Ask Dr. J;
What is chiropractic?
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 nervous system. Just as the skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain, the spinal cord (24 moveable bones) protects the vulnerable communication pathways of the nervous system. If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. In Chiropractic this is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). Vertebral, meaning bones of the spine, Subluxation, meaning less than a total dislocation, and Complex, meaning consisting of more than one part.
Chiropractic is the science of locating vertebral subluxations, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and the philosophy of all things natural. Chiropractic treatment is called an ‘adjustment’. Adjustments are normally done with a specifically directed force, with the hands, to the area or areas of interference. This in turn allows the nerves to flow uninterrupted to the affected area, and the self-healing process can begin
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works by restoring your inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues and organs of your body are designed to resist disease. When there is interference, or disruption to the nervous system from physical, emotional or chemical stresses, the body cannot heal itself. The common interference to the nervous system is the 24 movable vertebrae that make up the spinal column. When one or more of these vertebrae become misaligned they can impinge or pinch on the nerves that flow through them. This in turn blocks the communication from the brain to that part of the body. This then can cause pain, inflammation, tension and restricted range of motion.
Chiropractic treatments re-align and/or move these vertebrae into a more natural position, releasing the pressure on the nerve(s), and therefore allowing the brain to regain communication with that area of the body. The body then uses its own innate intelligence to decrease the swelling, regain for a normal range of motion, relax the muscles and get rid of pain and disease.
What do chiropractic physicians do?
Helping to restore the proper biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a comprehensive case history. This gives the doctor a background about your health, such as allergies, surgeries, accidents, and the onset of your current condition as well as other details affecting your health.
After reviewing your history, a thorough orthopedic, neurological, physical and chiropractic examination is performed. X-ray may be taken to uncover structural and functional problems associated with your spinal column. These examinations help to identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit.
The findings of these exams are explained in a detailed and personalized report of Findings. The doctor will then prescribe a plan of treatment based on your age, spinal health and severity of your condition. Progress is monitored with periodic re-examinations and x-rays if warranted. Your Chiropractor may also prescribe physiotherapies in conjunction with your Chiropractic adjustment. These therapies help to speed the healing process.
What type of education do chiropractic physicians get?
Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated. The science of Chiropractic requires emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, radiography, spinal adjusting techniques and other related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares Chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction.
To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes the demanding National Board of Examination. Then, doctors apply to a governmental licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice Chiropractic. A Chiropractic education never ends. All doctors must complete post graduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research.
Are all patients adjusted the same?
We evaluate each patient’s unique spinal problem and develop an individual course of treatment based on the doctor’s knowledge, years of experience and your specific findings. Some patients who complain of Headaches may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of their skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern and therefore is treated and adjusted differently.
Your Chiropractic care will be delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit of your individualized treatment plan builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar or repetitive, they are building the necessary foundation for your continued health and wellness.
Can I adjust myself?
Since a Chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself. It is possible to turn bend or twist in certain ways to create a ‘popping’ sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a Chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!
The best and safest 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 his or her proper spinal function.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or additive and potentially dangerous drugs. A thorough case history, examination and x-ray are used to determine your need for Chiropractic treatment. This information is then used to prescribe only the most effective course of care. Chiropractic care is a natural treatment method that has been proven safe and effective and only allows your own body’s innate healing abilities to emerge.
Can children get chiropractic treatment? Do they need it?
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). The birth process is not always a smooth one. Sometimes extra force is used or needed to remove the baby from the Vaginal canal. Forceps, suction or just forceful pulling of the head and neck can be needed. When this occurs, the bones (vertebrae) in the neck can become misaligned or out-of-place. These misalignments can impinge or interfere with the nerves flowing through the spinal column. This interference can then cause and/or lead to dysfunction and or disease. Something as simple as pain or as complex as chemical imbalances can occur. These left untreated can escalate in childhood and manifest as symptoms such as Headaches, difficulty sleeping, attention disorders, excessive or lack of energy, back problems, allergies, ear infections or repetitive colds and flush.
