What is Chiropractic?
“Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.” -The Association of Chiropractic Colleges
Chiropractic care works because…
- You are a self-healing, self-regulating organism.
- Your nervous system is the master system and it controls and coordinates every function of the body.
- Any interference in the nervous system decreases the communication between the brain and the body and makes you function poorly.
- Chiropractors locate and correct (adjust) the areas in your spine that are not moving properly and causing interference. This restores function and health. Chiropractors find the areas in your spine that are not moving properly and they are called vertebral subluxations.
How Chiropractic Differs
There is a significant and very important difference between the way chiropractors and medical doctors approach health ailments. When evaluating and treating patients, chiropractors take a holistic approach which includes identifying and correcting the cause of the patient’s health ailment. In contrast, the medical approach tends to focus more on the treating the symptoms of a condition rather than focusing primarily on the actual cause.
Chiropractors believe that correcting the cause of the problem provides significant long-term benefits over only treating the symptoms.
Doctors of Chiropractic also work with the muscles and the extremities to balance the whole body in order to maximize the function of muscular contractions and increase the range of motion of the joints in the body. Specific areas of the body can have local complaint or problem that can affect the way the whole body works. This is how care can improve function in the bodies of people who work hard or athletes that play hard.
- Electro-muscle stimulation (EMS) – It is an electrical current (felt as slight tingling) that is applied to the area of soft tissue injury for blocking pain and reducing swelling. It is used to reduce pain sensation, decrease swelling, promote general muscle tone and speeds the healing process.
- Ultrasound (US) – It is a high frequency sound waves administered to the area of soft tissue injury. These sound waves penetrate deep in the body creating a heat response. It is used to speed the healing process by increasing temperature, increasing blood flow, relaxing muscle spasms, and massaging damaged tissues.
- Hot Packs – Heat is usually recommended for the relaxation of tense soft connective tissues and provide temporary relief associated with chronic pain and muscle tightness. Heat works by increasing circulation, relaxes muscle tension, reduces joint stiffness, and prepares the tissues for treatment and rehabilitation.
- Cold Packs – Otherwise known as cryo-therapy, is used to manage acute injuries or recent exacerbations of chronic conditions. Cold therapy works by constricting blood vessels and reducing nerve transmission of painful symptoms, providing temporary relief. Cryo-therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation, numbs the affected painful area, and reduces muscle spasms.
The Vertebral Subluxation Complex is the underlying cause of many health problems.
A Subluxation, or the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, is a serious condition identified by its five parts:
- Abnormal motion or position of the spinal bones: (Spinal Kinesiopathology) The bones of the spine have lost their normal motion and position. This can restrict your ability to turn and bend. It sets in motion the other four components.
- Abnormal nervous system function: (Neuropathophysiology) Improper spinal function can choke, stretch, or irritate delicate nerve tissue. The resulting nervous system dysfunction can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.
- Abnormal muscle function: (Myopathology) Muscles supporting the spine can weaken, atrophy, or become tight and go into spasm. The resulting scar tissue can change muscle tone, requiring repeated spinal adjustments.
- Abnormal soft tissue function: (Histopathology) A rise in temperature from an increase in blood or lymph supply can result in swelling and inflammation. Discs bulge, herniate, tear, or degenerate. Other soft tissues may suffer permanent damage.
- Abnormal function of the spine and body: (Pathophysiology) Bone spurs and other abnormal bony growth attempt to fuse malfunctioning spinal joints. This spinal decay, scar tissue, and long-term nerve dysfunction can cause other systems of the body to fail.
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