When most people think of chiropractic care, they envision an experienced chiropractor gently cracking a client’s back. While spinal manipulation is an important component of this therapy, it’s far from the only method used. Chiropractic is a highly effective treatment for a wide variety of injuries and ailments, including many conditions that have nothing to do with the spine.

Most chiropractors use a combination of manual techniques and therapeutic modalities to treat their clients. They’ll start by asking you questions about when your pain started, where it’s located and if it gets worse with certain movements or activities. They’ll also ask you about your medical history. This includes any prescriptions you take and your overall health goals.

In addition to the manual manipulation of the spine and other joints, chiropractors often use therapies such as massage, hot and cold treatment, traction and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). These treatments can reduce inflammation, relax muscles and increase circulation, which in turn decreases pain.

Chiropractic is able to address such a broad range of issues because it helps to correct miscommunications in the nervous system. The brain and the spine are closely linked, and any issues that interfere with these intricate messages can manifest as physical pain in various parts of the body.

Another way that chiropractic is able to relieve pain is by releasing the body’s natural pain killers, known as endorphins. These hormones can provide immediate, though temporary, pain relief by blocking the transmission of nerve signals that are causing it. They can also help to alleviate anxiety and stress, which are common underlying causes of pain.

Chiropractors also use a variety of tools to treat clients with joint pain in other areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, knees and wrists. These include kinesio taping, soft tissue therapy, massage and joint bracing. They may also advise on dietary changes or recommend stretches and exercise to help the client manage their pain.

If you’re injured, chiropractic can be a great way to speed up the healing process. This is because it can restore the proper alignment of your vertebrae, which in turn will allow the body to heal itself more effectively. This is especially true for injuries that involve the tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

The good news is that chiropractic is covered by many traditional healthcare insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid for U.S. federal employees and private employer group insurance policies. It’s important to talk to your insurance company before you make an appointment, however, to find out if it covers chiropractic care for the specific injury or condition that you need treatment for. It’s also a good idea to get referrals from friends and family members who have used a chiropractor and read online reviews before you make your first appointment. This will help you find the best chiropractor in Atlanta for your needs. You should also avoid undergoing spinal manipulation while taking blood-thinning medications or having osteoporosis or a herniated disk in your spine.