Here's What A Chiropractor Can And Can't Do For You

If every move you make is accompanied by the gritty sound of bones cracking and grinding, you may want a chiropractor on speed dial. According to Cleveland Clinic, a licensed chiropractor manipulates the joints in your body to correct their alignment and can complement the traditional medical care you receive. A lot of that manipulation happens through the spinal cord. Dr. Josh Axe tells Well+Good, "The spinal cord has a key role [in learning and memory] because it is the final common pathway for all behavior and is a site of substantial plasticity." Thus, chiropractors undergo rigorous training in physiology and anatomy before taking up the practice. So, you can expect soft-tissue therapy — aka gentle adjustments and exercises — at a chiropractor session.

However, chiropractors cannot write prescriptions or perform surgery. This means that people with serious injuries should see an MD before checking with a chiropractor. If you're still unsure if you need an appointment, here's even more about what chiropractors can do. 

Chiropractors can help with posture problems

Posture problems aren't uncommon. In fact, 80% of Americans have experienced back pain at some point in their lives (via American Chiropractic Association). A chiropractic adjustment could help relieve that pain, according to Dr. Ralph Gay (via Men's Health). Additionally, you should possibly see a chiropractor if you're dealing with general joint and muscle pain, regular headaches, or experience limited range of motion (via Gifford Health Care). Regular chiropractic sessions may also be beneficial to those who lead an active lifestyle as they can also offer nutritional guidance.

However, chiropractors cannot treat conditions like osteoporosis, broken bones, or severe arthritis (via Health Grades). Some also claim to reduce high blood pressure with spinal adjustments, but a 2014 study found no evidence of that claim, per Health Grades. You should also speak to your doctor before visiting a chiropractor as rare cases have led to herniated discs, pinched nerves, and strokes (via Cleveland Clinic). A chiropractor should ideally take a look at your history and physically examine you before recommending any kind of treatment, per Men's Health. Make sure you do your research and ask for referrals from your doctor if you can before making an appointment.