What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a philosophy of health care that concentrates on helping the body function the way it was designed. What do I mean by that? Consider how many times in your life you had to REMIND your body to breathe, pump blood, or digest food. These functions of life happen automatically. Quite frankly, when the body works well, it works VERY well!
However, the realities of life give us certain circumstances that interfere with the normal functioning of our bodies. Since the brain and nervous system control body functions, Chiropractic focuses on maintaining the health of your nerves, organs, and connective tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) so that the body can continue to operate normally. Emphasis is given to the body’s ability to heal itself.
From the Chiropractic perspective, a poorly functioning spinal column is the cause of many different ailments. Any type of situation, whether it be a traumatic injury, wear and tear over many years, or any other stress, can cause the nervous system to stop working at its ultimate capacity. That can breed pain or discomfort and can affect how the organs of your body function. I’m sure you can see how this would affect your overall health and lifestyle.
Frequenlty Asked Questions
A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that house and protect the spinal cord. Any misalignment puts unnecessary pressure on the nerve system and damages the nerve supply to different parts of the body. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and unadjusted for many years can lead to symptoms of pain, diseases, and an unhealthy expression of life.
An adjustment is the term used to explain the chiropractic treatment. It is known in the medical community as spinal manipulation, although the chiropractic adjustment is performed specifically by chiropractors with at least five years of extensive experience in this type of treatment.
It’s not easy to know when you are subluxated, although a pain of some kind can be a clue. Abnormal posture including one shoulder higher than the other, hips not level or a head forward past the shoulders can also be indicative of a subluxation. Often, the nerves that are negatively affected because of the misalignment in the spine do not carry pain signals. This means that you can suffer from subluxations for years without any painful warning signs. However, allowing subluxations to exist in your body can negatively impact the functions of the organs in your body, which leads to a deterioration of your health. A chiropractor can detect the subluxations with their highly trained hands, and correct them effectively.
In the words of the New Zealand Government’s Inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.1
In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any spinal health related problems. Later, learning to walk, riding a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal health related problems.
While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the potential underlying structural damage to the child’s spine, skull, pelvis and extremities is the unique domain of a chiropractor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as “growing pains” may be able to be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups may be able to identify these problems and help avoid some of the health complaints seen later in adults. Naturally, Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine, particularly babies.
More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.
Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time consuming, chiropractors stand ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
In most cases, not at all. In fact most people find having an adjustment very relaxing.
With some adjustments you may sometimes feel or hear popping sound from the spinal joints. This is simply caused by a gas release from the joint as spinal movement is restored, such as when a wet glass is removed from a table. Some Chiropractors use a hand held instrument to adjust the spine. Others use pelvic blocks to re-align the body. Special techniques are used for adjusting infants and children. Whatever the technique, Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength, to conduct a safe, effective adjustment.
Most Chiropractors will take care of people in the clothes they come in with. However any bulky clothing, such as a heavy winter jacket or thick jumper would need to be removed. A small percentage of Chiropractors will require their clients to be gowned.
Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners therefore a referral is not necessary. However more and more GP’s are referring to Chiropractors via the Enhanced Primary Care Program (EPC).
It may not seem quite clear to you now how you having a bad back is linked to your health. If we look at the spine we see that a bad back often results in a loss of normal nerve system function. This means that your body and brain are no longer able to communicate clearly.
If this is happening in you it is like a game of chinese whispers in your body, resulting in your body not working at it’s best and a reduction in your health. Chiropractic restores the function of the spine and nerve system improving the overall function of your body and health.