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A chiropractor is a specialist in examination and diagnostics as well as treatment and prevention of disorders in the body's musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system refers to the body's joints, muscles, connective tissue and the nervous system.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a very effective, safe and gentle form of treatment for functional impairment and discomfort in the musculoskeletal system. Many symptoms such as headache, chest pain, dizziness and nausea as well as pain in the spine, pelvis, jaws, arms or legs can be treated by a chiropractor if the cause originates from the musculoskeletal system. The chiropractor is a specialist in finding the cause of your pain. See symptom overview.
"Kiro" is Greek and means hand. In chiropractic treatment, a wide range of techniques such as stretching, mobilization and manipulation are used of the body's joints and muscles with the aim of optimizing joint function. Locked joints, tensions and malfunctions can occur from long-term improper loading or from a sudden wrong or unfortunate movement. If you feel bad, physically or mentally, it can mean that you are tensing your muscles. This tension can eventually develop into stiff and locked joints - and hence a wide range of secondary symptoms that your chiropractor can help you with. For optimal benefit from the chiropractic treatment, it can be useful to combine it with other forms of treatment. In Kiropraktik i Centrum, we attach great importance to interdisciplinary work and have associated a number of different therapists, as independent treatment services or as a supplement to the primary treatment. By having several therapists under the same roof, we have the opportunity for effective interdisciplinary collaboration which ensures that the patient receives the best possible treatment.
Why is chiropractic treatment so effective?
The rapid stretching of the joint, which occurs during a manipulation treatment, causes an immediate stimulation of thousands of receptors (mechano-receptors), which are built into and around the joint and the joint's musculature. This leads to an immediate reflexive relaxation of overstretched, deep musculature that has prevented the joint from moving normally. When a joint does not move normally, various symptoms and discomfort can occur. This re-establishment of normal joint movement therefore alleviates these symptoms - regardless of whether it is pain, restlessness, discomfort, tingling, prickling, sleeping sensation or sensation of stiffness and/or tension etc.
In addition, this stimulation of mechano-receptors will activate fast-conducting nerve fibers. When these are activated, they inhibit the impulses from the nerves that send information about pain into the central nervous system. With this, the pain does not reach our consciousness. Therefore, chiropractic can immediately relieve pain. During a manipulation, a chemical process also takes place in and around the joint, so that a lot of the body's own pain-relieving substances (neuropeptides) are released, again relieving pain. If a joint has been locked for a long time, the quick stretch of the joint will possibly stretch shortened connective tissue or scar tissue so that this does not hold the joint in an inappropriate and locked position. This means that you immediately experience a better function of the joint.
Are there side effects to chiropractic treatment?
With any treatment there are potential side effects. With chiropractic treatment, as with other treatments, there can be both negative and positive side effects. Soreness and fatigue are the most common side effects of chiropractic treatment. Very rarely, transient side effects such as dizziness and nausea may occur. In a Swedish study, it was found that one in four patients experienced positive reactions to manipulation, such as easier breathing, better vision or hearing, better digestion and positive changes in heart rate and blood pressure. This is completely in line with the experiences chiropractors make daily in the clinic. We call them positive side effects or side benefits of manipulation. New research shows that serious complications associated with manipulation occur extremely rarely. The risk must be seen in relation to the most commonly used alternative - namely painkillers, where the risk of serious complications is many thousands of times greater.
Why does it say crack?
When the chiropractor manipulates a joint, the joint surfaces are very quickly pulled a few millimeters apart. This creates a short-term negative pressure in the joint, which causes a chemical reaction that turns some of the synovial fluid into gaseous form. When the joint has to return to equilibrium again, a small gas bubble occurs and a crack is heard. This cracking sound has given life to many myths about chiropractic.
Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJLU-4M-hdE
What does it mean that a link is locked?
This means that there is reduced or no movement in the joint. If a joint moves poorly, often as a result of a sustained strain, irritation can occur in and around the joint, which causes the joint to tense up further.
This can lead to blood having difficulty getting to and from the involved area and as a result, oxygen does not reach the muscles and waste products are not transported away, leading to further irritation in and around the joint. A vicious cycle is set in motion, the joint becomes increasingly stiff and pain can occur either suddenly or often gradually. This creates a strain in, for example, the neck or back.
Do you get loose joints if you have several treatments?
No - that's an old saying. On the contrary, normal movement is generally restored in and around the joints being treated.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
It is difficult to say. There are many factors that affect the prognosis. Diagnosis, age, basic form, psychological factors and duration of symptoms are all important factors. If you are able to pause or reduce some of the factors that caused the problem, it can speed up recovery. It is often only possible to give a preliminary answer to how long the course of the disease or the symptoms will last, after the first two to three treatments. You have to remember that the problem is not necessarily solved because the pain disappears quickly.
Is it an advantage to call in sick when you are sick?
No! - In most cases, it is recommended that, as far as possible, you keep busy with work and your usual daily activities. But in some cases it may be relevant to modify these or a sick leave. Your chiropractor, together with your doctor and possibly your employer, will be able to guide you here.
If you have had back pain once, are you further exposed to it happening again?
