You may not realize this but chiropractors have to study at university for several years to qualify, they are therefore more than masseurs with a fancy name. Chiropractors understand the skeletal and muscular system of a human as well as a doctor, what they do during a session then is far from a stab in the dark and is based on a great understanding of problems with the muscular system. This understanding is why if you go to a chiropractor they will focus on muscles that may well not be those that ache and hurt. A masseur by contrast will relax and ease muscles but though this may bring temporary relief will often not deal with the root cause of a problem. A chiropractor will work with you to identify where pains are coming from. Many problems come back to problems around the spine but the spine is affected by the muscles around it. Where muscles are tight and pull on the spine it can lead to a curvature that affects your overall posture. A poor posture can lead to pain in other muscles that are either stretched or being overworked, for example tightness in the lower right hand side of the back may lead to more work being done by the left leg.
The cause of a curvature in the spine though could be something different again. It is often in fact tight muscles in the buttocks and the back of the thighs or even calves that pull on the back and in turn the spine. A chiropractor will go through your history of injuries with you; it may be that a previous knee injury, though no longer painful, is causing problems in the back by being tight and pulling on all the muscles around it and through your back. The chiropractor then may start off by working on the knee to relax it and then relax the other muscles leading up to the spine.
A chiropractor cannot be expected to solve long term problems in one go, they will therefore want you to attend on a regular basis for some time, each time the muscles can be relaxed and stretched more and the curvature of the spine can be monitored and so progress monitored. Chiropractors can also identify causes of problems that may come from elements in your life and lifestyle. They will talk through things with you such as the exercise you do, the work you do and how you go about lifting things. It is often how you sit at work that causes problems or if you have a physical job you may be lifting incorrectly or need to lift differently to look after a muscle that is weak or tight. To get the best results from a chiropractor you will often need to change how you do these kind of things and regular stretches and other quick exercises every day between appointments will help to maintain a good posture and help to solve problems.