Dispelling myths, addressing concerns, and answering questions about Chiropractic care
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body.
The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If the nerve system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors of Chiropractic call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
The Chiropractic adjustment has been proven to increase motion, increase circulation, reduce swelling and pain, and remove nerve irritation. Once this nerve irritation is removed, your body is able to do what it is designed to do - heal itself.
Chiropractors restore proper motion to joints that are not moving properly. Helping to restore proper spinal bio mechanics and improved nerve system function begins with a case history. Your case history is vital as it reveals the background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details which brought you into the office.
After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examination is performed. X-ray may be taken which will help uncover structural and functional problems.
Then, once the examination is complete, your chiropractor will explain the findings and outline a treatment plan. Progress is then monitored with periodic examination and follow-up reports.
Today's Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated. The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, bio mechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nerve system dysfunction.
Before beginning Chiropractic school, chiropractic students need to complete 3 years of undergraduate education to obtain the necessary prerequisites. A chiropractic student then completes 4 years of graduate school to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. However the testing is not done. Each candidate must then pass both Federal and Provincial board examinations in order to receive a license to practice chiropractic. It takes about 7 years of post-secondary schooling to learn how to be a chiropractor !
A chiropractic education never ends. Most doctors continue to educate themselves by taking postgraduate courses and staying current by reading the latest scientific research.
After undergraduate studies, today's chiropractic doctor completes an additional four-year curriculum of over 4,500 classroom hours of health sciences.
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, 'locked up,' or not moving properly. An adjustment adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, improved nerve system function, and improved health.
There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. Usually the doctor's hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow constant pressure.
After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
Many patients consult a doctor of chiropractic because they think they have a pinched nerve. While commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve is actually rare. Research suggests that only 10%-15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on a nerve. Typically a 'pinched nerve' will result in numbness, burning, or a 'pins and needles' feeling. When a bone pushes on a nerve, this is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Several other possibilities exist that and also cause numbness and/or a burning sensation. Nerves are more commonly stretched or irritated, which will produce a numbness feeling.
If you have numbness, see your chiropractor for a detailed and thorough examination.
No, it is not possible for discs to slip. The disc is a pad-like tissue located between two vertebrae which acts as shock absorber for the spine. The center of the disc is made of a fluid, soft, 'jelly-like' substance. When discs become damaged, tears can occur through which the soft center can leak out and push on the nerves. This is know as a ruptured or herniated disc and is extremely painful.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems. In fact chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even aspirin!
Discs do not 'slip,' however, if damaged they can leak or rupture.
No, each patient is adjusted according to their unique requirements. Your chiropractor will determine the best way to adjust your spine after completing a detailed examination.
Many chiropractors will adjust your entire spine, even though you don't have pain in that area. Pain is a poor indicator of problems as many problems refer pain into other areas. Some patients who complain of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck.
While visits may seem similar, each visit builds on the one before.
Chiropractic care is customized to each patient's age, condition, and spinal problem.
Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself; and also dangerous. Spinal adjusting may look easy when done by an experienced chiropractor, but it has taken several years to master - just as a gymnast makes walking on a balance beam easy.
Turning and twisting your back and neck may create a 'popping' sound, however this usually causes an unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. Remember the goal of the adjustment is to get joints moving that are not moving normally, twisting your back will cause unstable joints to become more unstable. Spinal adjusting is not for amateurs !
The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.
There are literally thousands of published scientific studies proving chiropractic's safety and effectiveness. 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. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers and even aspirin!
Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.
There's a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance for a quick recovery.
Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support the spine.
Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process, too. Get the appropriate amount of rest your body needs and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, and if you're overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine.
Perhaps most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor's recommendations for optimum results.
Proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition are especially important during the healing process.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborn checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child's spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as 'growing pains' can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic check-ups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.
Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child's spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.
Chiropractic has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and many other so-called 'normal' childhood health problems.
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 improvement 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.
Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help
improve mobility and maintain vitality.
Spinal problems neglect 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 check-ups 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 preventive visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. Unfortunately this style of 'crisis management' is usually more costly and time-consuming in the long run.
How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
Periodic chiropractic check-ups, like brushing and flossing your teeth, getting regular exercise, and eating wholesome foods is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Most private insurance plans cover chiropractic services to some extent and direct billing is now available for some insurance providers. We welcome your questions so we can help you with your insurance needs. Please confirm with our office regarding which insurance coverage is currently available.
Did you know most people feel fine just before they have a heart attack? Do you know why they call blood pressure the 'silent killer?' Because you typically don't 'feel' blood pressure problems until it is too late.
Judging your health based on how you feel can be dangerous - why? Everyone has different pain thresholds and different 'standards' of what they feel like. Chiropractors base health on how you, your spine and nerve system are functioning. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." True health is based on so much more than simply being 'symptom free.'
Chiropractors determine your frequency of adjustments based on how your spine and nerve system are functioning. People continue to seek wellness care from Chiropractors when they demand more from their bodies. People who want to not only be symptom free, but also be physically able to function at a peek level, get regular adjustments as part of their healthy life style.
For instance, in the top picture beside, you can barely see the 2 chairs on the beach. You can see the chairs much better, and the richness of the various colors in the lower picture. You can see the chairs better in the lower picture since there is no interference with your vision. The same occurs with you - when your spine and nerve system are not working at 100%, you can still function; however when your spine and nerve system are working at 100%, you are able to function on a much higher level and experience more of life.
Today many of the world's best athletes, actors, and people who want more out of life seek Chiropractic adjustments to help them experience the most from life. Several olympic athletes receive Chiropractic adjustments - why? - they know that the difference between Gold and Silver can be 1/100th of a second, and having a spine, nerve system and a body that is working in 100% harmony is key to winning and experiencing life to the fullest!
When you begin Chiropractic care, usually an intense initial period of adjustments is needed to begin the process of returning proper motion to spinal joints. Your muscles, joints and nerves have an amazing memory, and getting your body to learn how to move properly takes time. It is said you need to do something for 21 days before it becomes a habit. Try changing your posture and you will notice that very quickly, you will find yourself slouching or not standing straight, without being aware. Spinal joints are just the same. In the beginning, spinal joints will go back to their 'stuck' position shortly after being adjusted. Thus in the beginning you may only experience short term relief between adjustments.
When your joints keep moving each day (or remain subluxation free), now is the time to rejoice and reduce the frequency of care as your body is learning, through adjustments, and lifestyle changes to keep your spinal joints moving properly.
Try this: pick a habit that you do daily that you know causes spinal joints to become tight (eg, cradling the phone when talking, slouching, not standing evenly on both legs, etc) and try to change it by keep good postural habits. Soon you will realize just how difficult it is to change those 'in grained' habits.
Just like changing the position of teeth can take years (and that's with braces on 24 hours a day!), so can changing the position and motion of spinal joints.
Chiropractic adjustments restore proper motion to joints that are not moving properly and likely haven't been moving properly, possibly, for years. In the beginning regular, and frequent adjustments are needed to help your body learn 'healthy spinal movements.' It is also important to follow your Chiropractor's advice regarding changing sleeping positions, posture, work setup, etc to help to minimize the stresses on your spine to ensure healing will occur as fast as possible.
Remember, how often and for how long you get adjusted is always up to you! Both depend on your goals - are you simply looking for pain relief, or do you want to have a truly, optimally healthy body?