A Chiropractor's main focus is to restore health by removing subluxations from the spine and other joints of the body. A subluxation is an alteration of the spinal bones from their normal alignment due to physical (trauma), emotional (stress) and/or chemical (caffeine, tobacco, environmental chemicals, etc..) imbalances. A subluxation has several components including: vertebral misalignment, muscle spasms, fixation and nerve root irritation. Your brain communicates with the rest of your body through the spinal cord and the nerves which branch from it (Spinal nerve roots). They go everywhere. Each muscle, spine, joint, tissue, gland and organ receives communication from the brain over the nerve "information highway". A break in that communication causes missed messages and malfunction. This lowers your health potential and allows disease to take root.
Although we often feel nerve interference when the muscles of our back or neck ache, the problem can be much deeper. If a nerve channel is "blocked", the potential for more than simple muscle pain becomes reality.
Our office has helped people of all ages with the standard joint and muscle symptoms, however, we have also witnessed improvements in bowel function, menstrual problems, lung capacity (asthma), allergies, sinus pain, earaches, carpal tunnel, TMJ, and eyesight. The nervous system is a comprehensive and delicate system which regulates all other systems. It is wise to keep it "in tune." Chiropractic helps with the fine-tuning of your nervous system and helps prevent spinal degeneration. That is because the spinal cord, which is protected by your spine, is the main pathway of your nervous system. It controls movement, feeling and function throughout your body.
By focusing on the health of your spine and nerves, your chiropractor works to restore the health of your entire body and guides you in a personalized approach to overall wellness through spinal adjustments, exercise, good nutrition and stress management.
I feel one of the most important questions you should ask when choosing a chiropractor is: Do you feel he/she will get you better? Do you have confidence that he/she knows what they are doing? Do they look you in the eyes and tell you “I can help”?
Another important factor to consider is where he/she went to school. Where Chiropractors get their education determines a lot. There are several Chiropractic schools spread throughout the U.S.; I went to Cleveland Chiropractic College Los Angeles. Cleveland teaches a technique called “diversified adjustments." Cleveland teaches a wide variety of techniques so that you can adapt to every type of patient. My age bracket varies from 3 weeks old to 96 years of age.
Pain, Pain Go Away!
The last thing to look for when finding a great Chiropractor is making sure it is someone that is going to help you identify and accomplish your goal. There are two different types of Chiropractic out there -- relief care and corrective care. Relief care is focused on getting you out of pain, while corrective care is focused on correcting the problem(s) in your spine. If you correct the issues in your spine you won’t have pain -- but most importantly the pain will not come back.
What is chiropractic? Chiropractic is the science, art & philosophy of locating & correcting vertebral subluxations through gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments thus allowing your body to function at it's optimum potential.
What is a subluxation? A misalignment of one or more of your spinal bones (vertebrae), which causes interference to your nervous system. If your nervous system is interfered with, your body's natural ability to heal itself & function at it's optimum potential becomes impaired. A subluxation is a perfect example of how structure effects function.
What is an adjustment? A gentle, specific "thrust" delivered by hand or instrument. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct your spinal subluxation(s) thus removing the nerve interference in your body.
Does it hurt to get adjusted? No. Chiropractic adjustments feel great. I am confident that once you begin receiving your adjustments, you will begin to look forward to them. They will become one of the highlights of your week. When you allow the vertebrae in your spine to return to their proper position, you will notice much less stress and tension.
Is chiropractic care safe? Yes. Statistics prove that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. You only need to compare the malpractice premiums paid by chiropractors to those paid by medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic pay only a small fraction (approx. 1/20) of the price medical doctors pay in malpractice premiums. 250,000 people will die this year as a result of bad medicine, making this the third leading cause of death in the United States of America (The Journal of The American Medical Association, JAMA; Vol.284, July 26, 2000). Of the millions of people receiving chiropractic adjustments, each year, only a handful will even make a complaint.
Why do my children need chiropractic care? The birth process is often the cause of your child's first subluxation. A very soft and undeveloped spine of an infant can suffer trauma during delivery. It is estimated that as much as 80lbs of pulling pressure can be exerted to remove a baby from the birth canal. Then, as children grow up and become more adventurous, the number of injuries to their spines become countless. The repeated falls as children learn to walk, the running, jumping, twisting, bumping and falling all over the place while playing in the yard or on an athletic field will often cause your child to become subluxated. However, often children do not show any signs or symptoms of being subluxated until later on in life. Chiropractic care offers your child a more responsive body, a more balanced flow of energy and overall increased performance as she/he passes through their windows of development. A subluxation free child also minimizes the risk of future health challenges.
What causes the sound made during a chiropractic adjustment? That sound is not your spine "cracking" or "popping" like most people think. That sound is created by gas (in this case, nitrogen) rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" sound you hear when the cork is taken out of a champagne bottle. Not all chiropractic adjusting techniques produce this noise. In fact, some adjusting techniques use little force and thus produce no noise at all.
Is it bad to "crack" your back or neck a lot? This question is frequently asked because people associate the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to "crack" his/her neck or back it is often because one area of their spine is fixated or jammed causing another area to move too much and "pop", sometimes by itself. It's the fixated or jammed area that needs to be properly adjusted by a chiropractor so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile and noisy. When you "crack" your back you may be relieving the tension for a little while. Do you notice how it keeps coming back? That is because you are not giving yourself a specific chiropractic adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed (subluxated) vertebrae, has not been corrected. Any person who makes a habit out of "cracking" or "popping" their back or neck needs to go to a Doctor of Chiropractic to have their spine checked. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself.
Once you see a chiropractor, do you have to go for the rest of your life? No. The extent to which you choose to benefit from your chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. Each & everyone of us is solely responsible for the quality of our health & well-being. However, we do strongly urge all practice members to consider lifetime, wellness chiropractic care. This is where the long-term, lasting benefits of care are enjoyed. Regular exercise & healthy eating habits are a lifestyle decision and so is lifetime, wellness chiropractic care. You need to remain subluxation free for life.
Should I continue chiropractic care if I don't have any symptoms and I feel better? Yes. Just because symptoms disappear, does not mean your subluxations are corrected. Most of the practice members seen in our office have spinal degeneration (decay) which has taken years to develop. The trauma of the birth process, slips, falls, accidents and countless other stresses over the course of your lifetime adversely affect the health of your spine. The longer you wait to have your spine checked by a chiropractor, the longer it will take to correct your subluxations. However, how you choose to use chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. It has been our experience that those who stop care when they are "feeling fine" return with the same health challenge(s) which brought them to our office in the first place...only it's usually gotten worse. On the other hand, those practice members who commit to long-term, wellness chiropractic care, find their health challenge(s) rarely return and they enjoy a higher quality of life & health.