Chiropractors are health care professionals that utilize manual therapy as a component of their treatments.
Chiropractic manipulation can be of help in relaxing muscles in cases where there is muscle spasm present. Sometimes a chiropractor may refer to the vertebrae of the neck or back being out of alignment. This does not represent a serious structural defect such as would occur if a vertebra were dislocated. It is believed to be used in reference to the visual changes seen on x-rays of the back associated with postural and mechanical abnormalities of the back including muscle spasm. Other manual techniques such as massage and heat also can be soothing.
The U.S. Headache Guidelines Consortium did not find evidence to recommend manual therapy including chiropractic manipulation as a treatment for migraine headache. There is no consistent evidence for manual therapy being effective in tension-type headache.
There are several different methods of applying manual treatments to the back and neck. They vary in the amounts of rotation and force used. Rarely manipulative treatment of the neck has been associated with serious injury.
Chiropractors are not allowed to prescribe medications.