What is a Family Chiropractor?

D. Jeffress

Chiropractors provide ailing patients with an alternative to conventional medicine and health care services. They diagnose problems with patients' spines, shoulders, and other body parts which commonly become injured or overworked. Chiropractors attempt to treat soreness and injuries by realigning patients' spines and employing alternative medicines. Many chiropractors choose to specialize in certain areas, such as sports injuries or pediatrics, though a family chiropractor often treats patients of all ages with various problems and symptoms.

Chiropractors may use massage therapy.
Chiropractors may use massage therapy.

Many people depend on the skills of highly trained family chiropractors to overcome chronic pain and injuries. Chiropractors diagnose ailments based on medical records, x-ray results, patient interviews, and physical observations. Once a problem has been identified, a family chiropractor may attempt to correct it by applying slight force to the patient's spine and muscles, thereby relieving built-up pressure on nerves and spinal joints. Chiropractors believe that realigning the spine can prevent the need for invasive surgery or other medical procedures.

A chiropractor might manipulate muscles to alleviate lingering problems.
A chiropractor might manipulate muscles to alleviate lingering problems.

Though chiropractors do not prescribe medicine or perform surgery, they frequently employ alternative medicines and treatment strategies to help their clients. They may try light and heat therapy, deep tissue massages, and even acupuncture sessions to help relieve patients' symptoms. Although most alternative therapies have not been clinically proven to be as effective as standard medical procedures, many people strongly believe in the power of alternative healing.

Chiropractors offer spinal exams.
Chiropractors offer spinal exams.

It is common for a family chiropractor to provide counseling services about making healthy choices and changing their lifestyle routines in order to prevent recurring problems. For example, a chiropractor may suggest that a person with chronic back and leg pain begin stretching and jogging regularly to prevent muscles from becoming stiff. He or she might recommend certain foods or dietary supplements which promote bone and muscle health. When health problems persist, a chiropractor may refer a patient to a different medical specialist.

Family chiropractors do not typically specialize by treating certain populations or ailments. Rather, they accept all types of clients, from children to adults to the elderly. Therefore, a family chiropractor must have extensive knowledge of different spinal injuries and related problems. They frequently treat people with sports- or work-related injuries, as well as provide relief to patients with spinal abnormalities and those who experience general soreness.

A family chiropractor might work in a solo office or in a group practice. He or she often opens her services to the general public, treating anyone who seeks chiropractic care. In addition to providing treatment and counsel, a family chiropractor often assumes administrative duties at his or her office, such as hiring assistants, billing patients, and advertising the business.

A family chiropractor may work in a solo office or group practice.
A family chiropractor may work in a solo office or group practice.

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