If you are interested in getting chiropractic care treatments but are not familiar with the practice, all of the terminology and lingo can be somewhat confusing for you. And, of course, this confusion can lead you to feel uncomfortable about the prospect of getting treatment.
Rather than avoid chiropractic care altogether, get to know more about some of the important terms used by chiropractors. Then, you can feel more comfortable in your discussions about treatment and the treatments themselves.
Terms for Parts of the Spine
The spine is the primary focus of the treatments that you will receive from a chiropractor. There are different terms that you will hear that refer to the anatomy of the spinal column that you may want to be aware of.
Vertebra- The vertebra (plural vertebrae) of the spine are the individual bony segments of the spine. They are essentially the support that keeps the nerves and tissues inside of the spine safe and in place.
Cervical Vertebrae - The cervical vertebrae refer to the seven vertebrae (segments) of the spine that make up the neck. Thoracic Vertebrae - The thoracic vertebrae are the 12 segments of the spine that create the upper back.
Lumbar Vertebrae - The lumbar vertebrae are the five segments of the spine that comprise the lower back.
Atlas - The atlas is the term used for the top bone of the cervical spine.
Sacrum - The sacrum is the bone at the base of the spine that connects to the pelvic bones.
Terms for Chiropractic Treatments
In addition to having various terms for the parts of the spine, chiropractors have specific terminology that they use for the different treatments and techniques they use on patients.
Spinal Adjustment - A spinal adjustment is a basic term used to describe any chiropractic treatment involving the spine regardless of the specific method or technique used.
Spinal Manipulation - A spinal manipulation is a blanket term for pressure and thrust-based adjustments made to the spinal column in chiropractic care. The chiropractor will use quick, forceful movements to push the spine into normal alignment.
Pettibone Method - The Pettibone method is a treatment in chiropractic care that focuses on the atlas (the top bone of the cervical spine) and uses specific instruments to adjust this bone.
Gonstead Technique - The Gonstead technique is a means of adjusting the sacral (lower spine) and the pelvic region to correct subluxations (pinched nerves) as well as those subluxations that occur secondarily elsewhere in the spine.
Logan Method - The Logan method is a form of gentle chiropractic care that relies on thumb pressure to correct subluxations, specifically those in the sacral and pelvic regions.
What You Should Do When You Have Further Questions
When you are still unsure about going to the chiropractor for your pain or other issues, even with a better knowledge of the terminology used in chiropractic care, you may wonder what you should do. The answer is that instead of scheduling an adjustment with a chiropractor, you should schedule a consultation.
In the initial consultation, you can sit down and speak to the chiropractor about their specific methods, your concerns and even techniques or types of adjustments you would like to avoid or have utilized in your treatment. For example, if the thrusting spinal manipulations bother you, you can ask that they use only gentle chiropractic techniques.
Do not let your questions or concerns keep you from at least speaking to a chiropractor about your condition. They will be happy to meet with you, address your concerns, and come up with a treatment program and protocol for you that you are fully comfortable with. With this information in mind, you can be sure that you are doing what is best for your health by consulting with and getting treatment from a chiropractor as soon as possible.