What does a Chiropractor do for Pain?

Young lady sitting at her laptop wondering what does a chiropractor do for the pain in her back and shoulder

What does a Chiropractor do for Pain? 

Do you have pain that just won’t go away with over-the-counter meds, heat, and rest? Are you apprehensive about non-traditional medicine but nervous about prescription painkillers or the prospect of surgery? A chiropractor could be the answer to your aches and pains. If you’ve ever wondered what does a chiropractor does do to treat pain, we’ll spell it out for you here. 

What is a chiropractor?

Cleveland Clinic says to “think of a chiropractor as a doctor who cares for any kind of muscle, joint or bone pain.” A chiropractor is trained to use joint and spinal manipulations or adjustments to relieve pain in your joints and muscles. Chiropractors ensure your body is functioning as optimally as possible by increasing blood flow, releasing pressure, and improving nerve conductivity. 

What pain does a chiropractor treat? 

The answer to why you are in pain and what is hurting are two different, but related questions. You may know precisely when you tweaked your back, were in an accident and got whiplash, or lifted too heavy of an object. But, you don’t have to ask yourself why you have pain, asking what does a chiropractor do and how can they help will lead you to a doctor who can determine the root cause and ultimately relieve your suffering.

              1. Back

                65 million Americans, as reported by Georgetown University, are experiencing back pain. But it’s a common misconception that as you get older you simply have to live with back pain. Whether it’s your upper back or lower back, a chiropractor does help end back pain! In the same study by Georgetown, back pain patients who saw chiropractors were more satisfied with their care than those who only saw medical doctors.

                Chiropractic care can fix back pain that exhibits stabbing pain, a muscle ache, tightness, a dull ache, or even pain that radiates down your leg. It is important to address this pain, even if it’s a minor hindrance. Unresolved back issues can lead to other concerns, including a limited range of motion, loss of flexibility, or inability to perform daily activities. 

                Lower Back

                The 5 vertebrae of the lower spine (lumbar spine) as well as the sacroiliac joint which connects the spine to the hip bones produce the majority of pain and the reason most patients seek out chiropractic care. But not without good reason, “The most positive research on chiropractic therapy has focused on spinal manipulation for low back pain” admits Harvard Health. Spinal manipulation and massage (along with heat and acupuncture) have been recommended by the American College of Physicians as a means of avoiding prescription drugs to treat lower back pain. Sciatic pain, irritation, or compression of the nerve in the lumbar spine, causes pain to radiate down the leg. So, what does a chiropractor do to treat patients with sciatica? A chiropractor gradually releases pressure and stiffness in the lumbar. As nerve impulses return to normal, the muscles will start to function properly.

                Upper Back

                The upper and mid-portion of the back (thoracic spine) is the largest portion of your spine. Pain in the upper back can radiate through your shoulder or arm, to your chest, stomach, or lower body. A full description of possible upper back pain symptoms can be found at Spine Health.

                Gentle spinal adjustments will improve the function of your whole back. When a chiropractor does restore your spine to a healthy state, the discs and soft tissues can heal, the pressure on the nerves is relieved, and your pain is reduced. Better stability and range of motion will start to return, and you’ll be able to live a fuller and pain-free life.

              2. Neck

                You don’t have to experience a specific neck injury to have persistent neck pain. Neck pain can be described as vertebral subluxation or a misalignment of the spine. The neck (cervical spine) is the top 7 vertebrae. Changes in the neck happen over time. As new pressure is put on the nerve root and nerves become irritated, pain follows. In an effort to compensate for the pain, your body produces a blockage in the spine causing stiffness. Over time, what a chiropractor does to manipulate your spine will end the neck pain.

              3. Head

                What does a chiropractor do for migraines and headaches? Many people actually suffering from severe cluster headaches have been misdiagnosed as having migraines since both presents with muscle tension in the neck. The good news is that cluster headaches respond extremely well to chiropractic care.
                A chiropractor does indeed help those with either true migraines or severe headaches. Symptoms are alleviated when a chiropractor releases the pressure in your neck (upper cervical spine) and therefore minimizes muscle tension. Additionally, as blood flow is improved, the oxygen supplied to the brain will increase which brings relief to migraine and cluster headache patients.

              4. Joints


                Some knee pain can be relieved with proper alignment. Misalignment in the knee can come from a specific injury or repeated exercise and use.


                Hip pain can come from misaligned hips, sciatica, or even a hernia. A chiropractor will be able to assess this, get to the root issue, and treat it accordingly.


                The American Chiropractic Assoc. now reports that chiropractors are able to produce far better results than the conventional medical community’s prescribed immobilization, anti-inflammatory drugs, or steroid injections.


                Carpal tunnel is another example of patients discovering they only have carpal tunnel-like symptoms. They find freedom from the tingling or numbing sensations in their hands and arms after a few adjustments when the pressure on the nerves in their upper dorsal region is released.


                Pain when chewing or from teeth grinding at night are likely symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) or TMJ, a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint. What a chiropractor can do is manipulate the jaw joint so it can move more easily as well as relieve muscle tension near the jaw.

Instead of asking what does a chiropractor do for pain, start asking what pain do I want a chiropractor to finally start relieving for me! Contact Carefree Chiropractic today to set up your first consultation.

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