What IS Chiropractic Care?
There are a lot of misconceptions about chiropractic care. Rather than defend the misconceptions, it would be more productive to explain exactly what chiropractic is and how it works.
Chiropractic is a physical medical healing art that was developed in 1895.
Chiropractors are considered physicians, and primary portals of entry into the healthcare system.
Chiropractic care involves manipulation of joints in the body to alleviate neuromusculoskeletal problems.
Joints that are not moving properly cause muscle spasms and imbalances in muscles and at times pinch nerves. This can happen not only in the spine but in every joint in the body. The movement between joints is very minute. When a joint is not moving properly you will not noticed it.
Chiropractors are trained to evaluate these small joint movement which is called joint play. Joint play is the amount of movement between the 2 bones that form the joint without moving the joint itself. Normal joint play is dependent on a healthy joint capsule. The joint capsule holds the 2 bones together as well as to keep the lubricating fluid in the joint.
Minor injuries, major injuries, overuse/ misuse, the way you sleep, sit and walk all can causes stress on the joint capsules. The body responds to these stressors by tightening up parts of the joint capsule as well as other ligaments and muscles that hold the joint together. This lack of movement is called a joint dysfunction.
The brain constantly receives and evaluates information from the joint, ligaments and tendons which permits normal body movement, this is called proprioception. When there is a joint dysfunction, proprioception is not normal. The body responds to this altered information causing muscles to tighten up which eventually causes pain, stiffness and possibly pinched nerves.
The chiropractic treatment is very specific. The manipulation is directed at the joint capsule, stretching it in 1 direction to restore normal joint play. With the restoration of normal joint play, proper proprioception is restored.
Treatment can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. It’s similar to stretching a hamstring muscle. You can’t stretch your hamstrings 1 time and be able to touch your fingers the floor. It takes weeks or months. The joint capsule and ligaments are made of the same material as the tendons in the hamstring muscle, just a little stronger. The length of treatment depends on how chronic the problem is, what type of injury, and how well the home care is followed.
Treatment may be enhanced by physical therapy such as electric muscle, stimulation moist heat and ultrasound. I also utilize numerous types of muscle manipulation that alleviates muscle pain tightness what is commonly known as knots and spasms in muscles.
Home care is very important to your care. This may include moist heat or ice, specific stretching exercises and lifestyle factors such as diet, proper sleep, and hydration.
Chiropractic care is a comprehensive approach to address neuromusculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. The scientific literature has shown chiropractic to be more effective and less expensive than other treatments without the risk of drug dependency.