A chiropractor is a highly qualified healthcare professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders treating through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine. Chiropractic doctors have passed health studies very similar to a medical doctor.
The chiropractor will start with a routine physical exam, then follow it with an exam that focuses on the spine, with particular attention given to the areas of complaint.
The chiropractor will most likely examine your whole spine as nothing is unrelated. Perhaps you have a lower back complaint – the chiropractor would perform a neck exam as well because the adaptations resulting from injury or subluxation in one area can have an effect on other areas of the body..
Chiropractors frequently use X-rays of your spine prior to treatment. It is usually a lower radiation than the ones you get in hospital. The purpose of the X-ray is to study the condition of your spine and soft tissues. It also helps the chiropractor to see how much wear and any anomalies in your spine.
One of the main things chiropractors look for is spinal subluxation. This is where one or several spinal vertebrae are out of alignment with the rest. The chiropractor uses manual techniques to manipulate the vertebrae back into alignment. These techniques are called adjustments. As the patient you are put into a position that is best for the technique and then your neck or limbs may be positioned as well. The original techniques used high velocity thrusts but many chiropractors now use low velocity techniques which are more gentle on the patient.