Introduction to Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic is a continuously growing practice of non-invasive procedures used to alleviate pain and headaches. It is a healthcare approach focusing on the relationship between the body’s structure, specifically the spine, and the body’s functions. Practitioners may use a variety of approaches, but primarily they perform adjustments to the spine with the goal of correcting alignment problems and encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Misalignments in the spine can interfere with the flow of energy needed to support health.
The term chiropractic itself comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) to describe treatment done by hand or hands-on treatment. Today, chiropractic in the United States is considered to be a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Some chiropractic procedures can even be traced back to ancient times. Chiropractic is based on three key concepts:
- The body has an ability to heal itself
- The body’s structure, especially the spine, and the body’s functions are closely intertwined and this relationship affects overall health
- Treatment aims to rectify this relationship between structure and function enabling the body to do what it does naturally, heal itself
According to a national survey from 2007, about 8 percent of American adults and 3 percent of adolescents or children had received chiropractic manipulation in the past 12 months. Those figures are probably higher today.
Many people seek chiropractic care in lieu of surgery, or simply because they have pain which may be brought on by stress or physical injury. This may be chronic low-back pain, neck pain, headaches or other pain related health conditions such as fibromyalgia. Although chiropractic is not a treatment for any one disease or condition, if there is a misalignment, chiropractic may help a body’s healing ability. Because chiropractic is a natural, non-surgical and non-invasive treatment it is wise to consider chiropractic for any of these pain related issues and definitely before undergoing any surgery for such problems.
If surgery is clinically indicated, chiropractic is also often utilized even after surgery to assist the body in its natural healing process.
Common Chiropractic Misconceptions
Although chiropractic has been around since the late 19th century, there are still various misconceptions about chiropractic treatment. Even though there are over 60,000 chiropractors practicing in the US today, and colleges all over the country offer chiropractic certification, we still see some common misconceptions when the term chiropractic is mentioned. If we can clarify or understand some of these misconceptions it may assist individuals to feel more comfortable about chiropractic care. Here are some of these misconceptions and an explanation of the facts.
- Chiropractors can only treat back problems: While chiropractors are known for treating spine problems and back pain, chiropractic treatment itself is more of a holistic approach focused on correcting spinal problems which in turn helps all of the body to operate at its optimal functionality. Chiropractic not only helps alleviate back pain, but may also help to cure a child’s ear infection, a person’s headaches, lower blood pressure, help with the pain of arthritis, and many other ailments.
- Chiropractors can prescribe medicine and perform surgery: While some chiropractors may provide heat/cold therapy, offer additional types of physical therapy and even oversee herbal therapy, they do not prescribe drugs nor do they perform surgery. Chiropractic itself is based on the idea that the body is able to heal itself and the chiropractor is helping the body to realize its innate ability to do so.
- Chiropractors are not real doctors:Chiropractors are indeed certified doctors, schooled in the specific field of medicine called chiropractics. They must pass national board exams and licensing tests like all certified doctors before they can practice.
- Once you go to a chiropractor you have to go for the rest of your life: A lot of people confuse maintenance appointments with a never-ending series of visits to the chiropractor. However, like regular exercise and good nutrition many chiropractic patients choose to get checked for misalignments regularly as a healthy way of life and to maintain the body’s optimal health and performance. A treatment plan will be discussed with the patient and it is always the patient’s choice whether or not they are benefiting from repeat visits.
- I have had surgery on my spine so I am afraid to use chiropractic: Many chiropractic patients have had surgeries, or are in wheel chairs or even have steel rods in their backs. They still enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care. Each patient is different as is their situation and treatment plans are based on the needs of the individual.
- Someone said I have a pinched nerve: Actually a pinched nerve is really a bone on a nerve and it is a rare occurrence, happening only to about 15% of the population. Most likely you have an irritated nerve or a facilitative lesion. Chiropractic may help this condition.
Chiropractic for Children?
You may not realize how important it is to have children checked for subluxation or misalignment of the vertebra. Subluxations do occur in children and often have little or no symptoms at this early stage. The birth process alone is a very traumatic experience for a child’s body and can certainly cause enough pressure for a subluxation to occur. I am sure you’ve heard of deliveries resulting in broken collar bones and breech deliveries, etc.
Subluxations can also occur when the child is learning to walk and also when they are older and playing sports and games. What is important to note is that children have certain windows of development that are often only open for a short period of time. This is predicated by the neural system which is the first system formed in a child’s development. If the neural system is being affected by subluxation your child’s potential is being limited. Chiropractic moms have claimed that their children are more expressive, don’t get sick as often and have better concentration than those who do not benefit from chiropractic treatment.
Some Famous People Who Enjoy Chiropractic Benefits
Famous athletes and movies stars are continuously enjoying the holistic benefits of chiropractic treatment. Here are just a few.
- Mark Victor Hansen
- Tony Robbins
- Tiger Woods
- Dan O’Brien
- Lance Armstrong
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Sylvester Stallone
- Jon Bon Jovi
So don’t give up on a natural chance to help your body heal itself. Check into chiropractic. You never know until you try.