the treatment could cause complications.


Many people see a chiropractor only when something is wrong, but seeing one regularly can prevent some serious issues. Chiropractors are trained to use spinal manipulations to relieve pain in joints and muscles, which can improve circulation and increase nerve conductivity. This prevents minor problems from becoming major ones, such as herniated or slipped discs. This type of treatment can also help you avoid future back problems by correcting your posture. If you spend a lot of time sitting or hunched over a desk at work, this can cause you to have poor posture and shift the bones in your spine or muscles out of alignment. This can lead to pain and injury in the future, but a chiropractor can use adjustments to keep your spine and muscles properly aligned, which can reduce this risk.

In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors can use other treatments, including massage and traction. They may prescribe exercise and diet recommendations as part of your treatment plan. They can also teach you how to do certain exercises and stretches at home. These can be helpful in maintaining your spinal and muscular alignment after you leave the office.

When you have a chiropractic appointment, your chiropractor will examine not just the areas where you have pain, but all parts of your body. They are looking for misalignments, such as those that could be causing numbness and tingling in your legs or arms. In some cases, the chiropractor will recommend imaging or lab tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to make sure they have a complete picture of your health and can give you the best advice.

It is important to let your chiropractor know if you have any medical conditions or allergies. Certain types of spinal manipulation can be dangerous for some people, such as those with a blood vessel disease or a heart condition that could be affected by changes in blood pressure or blood flow. This includes pregnant women. Using a specific type of sacral adjustment called the Webster technique, chiropractors can alleviate pelvic pain and sciatica and sometimes even allow a breech baby to rotate into a normal position for delivery.