What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of health care that is based upon improving the body’s function by removing interference to the nervous system. The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Messages travel from the brain, down the spinal cord, and through the nerves to every single cell, tissue, organ and system of the body. Because the nervous system goes everywhere, it controls all function to the body including breathing, digestion, circulation, immune system function, and the body’s ability to move. When there is no interference in the nervous system, there is healthy function. Vertebral subluxation complex will prevent healthy function. A subluxation is an abnormal shift of the spine from its normal position that causes nervous system interference. There are five things that occur when subluxation is present; abnormal motion or position of the spinal bones, abnormal nervous system function causing symptoms elsewhere in the body, abnormal muscle function, inflammation, and spinal degeneration. Subluxation is caused by things such as the birth process, trauma, falls, poor posture, and normal activities of daily living that can all cause postural imbalances and misalignment of the spine. A chiropractor is the only professional trained in detecting subluxations which can cause multiple health problems, through physical exams and x-rays. Subluxations are corrected by using specific spinal adjustments. Once Subluxations are reduced or removed the body, through its infinite wisdom now has the ability to function and heal.
What are symptoms?
Symptoms are your body’s warning signs that your body is not functioning at its optimal level. Many symptoms such as headaches and heartburn are common but they are not normal. A symptom occurs only after there has been decreased function to a certain part of the body for a long time. The worst symptom of all is having no symptoms. The first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. Symptoms such as fever and vomiting are your body’s natural ways of ridding your body of toxins, so a person can be healthy and functioning well but just not feel well. It is not healthy to judge your body on how you feel.
Chiropractors do not treat symptoms. They find the cause of your symptoms and treat the cause. When the nervous system interference is gone, the body is more able to heal itself naturally, the way it was created.
What to expect on the first visit:
At our office we believe in educating patients in order for them to make informed decisions concerning their health and lifestyle. Each patient is taken through a process of learning starting on the first visit. This is a day of discovery where the doctors learn about your health problems and collect the information necessary to give you their best health recommendations. We will do a consultation and a thorough history of your health problems, review important information about health, and perform an extensive exam. The exam will include ranges of motion, palpation of your muscles supporting the spine, a postural evaluation, and if necessary x-rays. Findings from each procedure are explained in detail.
How much education does a Chiropractor have? Are they real doctors?
A chiropractor is required to have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 90 credit hours towards a bachelor’s degree before entering chiropractic college. Many individual states require a bachelor’s degree for state licensure. Chiropractors earn a doctorate degree where the curriculum contains a minimum of 4,620 classroom hours of instruction which is 5 years of academic study. Many colleges offer accelerated programs where students complete the classroom hours in 3 1/3 years. Chiropractors focus on the same sciences studied by medical doctors in addition to courses on techniques to restore normal nervous system function without the use of medication or surgery. Chiropractors do not dispense medications or perform surgeries.
Relief Care vs Corrective Care
Relief care is the amount of care necessary to relieve symptoms. Symptoms are first to go away once someone is under chiropractic care. It is important to understand that you cannot always feel your body functioning improperly. Unless the cause of the problem (Subluxation) is corrected, the symptoms will return and it might take longer and cost more money to get you out of your symptomatic state the second or third time the symptoms return.
Corrective care restores normal function to the body by correcting the cause of the problem and then maintaining that correction to help prevent future problems and symptoms. In most cases you will be given exercises and stretches as well as recommendations on nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes. A common complaint we hear is, “Once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go.” The fact is you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But if someone asked you to stop brushing your teeth or to stop getting your oil changed in your car, would you? When people under chiropractic care see the amazing benefits of taking care of their spine and nervous system it just makes sense to maintain it for life. It is for life! Literally, for life.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is done to correct subluxations that were found during your exam. Adjustments are done by hand. We use our hands and our tools (which are our specialized tables) to apply a specific high velocity, low amplitude force through a proper line of correction to the bones of the spine. Once an adjustment is performed, the bones are then able to align themselves correctly which will remove nervous system interference.
