How Chiropractic Works*
Chiropractic care is widely used for conservative pain management and correction of spinal complaints such as headache, neck pain, and back pain. But how does it work? What do chiropractors do? And why should you go see one? Check out this overview of how chiropractic works.
Trauma, whether from something minor like poor posture, or something major like a car accident, injury, imbalance, and pain can settle into the musculoskeletal system.
The Body's Response:
In order to continue operating as usual despite being imbalanced, the body adapts. These adaptations can result in faulty movement patterns such as limping, or overtightening and misuse of entire spinal areas.
The Alarm Sounds:
Operating with inefficient and improper movement patterns for a period of time can create pain and dysfunction due to undue wear and tear on muscles and joints, and can result in misalignment of the spine and pressure on the nervous system.
What do Chiropractors do?
A proper treatment from any medical practitioner starts with taking a good history. Understanding how a problem begins is critical to effectively treating its root cause, rather than chasing symptoms. Chiropractors are trained in taking a detailed history, in order to get a handle on how a particular problem began, which helps to shape an effective treatment plan right from the consultation.
Chiropractors are trained to examine and diagnose imbalances and misalignments in the musculoskeletal system (commonly referred to as subluxations). Proper diagnosis typically includes the use of orthopedic testing, range of motion, posture, and palpatory exam; and may also include advanced imaging, or referral to outside specialists.
Treatment from a chiropractor typically centers around the chiropractic manipulation, or adjustment. This can be administered manually or with an instrument, and can range from very gentle, to more vigorous. These adjustments are applied to areas of dysfunction or misalignment based on exam findings.
Treatment can also aim at addressing soft tissue injury. This can include electro stimulation, heat, cryotherapy, light therapy, needling, or massage/manual therapies.
How Chiropractic Helps
Chiropractic adjustments reduce pain and increase joint motion, reducing pressure on spinal nerves. Adjustments work by moving the restricted or misaligned joint quickly into its normal range of motion. This procedure acts neurologically to reduce pain and muscle spasm, and breaks adhesions that could be restricting or binding up normal joint motion.
Improved Motion and Alignment:
Chiropractic care can help both alignment of vertebrae, as well as increase motion throughout the movable joints of the spine.
Common causes of misalignment and/or motion restriction in the spine are: muscle spasm, improper positioning, faulty movement patterns due to pain, and scar tissue due to injury.
After an adjustment, the spinal joints loosen and pain decreases. This restores joint motion, and allows the spine to relax into improved alignment.
Improved Nervous System Function:
The nervous system is the control center for all body functions, both voluntary, and involuntary.
Improving alignment in the spine helps to optimize function of the nervous system, by reducing excess pressure on nerves caused by asymmetry, strain, or imbalance.
Improvement in the alignment, behavior, and efficiency of your spine with chiropractic adjusting and other supportive therapies is a great way to reduce pain, and improve nearly all of your body's functions.
Chiropractic care is a great way to reduce pain in the spine, restore motion to spinal joints, and improve your nervous system's overall function. It is also safe and cost-effective. Consult with a chiropractor you trust to see how chiropractic care might be a good fit for your lifestyle and wellness.