Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, depending on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a history, performing an examination and establishing a diagnosis, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling. Chiropractors can also order diagnostic images including x-rays and ultrasounds.
One of the most common therapies a chiropractor uses is spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), which can comprise a variety of adjustment techniques. Specific training in SMT allows chiropractors to provide highly-skilled and precise adjustments to the vertebrae of the spine, correcting joint motion to restore proper movement and improve function.
For many conditions, such as low back pain, chiropractic care is the primary method of treatment. When a multi-disciplinary approach is advisable, a chiropractor will coordinate care with other health care professionals including referrals to medical specialists. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical or other treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions.