Each year more than 15 million North Americans opt for chiropractic for safe, natural and effective alleviation from back pain, neck pain, headaches, extremity pain, poor overall health, low energy levels and much more.
What is Chiropractic?
According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (predominantly the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”.
The Goal of Chiropractic.
Because chiropractic procedures are mainly applied to the spinal region, many people incorrectly think that chiropractors treat only back and neck disorders. While we do quickly and effectively reduce back and neck discomfort, it’s not the only goal. The purpose is to restore and enhance human health. According to a statement from The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “The purpose of chiropractic is to enhance health.”.
How Chiropractic Works.
You may be wondering … how can the same chiropractic procedure which effectively treats my back pain also optimize my health? The answer can be found by examining the relationship between the spine and the nervous system.
As you may already know, the nervous system is the master controller of all living cells, tissues and organs; orchestrating and coordinating all cellular functions. The spinal column frames the nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots) and is accountable for its protection.
Because of this intimate relationship, biomechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can aggravate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This stress can come from noxious inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or may arise from direct mechanical pressure. The functioning of the nervous system is negatively influenced as is the functioning of the cells, tissues and organs which are supplied by the affected nerve(s).
The resulting ailment(s) depends upon the cells, tissues and organs affected along with the extent of nervous system compromise.
In short, because the body’s innate recuperative powers are affected by and integrated through the nervous system, improving spinal abnormalities which aggravate the nervous system can bring about a variety of favorable results in patients struggling with various, seemingly non-spinal health conditions.
What Chiropractors Do.
Practically speaking, chiropractors are primarily concerned with locating and treating vertebral subluxations.
A vertebral subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular (joint) changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.
Using a number of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities (vertebral subluxations). If subluxations or other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area.
Chiropractors use many specialized strategies to identify and treat these spinal abnormalities and enhance overall health. Along with spinal adjustive methods, soft tissue approaches including massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly employed.
How Chiropractic Differs.
There is a significant and crucial difference between the way chiropractors and medical doctors approach health conditions.
When examining and treating patients, chiropractors take a holistic approach which includes identifying and correcting the cause(s) of the patient’s health condition. On the other hand, the medical approach has the tendency to focus more on the treating the symptoms of a condition as opposed to focusing primarily on the actual cause(s).
Chiropractors believe that correcting the source of the problem provides significant long-term benefits over only treating the symptoms.
The Benefits of Chiropractic.
Short-term and regular chiropractic care have a number of benefits including:.
- Spinal and extremity pain relief
- Headache relief.
- Enhanced mobility and range of motion.
- Decreased stiffness and muscular spasms.
- Arthritic joint discomfort relief.
- Increased joint health.
- Enhanced performance and energy.
- Increased sense of well being and relaxation.
- Improved balance and coordination.
- Reduced degeneration and risk of injury.
- Improved tissue healing.
- Decreased tissue inflammation.