Every year more than 15 million North Americans choose chiropractic for safe, natural and effective alleviation from back discomfort, neck pain, headaches, extremity pain, poor overall health, low energy levels and a whole lot more.
What is Chiropractic?
As explained by The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (predominantly the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”.
The Goal of Chiropractic.
Because chiropractic procedures are mainly applied to the spinal region, many people wrongly assume that chiropractors treat only back and neck ailments. While we do quickly and effectively eradicate back and neck discomfort, it’s not the only goal. The purpose is to revitalize and optimize human health. As a matter of fact, as explained by a statement from The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “The purpose of chiropractic is to enhance health.”.
How Chiropractic Works.
You may be wondering … how can the same chiropractic therapy which effectively treats my back discomfort also enhance my health? The answer can be found by checking out the relationship between the spine and the nervous system.
As you may already know, the nervous system is the master controller of all living cells, tissues and organs; orchestrating and coordinating all cellular functions. The spinal column encloses the nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots) and is responsible for its protection.
Due to this intimate relationship, biomechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This discomfort can arise from noxious inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or may arise from direct mechanical pressure. In either case, the functioning of the nervous system is negatively influenced as is the functioning of the cells, tissues and organs which are supplied by the affected nerve(s).
The resulting ailment(s) depends on the cells, tissues and organs affected in addition to the extent of nervous system compromise.
In short, because the body’s innate recuperative powers are affected by and integrated through the nervous system, improving spinal abnormalities which aggravate the nervous system can bring about a variety of favorable results in patients suffering from various, seemingly non-spinal health conditions.
What Chiropractors Do.
Practically speaking, chiropractors are mainly concerned with locating and treating vertebral subluxations.
A vertebral subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular (joint) changes that compromise neural integrity and may affect organ system function and general health.
Using a variety of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities (vertebral subluxations). If subluxations or other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area.
Chiropractors use many specialized strategies to identify and treat these spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health. Along with spinal adjustive strategies, soft tissue approaches including massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly employed.
How Chiropractic Differs.
There is a significant and crucial difference between the way chiropractors and medical doctors approach health conditions.
When assessing and treating patients, chiropractors take a holistic approach which includes identifying and correcting the cause(s) of the patient’s health disorder. On the other hand, the medical approach has the tendency to focus more on the treating the symptoms of a condition as opposed to focusing primarily on the actual cause(s).
Chiropractors believe that correcting the source of the problem provides significant long-term benefits over only treating the symptoms.
The Benefits of Chiropractic.
Short-term and regular chiropractic care have a number of benefits including:.
Spinal and extremity discomfort relief.
Increased mobility and range of motion.
Decreased stiffness and muscular spasms.
Arthritic joint discomfort alleviation.
Improved joint health.
Enhanced performance and energy.
Improved sense of well being and relaxation.
Improved balance and coordination.
Reduced degeneration and risk of injury.
Enhanced tissue healing.
Decreased tissue inflammation.