While Band-Aids and comforting words can help most childhood injuries, the unseen damage to a Child’s spine is the unique domain of a Doctor of Chiropractic. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as ‘growing pains’ can often be traced to the spine. A Chiropractic checkup can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.
Naturally, Chiropractic adjustments are modified to as child’s spine and treatment regimens are tailored to their age and condition. Children’s spines are much more elastic and easier to manipulate. Therefore, treatment time is much less. Parents who get their children adjusted of a regular basis report that their children enjoy the treatments and seem healthier than other children.
Am I too old for chiropractic care?
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.
As we get older, our bones get weaker. Therefore, the adjustment technique used by our office is modified for the maximum comfort and results for patients of all ages. Along with age also comes wisdom, and the simplicity and effectiveness of Chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious. Regardless of your age, Chiropractic care can help improve your mobility, vitality and overall quality of Life!
How long will I need chiropractic care? Do I have to go forever?
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. A comprehensive history, thorough examination and x-rays are always used to determine your specific Chiropractic needs. Only the necessary treatment regimen will be prescribed for the correction of your current condition. We will also educate you on the benefits of strengthening and rehabilitating your spine so you can maintain optimal health and wellness.
Most patients find that periodic Chiropractic adjustments help to 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 is helpful in achieving their health goals. 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, our office stands ready to help all patients regardless of their health goals.
How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic Care is always up to you.
Do I have a pinched nerve? Do I have a slipped disc?
Many patients consult a Chiropractic doctor because they think they have a pinched nerve. Because of the way, your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical, emotional or chemical trauma can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare. Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spine-related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue. This can result in numbness, burning, or ‘pins and needles’ feeling.
More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesions). This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal joints.
Technically, a disc can’t slip. The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jellylike center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot ‘slip’. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniated, or worse…rupture. This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.
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.
Can I speed the healing process?
While there aren’t any shortcuts to speed your body’s natural health process, there’re a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance for a quick recovery.
- Learn the proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support your spine.
- Proper rest is an important aspect of health and wellness. 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 small balanced meals on a frequent basis. Ideally, you should eat 5 to 6 times a day! Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, Dinner, and snack. The three main meals should be high in low-fat sources of protein, as well as full of good-quality carbohydrates. Your snacks should be healthy and consist mainly of protein. This method of eating keeps your blood sugar healthy, allows for proper digestion, and creates a healthier metabolism. If you are overweight, this causes unnecessary stress to your spine.
- Regular safe and healthy exercise. Talk to your doctor first about what exercises are appropriate at what times during your care. Walking is always good and can be done every day. 20-30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week.
- Perhaps most importantly of all, keep your appointments and follow your Chiropractor’s recommendations. Remember that each visit adds to the one before and keeping your schedule will help to build the best foundation possible for your future health.
Because of philosophical differences, misunderstandings, and economic competition, countless myths have circulated about chiropractic. Here is the TRUTH ABOUT CHIROPRACTIC.
Chiropractic doctors are well educated. After the required pre-me undergraduate studies, today’s doctor of chiropractic completes an additional four (4) year program at a chiropractic college.
Doctors of chiropractic are real doctors. Like other types of doctors, Chiropractic doctors meet stringent licensing requirements, follow a strict code of ethics, and are approved by government Chiropractic is scientific. As sophisticated diagnostic equipment becomes available, researchers are affirming what chiropractic doctors have known all along. A consistent scientific protocol is used to locate malfunctioning areas of the spine.
Chiropractic adjustments make sense. Like lifting a heavy rock off your toe, most patients report their chiropractic adjustments feel good. When the bones of the spine return to a more normal position and motion, nervous system function can be restored, symptoms relieved and the natural healing process can proceed.
Chiropractic is safe. This year thousands of people will DIE from medically prescribed drugs and medicine. Of the millions of people benefiting from Chiropractic this year, only a hand full will have a negative newsworthy experience.
Continue as long as you want. Like regular dental checkups, once patients experience the value of chiropractic, many choose to continue. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is totally up to you.
The TRUTH is, chiropractic is a conservative, drug-free approach to better health that has helped millions of people since 1895. Find out for yourself.