What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a long-established, popular method of healing that focuses on the relationship between skeletal alignment (primarily the spine) and its impact on the nervous system’s ability to maintain healthy bodily functioning. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges says that “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.” Chiropractors understand that only the body can create genuine healing, and that by making chiropractic adjustments, they are simply helping the body repair itself.
How does Chiropractic work?
The brain is the command center for all your bodily functions, including digestion, movement, breathing, and heartbeat. It signals commands to the cells of the body first though the spinal cord, and then out to different organs of the body via primary spinal nerves. When this communication is unimpeded, your brain is able to maintain health throughout your entire body.
However, when there is a spinal misalignment, the resulting nerve irritation disrupts your body’s healthy functioning, causing pain. Consider the example of someone with a severe spinal cord injury, blocking 100% of the brain’s signal at the point of injury. If the injury is in the upper neck, that person will often require life support equipment to do their breathing and heart functioning for them. Much less severe, but still damaging to health, are spinal vertebrae (bone) misalignments (called a vertebral subluxations) that inflame spinal nerves and impede the brain’s healing signals like a radio station that is out of tune. This produces varying degrees of dysfunction/pain in the parts of the body to which those primary nerves connect. If the dysfunction is persistent enough, it can generate back pain, neck pain, and other symptoms. If left untreated over time, the body can reach a stage of chronic or even acute disease.
Bottom line: by adjusting your vertebrae to correct misalignments, chiropractic treatment removes irritation from spinal nerves, allowing both for effective pain management and improved health.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments help correct joint misalignments. These misalignments, also called subluxations, most often occur in joints of the spine. A chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate and realign your bone joints. This is typically a painless and may provide instant relief to certain symptoms. Because the body is constantly in motion, one adjustment can’t provide permanent bone realignment and so must be repeated over time until the correction is stabilized. The number and regularity of chiropractic adjustments required is something that your chiropractor will discuss with you on your initial visit.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Short-term benefits of chiropractic include –
- increased mobility
- pain relief
- reduction of muscle spasms
- decreased joint stiffness
- decreased inflammation
Long-term benefits of chiropractic care include –
- increased joint health
- increased well being
- better balance and coordination
- reduced degeneration of spinal and other joints
- increased physical performance
- decreased risk of injury
- better healing and immune response