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Two Different Chiropractic Opinions on How to Care For Your Back and Neck Pain

Just like many other professions, within the field of chiropractic there are different opinions on how to treat health problems. The result is that patients may see different results and pay different costs.

While musculoskeletal chiropractors address relief of symptoms, traditional chiropractors concern themselves with structural correction of a patient's problems.

Musculoskeletal chiropractors, who are also known as symptom relief chiropractors, primary focus on relieving symptoms such as back pain or headaches. These professionals treat problems through manipulations to the spine to decompress joints, free fixations and reduce pain. Other important information to know about musculoskeletal chiropractors includes:


  • Electrotherapies such as ultrasound or laser acupuncture are often used to relieve pain

  • The length of treatment and frequency of adjustments are most often determined by a patient's symptoms, along with insurance coverage

  • Treatments periods are usually shorter

  • Long-term corrective care is not addressed by a symptom relief chiropractor. This is because even though a patient may initially feel better, the root cause of their problem has never been corrected. As a result, their spine remains structurally misaligned and degenerates, causing damage and dysfunction to discs and joints

A traditional chiropractor works toward subluxation and structural correction of the spine. A subluxation is a misaligned vertebrate that interferes with nerve impulses in a patient's body. Nerve impulses are the electrical impulses from the brain which regulate body functions and keep individuals alive.

There are three basic types of subluxations:

  1. Physical, that include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting

  2. Emotional that are a result of grief, anger or fear

  3. Chemical causes from alcohol, drugs, pollution or poor diet

A patient may have subluxations without any form of pain or discomfort. Over time subluxations can start to show it's symptoms. Chiropractic examinations are important to identify and locate the problem before it grows into something more serious.

Other important information a patient should know about a traditional chiropractor includes:


  • Traditional chiropractors want patients to see relief, but their primary focus is on removing nerve interferences and restructuring a patient's spine to its most stable biochemical position. This is accomplished through a rehabilitation program that includes adjustments and spinal exercises
  • The length of correction and frequency of adjustment is dictated by the severity of a patient's misaligned vertebra

  • Even though symptoms may have ceased, a patient's spine may not be its maximum corrected position. Consequently, adjustment schedules are kept intense to allow structural correction in the shortest amount of time

  • The progress of patients is monitored through posture patterns, X-rays and spinal readings until the misalignment is corrected

Since subluxations are silent and research shows they begin at birth resulting in dysfunction and dis-ease, the traditional chiropractor recommends families to be checked, especially children. Because of this the traditional chiropractor will work out fair and equitable payment plans so families can afford care, regardless of insurance coverage.

So remember when choosing a chiropractor, choose based on your health goals either temporary relief or maximum correction. Ask your chiropractor what their goals are. Ask them whether they have a wellness program that will continue care to prevent an injury from coming back. And finally, ask whether your family should be checked for subluxations that exist but may not be causing any pain. The choice is yours.

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