A lot of people think they know what chiropractic care is, but they don't understand the reasoning behind the methods.
Yes, chiropractors help with neck, back and many other types of pain by realigning the spine using spinal manipulation.
But why is correct alignment of the spine essential?
Does Chiropractic Care Help?
Before we get into how chiropractic care works, we need to address the myth that chiropractic care doesn't help.
Many people believe that a chiropractor merely cracks a person’s back or bones.
Chiropractic care is centered around spinal manipulation. However, practitioners also study how the spine and its structures are related to the body’s function.
A majority of a chiropractor’s work involves making adjustments to heal:
- acute low back pain
- chronic low back pain
- whiplash-related conditions
- neck pain
They may also provide services such as postural testing and analysis, as well as others designed to promote nutrition and healthful exercise.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in the U.S., chiropractic therapy is the type most commonly used for back pain.
An estimated 74 percent of Americans with pain in this area have used chiropractic care at some point in their treatment.
Results of a 2010 review cited by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that spinal manipulation may be useful for treating back pain, migraine headaches, whiplash, and other conditions affecting the upper and lower extremities.
Like other forms of treatment, spinal manipulation will not benefit all injuries. Sessions should be tailored to a person’s needs and performed by a licensed chiropractor.
Correct Alignment of the Spine
When you receive an adjustment do you know the medical and scientific reasoning behind it?
Why do you experience the feeling of immediate relief after you are adjusted by your chiropractor?
In this post, it is my hope to not just emphasize all of the benefits of chiropractic care but rather, clear up once and for all WHY your chiropractor makes adjustments, realigns your spine, and relieves neck, back, sciatic nerve pain.
So let's start with the basics, chiropractors adjust the alignment of the spine to help the body function at an optimum level and facilitate proper function of the nervous system.
Chiropractors are trained to focus on the relationship between structure and function.
This delicate relationship between structure and function preserves and restores health.
What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint.
The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve motion and improve your body's physical function.
Low back pain, neck pain and headache are the most common problems for which people seek chiropractic adjustment.
What Are The Risks of Chiropractic Adjustments?
Chiropractic adjustments are safe when it's performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care. Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are overall rare, but may include:
- A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation
- Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column (cauda equina syndrome)
- A certain type of stroke (vertebral artery dissection) after neck manipulation
Always let your chiropractor know if you have conditions such as:
- Severe osteoporosis
- Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in an arm or leg
- Cancer in your spine
- An increased risk of stroke
- A known bone abnormality in the upper neck
But WHY Does Adjusting the Spine Allow the Nervous System to Properly Function?
When your spine is perfectly aligned, important nerve signals are able to be transmitted without any interference, but when your spine is out of alignment, the nerve signals have trouble transmitting.
Let's use an analogy to clear things up.
One of my personal favorites is comparing your spine to a garden hose.
So, think of your spine as the hose and and the flowing water as the transmission of important nerve signals.
When you kink the hose, or throw your spine out of alignment, the water (aka nerve signals) has difficulty getting through.
The severity of the kink, or misalignment, can determine the severity of your suffering as well as the total overall function of your autonomic nervous system.
Top Example of Pain Due to Nerve Inflammation
One of the most common examples of this is sciatic nerve pain.
When the sciatic nerve is compressed, the individual can experience severe pain in their back and down through their leg, this is also referred to as radiculopathy.
Disorders that cause sciatica include lumbar subluxations and bulging, herniated, or slipped discs.
A properly functioning nervous system is so important because the nervous system controls every cell and organ in your body.
Below is an infographic that goes into a lot of detail about how each segment of the spinal column affects a given bodyfunction that runs along a particular nerve channel.
Other Conditions Chiropractic Care Can Treat
There are several conditions chiropractic treatment can remedy.
Using spinal manipulations, your chiropractor can help with the following ailments:
Back Sprains and Strains
A common cause of back pain is sprains and strains. Sprains are caused when ligaments become overstretched or torn. Strains involve a muscle and/or a tendon.
The pain may be aching, burning, stabbing, tingling, sharp, or dull.
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by referred neck pain. The pain from this type of headache is usually felt at the back of the head, in the temples, and/or behind the eyes.
Herniated discs usually occur in the neck or low back. A herniated disc can cause pain when the outer ring or interior matter presses on a nearby nerve root.
Call Today for a Free Chiropractic Consultation
If you think your health would benefit from chiropractic treatment, or you just need medical advice, it's time to take action.
If you are experiencing pain or any of the symptoms mentioned above, talking to your local chiropractor might be the next step to take.
Spinal manipulation could give you the relief you've been waiting for, freeing you from your back pain or any other symptoms you're experiencing.
If you live in Georgia or Tennessee you can check out our locations here or click on the banner below for a Free Consultation with Arrowhead Clinic!