What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a complete system of healthcare focused on restoring, preserving, and optimizing health by natural hands-on care. Chiropractic's primary avenue of care is manipulation of the spine and the framework of the body.
The spine is an important structure that houses and provides protection for the spinal cord, while providing mobility for the upper body. This dual requirement of strength and flexibility makes the spine a very complex structure, with multiple joints at each spinal segment (the vertebrae) forming the spinal column. When these joints (also known as articulations) are not positioned or functioning normally, it can affect the nerves exiting the spine.
The word "chiropractic" comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action), and simply means "done by hand." Note that the word "chiropractic," while a bit awkward, is the actual name of the profession. A chiropractor practices chiropractic (not chiropracy, chiropractics, or even chiropractic medicine).
What is the underlying philosophy?
Due to its focused hands-on attention to the spine, the profession is often thought of by its tools and by its avenue of care. Chiropractic, however, is not just about manual care of the spine, although it has certainly built a reputation caring for that often troublesome piece of anatomy. In chiropractic, care of the spine and nervous system (which is of fundamental importance in human health) is the way to optimize the health of the whole human system and not just a means to relieve back complaints.
A basic philosophy of chiropractic is that the body naturally seeks the proper balance among all the systems of the body, and that these systems are meant to work together. A second basic principle is that proper structure is necessary for proper function. If a structure is impaired by injury or stress, its function can be adversely affected.
For example, when our spine (structure) is not positioned normally, it can irritate the nerves exiting the spine. And when spinal nerves are irritated, they don't function normally and can affect the function of the tissues they interact with. This "end-organ" effect is the central interest in chiropractic care. The relief of localized discomfort at the point of irritation is also an objective of care.
Thus chiropractic focuses on the integrity of the spine and its surrounding joints and tissues as a means to enhance normal human function and health.
How do chiropractors treat subluxations?
A chiropractor identifies subluxations (decrease in joint motion) through feeling, observations and other clinical signs. Their aim is to correct the decrease in joint movement & restore mobility to the joints by adjusting that joint.
The adjustment is performed using their hands and fingers to deliver a quick, short thrust. The adjustment is a very specific, high speed, low force maneuver. This moves the affected joint within the normal range of movement, without exceeding the boundaries of structural integrity.
By adding a thrust into the subluxation the chiropractor is firing the nerve receptors in the joint. This sends signals to the brain. Once adjusted, the misaligned joint can also fire the receptors more correctly. This, in turn, affects the nervous system and increases flow of information & communication with in the body.
Chiropractic treatment does not replace standard medicine; however, it can enhance traditional medical therapy. It is also an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain caused by bio-mechanical problems. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other healthcare practitioners.
Signs & Symptoms?
A Subluxation may change the posture to compensate for the restricted mobility of the spine and joints to avoid pain. This triggers increased mechanical strain on other parts of the spine & other joints, causing secondary restrictions and further influencing the condition. The VSC may show slight impairments when the body is less mobile or active. Increased sensitivity to touch in some areas of the body can also be a sign of disrupted nerve function. The VSC can cause noticeable impairment in performance, health and behavior.
OTHER SYMPTOMS INCLUDE...
· Changes in behavior
· Decreased mobility
· Limited or changes in performance
· Acute neck and back pain
· Signs of pain when performing movements
· Pain when being lifted
· Increased sensitivity to touch
· Stiffness while moving, getting up and down
· Reluctant to move, climb or jump
· Altered sitting position
· Recurrent ear or gland infections
· Recurrent digestive troubles
· Dripping urine or inability to hold feces
· Abnormal gaits
· Decreased range of motion
The only way to be sure if chiropractic is needed is through an examination by a chiropractor. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, they might indicate a need to be checked. If you have been checked recently, you might need to be reevaluated.