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A chiropractor often has to compete against many critics, including other medical professionals. The methods used may not be suitable for everyone, but if there was no validity to their profession and no patient success, it is doubtful that doctors would make referrals and that so many businesses would be thriving. That being said, it is important to research the facts to determine whether chiropractic treatments can be beneficial for your needs, and which professional can provide the best care. Many practices vary greatly from one another depending on the views and specializations of the chiropractor and supporting staff. The main treatment that the industry is known for is “cracking” bones, which is actually manipulating and realigning the skeletal and muscular structure to return normal functioning or decrease pain associated with injury. Many sports players or laborers are referred to a chiropractor if they suffer from a personal injury or accident while on the job. Ongoing and long-term therapy is generally unnecessary, and may be indicative of more serious injuries that require a more invasive intervention such as surgery. Most patients will undergo a series of sessions to improve a specific problem such as a stiff back, sore muscles, or twisted ligaments. In addition to sports medicine and physical manipulation, nutritional guidance has become a staple of several practices. The chiropractor may make recommendations based on your personal goals, such as improved fitness, clearer skin, more energy, or less difficulty sleeping. They may also suggest dietary changes for a healthier lifestyle overall. Vitamins and supplements have also been incorporated into many offices. Along with these dietary guidelines, exercise and stretches may be suggested in order for the patient to continue therapy at home and between sessions. Acupuncture is another area, which many chiropractic offices have ventured into. This alternative medicine treatment was first developed in China in 200 BCE. The process involves locating pressure points on the body and then pricking the skin lightly with a needle. It is believed that this will help relieve pain, nausea and other discomfort associated with injury or illness. Inserting the needles causes little to no pain, and sessions can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Scientific and medical communities are divided on the efficacy of treatments, so if you are considering this method you should do some research and talk with some professionals before investing. There are little to no health risks as long as sterile needles are used. If you’ve been referred to a chiropractor by your doctor, you are under no obligation to engage in any alternative treatments such as acupuncture if you feel it is unnecessary. You may or may not be recommended other available procedures such as a nutritional analysis, but your insurance company may not cover all offered services. Call to ensure which procedures are covered and how many sessions are included in your plan. Some policies have very strict regulations regarding these treatments and will only pay up to a certain point. 

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