Try it if you have pain that comes on right after a sudden movement (say, you move furniture or pickup a small child), or headaches.
How it works: Chiropractors use techniques to adjust your spine, sometimes combined with electrical stimulation, massage, heat, or ice. The theory is that pain is triggered when bones of the spine slip out of alignment, putting pressure on nerves and preventing the body from functioning normally. Fixing the spine can help correct this imbalance and ease muscle spasms. According to a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, people with spinal, hip, and shoulder pain who first saw a chiropractor for their symptoms had similar pain relief, greater satisfaction levels, and lower overall costs compared to those who initially visited doctors.
Must-know info: If you have osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or take blood thinners, consult with a chiropractor to make sure that manipulation won’t aggravate symptoms or cause complications. Your practitioner should have a degree from an accredited chiropractic school (look for “DC”) and a state license. Get a referral from your doctor or browse the American Chiropractic Association directory (acatoday.org) for chiropractors in your area.
DIY fix: Make good use of a foam roller to alleviate muscle tension, says Dr. Perlman. Check out 6 Ways to Soothe Your Muscles With a Foam Roller on YouTube for more ideas.