Though different styles of chiropractic practice may differ on the theory of pain, some tending toward Palmer's theory of subluxation, while others employ modern explanations from neurology and orthopedics, all chiropractors employ spinal adjustments in the treatment of pain. Chiropractic is particularly effective in the treatment of chronic pain that results from nervous system irritation, injury or damage due to its action on the nerve roots. Moreover, chiropractic is effective in reestablishing normal function of muscles, joints and the vascular system, helping to eliminate the root causes of chronic pain.
Doctors of chiropractic are also trained in a number of other therapies that are useful in the treatment of chronic pain. These include trigger point therapy and massage. Chiropractors are also trained in the use of nutritional supplements, and may prescribe a regimen of vitamins, minerals and other supplements to strengthen the overall treatment.
Trigger point therapy, in particular, is often quite helpful in mediating pain. A "trigger point" is a hyper-irritable point in muscles that are associated with tight bands of muscle fibers. Manipulation of the point will, at first, replicate the patient's pattern of pain, but on continued manipulation the pain will be reduced and even resolved. Many chiropractors use trigger point therapy in their practices.
Taken together, chiropractic and related therapies are among the most effective treatments for pain. Chiropractic offers the additional advantage of a low risk profile, with no drug side effects. Chronic pain sufferers, no matter the source, may find chiropractic just the right therapy for long term pain management, and perhaps even the elimination of pain.