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Chiropractic treatment is a type of procedure where a trained and licensed practitioner (chiropractor) uses their hands to help relieve problems with the joints, muscles, and bones. It is considered a type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), meaning it is not a conventional medical treatment. Sometimes, the procedure is used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.
Chiropractic treatment is mainly used to help relieve painful muscles and joints, such as back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, elbow pain, and pain from osteoarthritis. The goal of the treatment is to reduce nerve irritability, improve functionality, and restore or increase range of motion in the affected area.
At the initial appointment, your symptoms will be assessed using lab tests or diagnostic imaging to determine if chiropractic treatment is suitable and what techniques are likely to help your specific condition.
During the procedure, you will be asked to lie down in a specific position on a chiropractic table. Then, the chiropractor may use different techniques to treat problems with joints and muscles, including:
Spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment (the chiropractor uses their hands to apply controlled, sudden force to the bones, muscles, and joints in and around the spine). Gradually moving your joints into different positions.
Short, sharp thrusting movements in the affected area.
Stretching or pulling your muscles in different directions.
Although some people experience small discomfort, chiropractic treatment is usually not painful.
You can leave the clinic or hospital straight away after the treatment session. You should also be able to travel on the same day. However, it is recommended that you stay in Thailand for at least a day before traveling to give your body a little time to fully recover. Since chiropractic treatment may require more than one session, you may need to attend six to 12 sessions. You have the choice to make multiple travels to Thailand or stay for the whole treatment (around 6 weeks).
The recovery time depends on your specific condition. While some people are able to go back to their normal activity on the same day, it is best that you rest for the remainder of the day after each chiropractic treatment session. However, going for a walk or other light exercise may be allowed immediately after the treatment.
After chiropractic treatment, your chiropractor will give you aftercare instructions. It is important that you drink plenty of water, stay active, move carefully, eat a well-balanced diet, and do the exercise and stretching that your chiropractor recommends.
Chiropractic treatment is generally considered as a safe and effective treatment for acute low back pain, neck pain, and headaches. The treatment may also improve other conditions, such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. There are, however, some minor side effects and some rare but serious risks to chiropractic treatment, including:
Pains and aches
Herniated or slipped disk
Spinal cord injury.
The alternative to chiropractic treatment depends on your specific condition, so it is best to talk to your doctor before undergoing anything. Some of the recommended alternatives are massage therapy, yoga, exercise, physical therapy, osteopathy, and stretching therapy.
Before chiropractic treatment, you may experience back pain, neck pain, or headaches, or you may have restricted joints caused by a traumatic event. After chiropractic treatment, the pain should be relieved, nerve irritability should be reduced, the functionality should be improved, and the range of motion in the affected area should be restored.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 28/11/2020.