Chiropractic treatment is a hands-on therapy based on the theory that partial dislocations (subluxations) in the spine may cause many medical disorders (especially disorders of the nervous system).
Chiropractic treatments usually involve adjusting the joints and bones in a person's spine using twisting, pulling, or pushing movements. Some chiropractors use heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to help relax the person's muscles before doing a spinal adjustment.
The primary theory behind chiropractic therapy is to help the body heal itself by correcting subluxation of the joints, particularly the bones of the spine (vertebrae).
Research has shown chiropractic therapy to be effective in treating:
The effects of chiropractic treatment on non-spinal conditions, such as high blood pressure or asthma, have not been scientifically proven.
Discuss with your chiropractor any potential risks associated with chiropractic treatment. Side effects may include:
Most of these effects go away within a day.
Rare but serious problems, such as a herniated disc and cauda equina syndrome, may occur when chiropractic therapy is used to treat back pain. These conditions can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the buttocks and down the legs. And they may affect bladder and bowel control.
Rare but serious problems, such as a stroke or a tear in the artery in the neck, can occur when chiropractic therapy is used to treat neck pain.
Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.