Structural Chiropractic vs Traditional Chiropractic Care

What does structural chiropractic care address that traditional care does not? When is it determined to be necessary?

The term “chiropractic care” is a large umbrella that encompasses many different kinds of customized treatment for various conditions. While all chiropractic care is focused on the musculoskeletal system and misalignments that can occur, particularly in the spinal column, there are different types of care that a patient may undergo. Two such types are structural chiropractic care and traditional chiropractic care. There are great benefits to both, though there are differences. ChiroCare of Florida will help determine which course of care is best for you based on your individual needs, and create a customized treatment plan to best address your issues and concerns. 

Traditional Chiropractic Care

The main goals of traditional chiropractic care are to increase range of motion, reduce muscle spasms, and relieve pain associated with a misalignment, muscle tension, or injury. You may seek traditional chiropractic care for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Pain or discomfort relating to everyday activities, such as extended time sitting at a desk, poor sleeping position, or manual labor
  • Treatment following a sports injury, such as a dislocation or muscle injury
  • Injury following a car accident
  • Recurring headaches resulting from a misalignment in the spine
  • Arthritic pain, or pain in the wrists, ankles, or joints

There are many more reasons that an individual may seek traditional chiropractic care, and there are many treatments available for alleviating patient pain. These include:

  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture 
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • And more

The goals of traditional chiropractic care are to:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Manage chronic pain
  • Increase range of motion
  • Restore joint function post-injury
  • Restore muscle balance

Patients report many benefits from traditional chiropractic care, including boosts in the immune system, improved digestion, relief from insomnia, stress reduction and improved mood, improved athletic performance, better posture, and more.  

Structural Chiropractic Care

Structural chiropractic care is another type of treatment that may be necessary when there has been a serious structural shift in a patient’s spine. It is not typically necessary to treat the aches and pains that come with every day life.

Structural shifts in the spine can affect nerves and muscles, causing serious, long-term discomfort if left untreated. While the goal of traditional chiropractic care is generally to address the primary presenting symptom, pain, that a patient experiences, structural chiropractic care seeks to address more serious cases that are caused by deep underlying issues.

Once a major shift in the spinal column has occurred, a patient will begin to experience a multitude of what are known as secondary symptoms. Secondary symptoms of a structural shift can include:

  • Arm pain
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Persistent migraines
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and hands
  • Hunched posture that an individual is unable to correct on their own
  • Decreased strength
  • Serious pain in the neck, back, and shoulders
  • And more

Structural shifts are identified in a number of ways, including:

  • X-Rays
  • Range of motion testing
  • Neurological testing
  • And more

Once a structural shift has been identified a course of treatment will be developed. Structural chiropractic care therapies may include:

  • Spinal correction
  • Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation of the spine
  • Re-alignment 

The benefits of structural chiropractic care are aimed at solving long-term pain and the many secondary issues that can be caused by a major shift in the spine. 

Traditional chiropractic care is sufficient in treating an injury that may only require short-term care until the healing process is complete, but if a patient has a serious structural shift in the spine more aggressive treatment may be necessary. Most people will not require major structural chiropractic care, and their issues can be resolved with traditional care. 

Only a chiropractic doctor is able to assess a patient’s condition and determine which course of treatment will be necessary.  If you are experiencing pain in your back, neck, shoulders, joints, or extremities, know that there are professionals who can address the issues and provide you with a better quality of life. 

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