While all chiropractors go by the same name, they’re not all alike. In fact, they differ by both their chiropractic philosophies and the techniques they use.

During their initial research, patients may get quickly overwhelmed by all the different treatment methods, results, and even costs from chiropractor to chiropractor. Unfortunately, if they choose the wrong type of chiropractor, they may not see results and quit chiropractic care altogether. This is a shame since treatment from a different practitioner could provide the relief of symptoms they’re looking for.

For this reason, it’s a good idea understand the different types of chiropractors and the techniques they use. Here are the nine different types of chiropractors that you’ll commonly find:

Type #1: Symptom-Relief Chiropractors

Musculoskeletal chiropractors is a type of chiropractor also known as symptom-relief practitioners. More often than not, these symptoms include back pain and headaches. These types of practitioners manipulate the spine in an effort to free fixations, decompress the joints, and ultimately reduce or eliminate pain. They may use a variety of techniques, including diathermy, tens units, ultrasound, and laser acupuncture.

When you go to this type of chiropractor, the frequency and length of your treatment regimen will be directly related to the persistence of your symptoms. Sometimes, it means treatment time is short and the recovery process will go smoothly.

While this chiropractic care might initially relieve some pain and symptoms, the results are often temporary. You may believe your condition is finally controlled or cured, but the spine ultimately remains structurally misaligned and the disease will recur and cause future dysfunction of the joints and discs.

Type #2: Traditional Wellness Chiropractors

Rather than simply focusing on providing symptom relief like musculoskeletal chiropractors, traditional wellness practitioners work on structural correction and subluxations. A subluxation is a misaligned vertebra that interferes with the nerve impulses from the brain that allow all parts of the body to function effectively.

While, of course, this type of chiropractor still wants to reduce symptoms and make patients feel better, their primary focus is on removing the subluxation and restructuring the spine to improve the body’s wellness. In short, the traditional wellness chiropractor seeks to address the root cause of the symptoms.

Ultimately, these postural corrections and spinal adjustments maximize the integrity of the nerves, joints, and discs over the long term. This type of treatment typically continues well after symptoms are eliminated to ensure the maximum corrected postural position.

Type #3: Mixed Chiropractic Care

Mixed chiropractic care represents a mixture of both non-chiropractic and non-therapeutic approaches. This is traditionally an older approach to care. In this case, the chiropractor treats many different types of medical conditions using a variety of treatment types. They may diagnose medical conditions and use non-chiropractic treatment approaches like acupuncture, naturopathic care, and homeopathy.

They may provide rehabilitation therapy, massage, physical therapy, and even nutritional supplements during care. In the public’s eye, this type of chiropractic care can confuse patients and make it difficult to determine what the chiropractor’s role is in the healthcare community.

Type #4: Non-Therapeutic Objective Straight Chiropractic (NTOSC)

Non-therapeutic objective straight chiropractic care does not mix chiropractic care with any other type of technique. The objective-straight chiropractor has only one simple objective: treat vertebral subluxation. This is the more modern approach to maximizing the body’s performance with chiropractic care.

Type #5: Chiropractic Manipulation Treatment

Manipulation treatment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, is a type of treatment that focuses on the manual application of a sudden and controlled force on a joint. This force is meant to loosen a joint that has become restricted in its movement. This is the type of treatment that causes the “crack” sound that’s so commonly associated with chiropractic care in general.

Most patients choose this chiro approach to improve the efficiency and range of motion to improve the symptoms of muscle tightness, pain, and limited mobility. The pain-relieving effects of manipulation treatment are typically short term, lasting up to eighteen months.

Type #6: Soft Tissue Treatment

Many chiropractors commonly administer soft tissue treatment, which focuses on muscle and tendon disorders. Stretching, massage, and mobilization chiropractic therapy may be used to improve joint movements.

Type #7: Initial Intensive Care

If you have a serious symptom, ache, or pain, you’ll begin chiropractic care with initial intensive care treatment. The purpose of this approach is to reduce symptoms and offer pain relief as quickly as possible.

Type #8: Rehab Care

Once the initial symptoms have eased, patients may move into a rehab care phase of treatment, where the chiropractor focuses on stabilizing the spine and promoting more comprehensive and complete healing over the long term. Over time, the frequency of visits is reduced and might be supplemented with self-care instructions.

Type #9: Maintenance and Wellness Care

Traditional wellness chiropractors, in particular, believe in maintenance and wellness. They believe that, once the initial pain is gone and the health correction is corrected, the patient should continue to schedule follow-up visits to maintain their progress. With this approach, little problems can be caught early before they become more serious and result in pain recurring.