Chiropractic care is a form of complementary medicine in which a licensed chiropractic doctor uses his or her hands as well as certain machinery to manipulate joints in the body.
Subluxation is a term used in chiropractic medicine that refers to the misalignment of vertebrae or joints. Subluxation can occur from injury, repetitive motion or certain medical issues, says Verywell Health. When joints do not work properly, range of motion can be compromised and chronic pain may present in the joint or elsewhere in the body.
Chiropractic care can be instrumental in helping a person feel better without having to take pain medications. Chiropractors can treat musculoskeletal pain anywhere in the body, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Adjustments can gently realign joints to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Soft-tissue therapy may be used to relax tight muscles and relieve spasms. A chiropractor also may be able to advise as to exercises and stretches that can maintain joint stability and mobility.
Chiropractic treatment also may decrease tension and boost blood circulation, which could help reduce stressful feelings in the body. Similarly, such treatment may alleviate tension headaches and migraines by realigning the joints in the neck and back that may be contributing to the headaches.
Healthline reports a possible reduction of osteoarthritis symptoms from chiropractic care as well. When joints are properly aligned, it will reduce how much bones rub together.
One of the more profound benefits of chiropractic adjustment is the potential to reduce reliance on opioid drugs prescribed to relieve pain. Because of the efficacy of opioids, people can easily find themselves addicted to them. When their prescriptions are up, they may turn to illegal opioids to chase the pain relief and high they have grown accustomed to. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says more than 106,000 drug overdoses deaths were reported in 2021, and synthetic opioid deaths (primarily fentanyl) continue to rise, advises the NIDA.
Individuals with remaining questions can speak with their doctors about chiropractic medicine.