Chiropractic treatment is multi-modal, encompassing soft tissue therapies, exercise, advice, electrophysical therapies, sports therapy, taping, spinal manipulative therapy along with a range of low fore non manipulative techniques. Essentially, chiropractors are health care professions that specialise in spinal health and it's impact on the nervous system.
Adjustments, which can involve spinal manipulative therpy, form the bulk of most chiropractors' day to day work. It is a therapeutic intervention performed on the spinal joints to alleviate symptoms. This involves the Chiropractor applying tension to the patient's ligaments and then delivering a short thrust to increase the movment of the vertebra. The therapy works by increasing mobility and improving blood flow to help reduce inflammation. It also changes nerve function which can result in many other effects.
Now the question of evidence and Chiropractic's efficacy. A recent Cochrane Review found that spinal manipulative therapy shows at an absolute minimum, that it's as effective as standard medical care or physiotherapy with an extremely low risk of side effects causing adverse reactions.
In 2007, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommended guidelines for this Chiropractic treatment modality to be used for those suffering from chronic or sub acute low back pain.
To date, 70 randomised control trials and 10 systematic reviews have been published to support this treatment in low back pain.
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