Generally speaking there are two types of Chiropractors, Classical Uni modal and Modern Multi modal. Uni modal Chiropractors usually just treat (manipulate) the spine, while Multi modal Chiropractors treat the entire neuro-musculoskeletal system that includes the spine, extremities, muscles, ligaments, tendons etc and utilise more techniques than manipulation.
A study was recently released (March, 2009) by the Chiropractic and Osteopathy Journal outlining what patients should look for when searching for a Chiropractor for the management of athletic conditions. Athletic conditions are not just confined to professional and semi-professional athletes, it extends to all those who play sports.
This paper along with many others are starting to show that best practice guidelines for the management of musculoskeletal injuries, requires a practitioner who utilises active and passive strategies. “The modern multi modal practitioner is better suited to managing sporting injuries by incorporating passive and active care management strategies to address three important phases of care in the continuum of injury from the acute inflammation/pain phase to the chronic/rehabilitation phase to the injury prevention phase”
There are some Chiropractors who claim to treat other non-musculoskeletal conditions such as Otitis Media (ear infections) Colic, etc although they may have gained some good results in their own practice, there is no overwhelming hard clinical evidence to support these claims. It is all anecdotal at the moment and requires further research.
Above all, you must feel comfortable and confident in the practitioner you see.
Source: Hoskins et.al, “How to select a chiropractor for the management of athletic conditions”, Chiropractic and Osteopathy, 2009