What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractor in Frisco TX is trained to diagnose and treat neuromusculoskeletal problems, including the spine. They use manual manipulation of the spine and other articulations to correct structural misalignments called subluxations.

Spinal manipulation is an essential element of chiropractic. It is a drug-free, noninvasive treatment that improves nerve communication between the brain and body and speeds up healing.


A lack of postural alignment causes muscles to overwork. This can lead to a number of complications, including strained muscles, poor posture, and joint degradation. Over time, this can cause pain and reduce your ability to perform everyday tasks. It can also affect your energy levels and mood.

Poor posture can be caused by a number of factors, such as sagging abdominal fat, asymmetrical muscle development and an imbalance in your musculoskeletal system. These problems can make it difficult for you to stand erect, and they can also affect your balance and stability. They may even contribute to a chronic or recurrent condition such as sciatica, lumbago, scoliosis, rib dysfunction or dowager’s hump.

It has long been thought that spinal misalignments are reflected in the erect posture of the body, and that skeletal distortions result in subluxation syndromes. As a result, a wide variety of analytical methods have been developed for assessing the structural integrity of the body. These techniques include plumb lines with foot positioning plates, transparent grids, bubble levels, silhouettographs, posturometer devices that measure specific degrees of movement and moire contourography.

Ultimately, the bones do what the muscles tell them to do. The goal of the MAT technique is to retrain these muscles, allowing the bones to return to their original functional design. Practitioners use a combination of osseous adjustments, direct and reflexive muscle techniques, support when advisable, therapeutic exercise and kinesthetic training to address your musculoskeletal needs.

Musculoskeletal alignment can also restrict your range of motion and flexibility, and it can impact the way you walk, sit and lie down. This can negatively affect your mobility and ability to participate in physical activities, which is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A lack of proper body alignment can contribute to discomfort and can interfere with your sleep patterns. It can also lead to a host of emotional issues, such as frustration, irritability, stress and anxiety. These issues can have a profound effect on your quality of life and can lead to a decrease in your overall well-being. If you are experiencing musculoskeletal pain, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Drugs and surgery only provide temporary relief from symptoms, but addressing the root cause of your pain can help you get back on track for a pain-free life.

Nerves transmit electrical impulses to muscles and other parts of the body. These impulses are carried by a special substance called myelin. If the nerves are damaged the signal moves slower through the nerve fibre. This can be detected by a test known as a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test. During an NCV, electrodes are placed on the skin over a nerve. One of the electrodes then stimulates the nerve with a small electrical pulse while the other records the resulting electricity. This helps doctors determine if the nerve is functioning normally and if there is any damage to it.

During an NCV, a physician will measure the amplitude of the AP in both the sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) and compound muscle action potential (CMAP). The amplitude of the AP reflects how many of the axons of a particular sensory or motor nerve depolarize during stimulation. The latency, which is the time elapsed between stimulating the nerve and the detection of the AP in the recording electrode (G1 for sensory and CMAP, respectively), also provides valuable information about the speed of conduction in a particular nerve.

The SNAP waveforms provide information about the nerve’s sensory pathway from peripheral receptors to the dorsal root ganglia, while the CMAP waves provide an evaluation of motor nerve axons. Specific electrodiagnostic patterns of SNAP amplitudes and latencies help discern whether the damage is axonal, demyelinating or mixed in nature.

A doctor can also perform a F-wave study, which involves stimulation of a nerve and recording of the reflex electrical discharge in a corresponding muscle supplied by that nerve. The latency of the F-wave provides a good approximation to the conduction velocity of that nerve between the site of stimulation in the limb and the spinal cord ventral horn, which is calculated as 2D (limb length measured in millimeters from the stimulating electrode to G1 for the median nerve) divided by mean limb F latency.

Although this procedure may sound invasive, it is very safe. The electrical current used is very low and does not cause any harm to the patient. However, some people may experience mild discomfort or tingling while the test is being performed. This is usually gone within a few hours after the test.

Pain is a symptom that can tell you a lot about your health. It can indicate that something is wrong with your musculoskeletal system and it can also be a sign of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain is sudden and tends to resolve within a few weeks. Chronic pain is ongoing and can last for months or longer. Some types of chronic pain, like nerve damage pain (neuropathic), may have no known cause and can only be relieved through a variety of treatments, including at-home treatments and prescription medications.

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose the root causes of your pain and help you find relief. Their hands-on treatments, like manipulation and soft tissue techniques, can improve your range of motion and decrease pain and muscle spasms. They can also offer you guidance on how to prevent further injury and encourage healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising regularly and maintaining a proper posture.

During your first appointment, your chiropractor will take a detailed medical history and perform an exam of your affected areas. Depending on your symptoms, they may recommend diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or an MRI, to assess the problem and make a diagnosis.

Most people who visit a chiropractor experience pain related to their back or neck, but chiropractors can also treat other joints, such as hips and shoulders. Your chiropractor will likely use a combination of manual adjustments and other hands-on treatments to help you feel better, such as massage, acupuncture, physical modalities (hot or cold, ultrasound, e-stim) and exercises.

Throughout your treatment sessions, your chiropractor will work to gradually reduce your pain and restore your full range of movement. During spinal manipulations, which are the most common treatment, you’ll lie on a padded table as your chiropractor gently realigns your spine and joints with controlled force. You may hear cracking or popping sounds as your spine and other joints move to their new positions, which is normal.

If you have chronic pain, it can be hard to find a way to manage it on your own. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t need a referral from your doctor to see a chiropractor, and most health insurance plans cover chiropractic visits. However, it’s always best to contact your insurer before scheduling your first appointment to learn more about your coverage and to discuss any questions or concerns you have.

Prevention is the process of avoiding negative health outcomes, such as disease or injury, through measures like vaccination, healthy lifestyle choices, and regular medical checkups. Researchers and health experts often divide prevention into primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word ‘prevention.’ They may not be accurate or reflect the views of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

These examples are from a column called “What do researchers mean by…” that ran in the Institute for Work & Health’s newsletter At Work for over 10 years (2005-2017). It covered more than 35 common research terms.