What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a hands-on, holistic, alternative health care approach to better health and increases quality of life through manipulation of spine and extremeties, diet, exercise. Chiropractors are considered to be the neuromusculoskeletal (nerve-muscle-skeleton) professionals. Chiropractic helps you maintain a lifestyle of wellness.
How can Chiropractic help me?
Chiropractic can help you by working with you and your other health care professionals (M.D., and D.O.) to maintain your spine in proper alignment. Every organ in the body is under neurological (nerve) control, so doesn’t it make sense that if nerve impulses do not get to the organ its function will be compromised?
Not all nerve impulses have a stimulatory effect on organs, some impulses inhibit the organs they influence. For example, the Vagus Nerve has an inhibitory effect on the heart causing the heart to slow its rate when it receives these signals. The same Vagus Nerve, however, on the stomach and digestive tract stimulates these organs into increasing their activity. Through manipulation of the spine, the Chiropractor helps place the spine in proper alignment to prevent a malfunction of nerve impulses to other organs and tissues.
What is manipulation?
A manipulation (also known as an adjustment) is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust applied to a specific joint in order to provide a therapeutic result. This is not to say, however that all manipulations are the same. Just as Chiropractors are different individually, so are the many techniques. A particular technique that I might use and feel comfortable with may feel odd or uncomfortable to another Chiropractor and vice versa.
Does the manipulation hurt?
The manipulation can sometimes cause a little bit of soreness afterwards, as your body adjusts. This is similar to soreness you may feel after a massage. Most of the discomfort will go away after the manipulation is performed several times. That is right – several manipulations may be necessary before total relief is seen. Let’s face the truth, you wouldn’t expect to take just one of the twenty pills of any prescription to get a cure. You shouldn’t expect only one adjustment to do the same. Just as you were given twenty pills to cure your illness, you may have to have four, five, or even more manipulations to do the same!
The discomfort that you may feel is very often related to how long you waited before you sought treatment for your pain or illness. The sooner we can start the manipulations after onset, the less discomfort you will feel and the fewer treatments you will need for your continued good health.
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system that evaluates structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing combined with other standard methods of diagnosis. AK is a non-invasive system of evaluating body function that is unique in the healing arts and has become a dynamic movement in health care in its relatively short existence. The combined terms “applied” and “kinesiology” describe the basis of this system, which is the use of manual muscle testing to evaluate body function through the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system.
Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counseling skills, evaluating environmental irritants and various reflex procedures. The triad of health lists the three basic causes of health problems. They are structural, chemical, and mental, with structure as the base of the triad. Literally, all health problems, whether functional or pathological, are involved with one part or all parts of the triad.
AK enables the doctor to evaluate the triad’s functional balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides. The physician who is aware of the triad of health, and evaluates every patient for all three sides, increases his ability to find the basic underlying cause of a patient´s health problem. AK skills are developed and approved by the International College of Applied Kinesiology Board of Standards.
Examples of Conditions Treated
Whiplash is defined as “an injury to the cervical spine caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, either backward of forward.”
Whiplash usually occurs when the head and neck are unexpectedly or suddenly thrown very quickly in one direction and then rebound in the opposite direction. You might say the head is “whipped around” on the neck. Damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments is the result of whiplash.
A whiplash type injury doesn’t only occur in automobile accidents. Whiplash injuries may occur as a result of sudden forces to the body such as in contact sports like football, soccer, or boxing, falls, direct trauma to the skull or even a sudden sneeze.
If you experience any of the following after any accident, you may have whiplash:
- Headaches, head and neck pains, stiff neck, muscle spasms
- Restricted head motion
- Equilibrium problems, loss of hearing, ringing in the ears
- Eye strain
- Feeling light-headed, excessively tired, or blacked out
- Neuralgia (nerve pain) or neuritis (nerve inflammation)
- Cold hands or feet, or numbness of arms, hands, shoulders, feet or legs
- Unexplained depression, anxiety, irritability
- Unable to concentrate, poor memory
- Pain between the shoulders, low back pains, tremors, rapid heartbeat
Symptoms of whiplash-type injuries may develop quickly, or may not show up for hours, days, weeks. Therefore, following even a minor accident, the kind where you just feel “shaken up”, a visit to a Chiropractor is recommended.
A doctor of Chiropractic will do a thorough examination, including the use of x-rays and clinical laboratory tests when necessary. Following evaluation, the Chiropractor will make the necessary delicate spinal adjustments to correct any misalignment to alleviate nerve irritation, constricted blood flow and to regain proper alignment and posture.
Do not put off an early visit to your doctor Chiropractic following any accident!
The Doctor of Chiropractic is trained in body mechanics and how to relieve the cause of the symptoms that you have. The term “pinched nerve” is not a clinical term but helps to explain why the symptoms you have may be directly associated with the spine. If you are suffering from radiating pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, back, legs or feet it may well indicate pressure on the nerves as they emit from the spine. Headaches are one of the most common results of nerves being stretched, irritated or compressed by inflammation in or near the spine. The doctor may call it a pinched nerve for easier understanding, and then identify it with a more clinical term on your insurance form. Undue pressure on a nerve may cause an increase or decrease in normal nerve impulse transmission and bring about symptoms from headaches, stomach malfunction, and numbness in the legs. Since the nervous system is the first system formed in embryo, every function of the body is related to the brain and the nerve pathways of the muscles, organs and bones. Your body temperature, speech, vision and balance are all controlled by the nervous system.
Specific areas of the spine emit the nerves to specific organs, tissues and muscles in the body.
- Dizziness, headaches, nervousness, insomnia, allergies, sore throat, head colds, ringing in the ears, etc.
- Stiff neck, asthma, arm and shoulder pain, etc.
- Stomach and digestive orders.
- Kidney and urinary problems.
- Bowel and female problems such as menstrual cramps and irregular periods.
- Low back pains, sciatica, e.g. and knee pains, etc.
- Swelling of the ankles and ankle discomfort.
The above listed symptoms are just a sample and are not meant to be all inclusive.
The Doctor of Chiropractic will normally check and adjust the area of the spine associated with the symptoms you have. This adjustment of the vertebra is done after thorough examination and X-ray to determine the exact location of the trouble.
Lower Back Pain
There are many causes of lower back pain, including sudden injury or jars to the spine, sprains and strains, slips and falls, and other minor accidents. Sometimes unexpected, jerking and off-balance movements can lead to painful conditions. Some occupations tend to place added stress on the spinal column because of repeated movement or a particular body position used to do the work.
Even a chill or overexerting certain muscles can cause muscular contractions and result in lower back pain.