Back pain is what you call a lifestyle disease. 60-80% of the population experiences back pain during their lifetime. Often it goes away again either with or without treatment. Up to 90% of people who have suffered from back pain will have a relapse if - and when - they return to their usual lifestyle. If you have therefore had several relapses with your back, it may be a good idea as a preventive measure to visit your chiropractor at regular intervals instead of only seeking treatment when the damage has occurred. However, this can never replace the efforts you can make yourself by keeping in good shape and exercising your back regularly.
Should I use ice or heat?
Paradoxically, both ice and heat can be effective and can relieve joint and muscle pain. But as a general rule, we recommend ice for the first 6 hours, for acute or recent injuries. Ice anesthetizes the small nerve endings that send information about pain on to the central nervous system - and therefore acts as a pain reliever. When you remove the ice, there is subsequently an increase in blood flow in the area, and therefore local swelling is directly reduced. Indirectly, the reduced swelling will lead to further pain relief. Heat does not have this double effect, but can be soothing and muscle relaxing. After the first six hours of ice treatment, it is recommended to alternate between ice and heat. Few people cannot tolerate ice treatment. If you have arthritic pain, cold can worsen joint pain. If you suffer from arthritis, it is best to use a heating pad.
Who can tolerate chiropractic treatment?
Basically, everyone can tolerate chiropractic treatment. The treatment is adapted according to age, size and other factors that the chiropractor is trained to identify after a thorough medical history and examination. In a few cases, the chiropractor will not be able to treat you at all. for example, if we discover a fracture, dislocation, infection, some rheumatic diseases, cancer or, for example, some congenital bone anomalies. Likewise, we do not treat if there are neurological outcomes that are worsening. Your chiropractor is a specialist and therefore trained to identify these conditions and will further refer you to your own doctor if necessary.
Should I keep calm when my back hurts?
As much as possible, try to maintain normal activity when you have back pain. Movement overcomes pain, and therefore you will often feel better during and after movement. Light exercise is generally very effective in controlling joint pain: "Better to walk than to stand". In addition, movement and exercise have many positive side benefits, which overall help you when it hurts. See the "Good advice" section.
What is a chiropractic consultation?
Your first consultation will involve the chiropractor making his diagnosis based on your medical history, a clinical examination and possibly an X-ray examination. During the first consultation, the chiropractor also gets a general feeling as to whether there are any special things or barriers that you need to be aware of - for example, whether there is "chiropractor fear" - fear of being "broken". In these cases, it is important to be reassured that there are several alternative stretches and soft mobilizations that can be used.
The medical history
At the first consultation, you must explain in your own words what you are doing wrong. How does it hurt, what happened, how does it feel, what makes it worse and better, etc. Based on your explanation, the chiropractor will ask many in-depth questions to further understand relevant connections and causes of your symptoms. You will also be asked about previous illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, medication use, stress at home, at work and in your free time, etc. Your medical history will always be the most central part of the diagnostic process. The chiropractor is bound by confidentiality and will record the information he receives from you.
The clinical examination
The examination starts with the chiropractor inspecting and analyzing your posture, build and musculature, both while you are standing still and while you are moving. The chiropractor then systematically maps the function of the musculoskeletal system – i.e. all joints in the pelvis, spine and neck - and often also from the arms and legs - to locate whether any malfunctions in the joints and muscles may be related to your symptoms. The chiropractor uses his hands (palpation) to find sources of pain in tendons, muscles, joints and nerves. There are often pain points in the muscles (so-called trigger points) and inflamed tendons or muscle attachments as a result of imbalances in muscles that may be too short, tight or weak. Malfunctions in joints often lead to imbalances in the musculature. Malfunctions in joints and muscles also often cause symptoms far from the area where the problem is. This is called “referred pain”. A classic example of this can be a headache as a result of a malfunction in the neck. Another example could be breathing difficulties and pain in the chest as a result of malfunctioning of the joints of the back between the shoulder blades. Classic orthopedic examinations are included as a fixed part of the clinical examination. Neurological examinations of reflexes, sense of touch and muscle strength are carried out if there is the slightest suspicion that a nerve may be affected as a result of, for example, calcifications or herniated discs. Your chiropractor will assess whether an X-ray examination is necessary. If that is the case, we at Chiropractic in the Center have our own digital X-ray equipment so that the examination can be carried out immediately. If there are uncertainties or the need for additional examinations before the diagnosis can be made, we will, with your permission, contact your own doctor. If we assess that the cause of your symptoms does not originate from the musculoskeletal system, you will be referred to your own doctor or other relevant specialist. It is standard procedure that your doctor is sent a description and results of the X-rays taken at the clinic. After the diagnosis has been made, the chiropractor will inform you of the extent of the problem and, together with you, create a treatment plan so that your body's normal / optimal function is restored. As a rule, the treatment begins already at the first consultation.
In Denmark, the chiropractor is trained at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark. It is a five-year education followed by a one-year rotation with a practicing chiropractor.
Most of the time, everything goes as it should. But sometimes, unfortunately, something happens that shouldn't have happened. We call that an "unintended event". In the event of accidental incidents, we refer to the following guidelines from the Danish Agency for Patient Safety. Read more here.