What should I expect after an adjustment?
After an adjustment, you can expect one of three things to occur. You may feel better, feel the same or actually feel a little sore. Your muscles are used to your spine being in a certain position. The adjustments are moving your spine into a position that your body is not used to so it may aggravate your muscles and you may feel a little sore.
What is degeneration?
Degeneration of the spine happens when subluxation is not corrected. When the spine is not in its proper alignment, the joints break down and degenerate. This process is painless and occurs in phases. First, there is a loss of the normal spinal curves leading to decreased nerve function or subluxation. The subluxation causes the joints, discs and nerves to be overstressed therefore causing irreversible damage. Next, because of the increase in stress, damage is done to the discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae. The discs begin to shrink and abnormal bony growth begins to grow around the spinal bone. The abnormal bony growth then begins to fuse the malfunctioning spinal joints together. Once this occurs, the spine is unable to move and permanent scar tissue damage forms. It is like a car. When it is perfectly in alignment and tuned up, it runs smoothly and does not break down. Once the car is misaligned, the tires start to wear and then the car itself begins to break down.
Can degeneration be reversed?
Only the first phase of degeneration can be reversed which is the subluxation phase. The damage done to the discs, bones, and nerves cannot be reversed but the process can be slowed down or halted if the subluxation is removed.
At what age should someone get checked?
The very first time someone should have his or her spine checked is at birth! The very first time that a human being experiences a trauma that could cause subluxation is during the birth process. Even a natural childbirth has the potential of being extremely traumatic to the newborn. When the baby is being pushed, pulled, and twisted out of the birth canal, there is a potential for a tremendous amount of force on the baby’s neck. Some babies experience immediate symptoms following birth indicating that they were subluxated during the birth process. Some of the common but far from normal symptoms that could occur include problems breathing, colic, breastfeeding difficulties, ear infections, and problems sleeping.
Is chiropractic safe for children?
YES! Children are actually the best patients to be in a chiropractic office because they respond so well and so quickly to care because they do not have the years of damage to their spine that an adult has. Many childhood illnesses have seen remarkable results with chiropractic care. Many adult health issues actually started in childhood, possibly as early as the birth process. Children have the opportunity to grow up with minimal or no health concerns when chiropractic care is accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. The chiropractic adjustments performed on children of any age, are much gentler than in adults and are completely safe and natural.
What conditions does chiropractic treat?
Chiropractic does not treat any conditions except Vertebral Subluxation Complex. However, because chiropractic removes nervous system interference and allows the body to function better, people with the following conditions have found chiropractic care to be effective.
*Colic *Bed Wetting *Ear Infections *Breastfeeding difficulties *ADHD/ADD *Asthma *Colds *Breech Birth *Infertility *Blood Pressure *Sinus Trouble *Carpal Tunnel *Skin Problems *Sleep Problems *Heart Burn *Digestive Troubles *Constipation *Seizures *Fibromyalgia *Headaches *Migraines *Allergies *Sciatica *TMJ *Dizziness *Ringing in Ears *Neck Pain *Mid Back Pain *Low Back Pain *Shoulder Pain *Fatigue *Menstrual Cramps *Hemorrhoids *Leg Pain *Better Immune Function
Should I get adjusted if I am pregnant?
YES! Chiropractic care during pregnancy is great for you and your baby! Pregnancy requires every system in your body to go through important hormonal and physiological changes to create and nourish another life. A healthy nervous system will help to ensure optimal function of your body during this important time.
When Should I be adjusted if I am pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant?
It is best to get your spine checked before becoming pregnant to ensure your body is ready for the stress of creating another life. If you are already pregnant, it is important to get your spine checked as soon as possible and to get adjusted throughout your pregnancy and after labor and delivery. The birth process is as traumatic for you as it is for your baby. It is important for you to have a healthy nervous system throughout all stages of your pregnancy.