How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic doctors practice natural, drug-less, non-invasive health care and rely on the body’s ability to self-heal. Sounds ideal, but just how does it work?
We Look At The Whole Picture
Like other health-care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. We consult, review the case history, conduct a physical examination, and we may request laboratory analyses and/or x-rays. If an MRI or CT scan is needed we will refer you for that as well.
Unlike other health-care providers, however, chiropractic physicians also conduct a careful analysis of the patient’s structure and pay particular attention to the spine. Since Dr Spitz also specializes in wellness (having optimal health) we will also ask you about your life— What do you eat? Do you exercise? If yes, how often, what types of exercise? Do you have stress in your life? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on.
We Find The Cause Of The Problem
Using the information we gather from the history of your problem and the examination, we come to a diagnosis. We will design a treatment program that is specific to your needs. We don’t treat the symptoms, but rather the cause of your problem. Our main goal is to correct any biomechanical problems so that your problem does not return in the future.
If you had a tack in your foot, would you take pain medication to alleviate the pain? Or, would you remove the tack to eliminate the cause of your pain. Similarly, if the bad headache you’ve had on and off for the past few weeks is being caused by misaligned vertebra in your neck causing nerve root irritation, would you take pain pills for the rest of your life or would you want to properly align the vertebrae and normalize biomechanical function to eliminate the pain?
Chiropractors Call Spinal Misalignments Subluxations.
A vertebral subluxation is a spinal misalignment. The spine consists of movable vertebrae that help to protect your spinal cord. When a vertebra misaligns, or subluxates it can pinch on a nerve and cause a problem to the area that the nerve innovates or connects to. For example, if you have a pinched nerve in your lower neck, you may get pain down the arm, arm weakness, arm numbness or a bit of all 3.
The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that can be physical, emotional, mental, or chemical. The subluxation can be caused by any number of incidents, from birth trauma to an auto accident to simple repetition or over-use.
It’s our goal to help fix the subluxations.
When a subluxation occurs, we help correct the misaligned vertebra and allow it to return to its proper position. Chiropractors call this an adjustment. Done by the right professional, it not only is a pain-free procedure, but it actually feels good – a relief type feeling. This begins to get the biomechanics of the spine properly working again. But, over time — it could be hours or days, the vertebra often goes back to being misaligned or fixated and pain and symptoms can return. The reason for this is, is that the body tries to go back to where it was, due to muscle memory. So, a series of adjustments over the course of several weeks (sometimes several months) is necessary to completely restore normal function and health.
Can Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractic care has been around since 1895. It has a long and rich history of helping millions of people. Patients of all ages have experienced the benefits of chiropractic for themselves and their families. People go the chiropractor for everything from pain down the leg (sciatica), neck pain, back pain, headaches and even migraines.
Below is a short summary of the reasons you may want to choose a chiropractor.
You Have Been In An Accident
Trauma from a motor vehicle accident can cause the spine to move quickly beyond it’s normal range of motion. This can tear ligaments (sprain) and tendons (strain) and cause vertebrae to mis-align and impinge on nerves. If the accident is severe enough even the discs can get damaged. Any car accident, even a minor one, can cause subluxations and care should be sought. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, call us immediately to schedule an appointment.
You Have A Sports Injury Or Work-related Injury
Repetitive movement or overuse at work can cause vertebrae to mis-align. This can then cause pain, spasm and a host of other problems. Your range of motion, performance and strength can all be affected. The doctors at the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol can help you restore proper function and movement in your spine. This will help you function better and keep you at your best.
You Are In Pain
Pain can decrease your ability to function normally and impair your activities of daily living. Many people turn to pain medication, however this is not an answer as it can lead to rebound pain and will not fix the cause of your problem. Help us help you by giving us a call today and schedule a free consultation to see if chiropractic care can help you.
Chiropractic & Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in your life. The last thing you want is to have pain due to the stress on your body of carrying your baby. Around the 5th month, a hormone is released to help loosen the pelvis for childbirth. But this combined with improper movement can cause a stress to the spine and cause misalignments that can be very painful. I have treated hundreds of pregnant women who are experiencing lower back pain, sciatica, sacroiliac joint pain and headaches. You don’t want to take medication when you are pregnant. Chiropractic care is a non-drug approach to alleviating your pain. My gentle adjustments will help alleviate the back pain you are having due to pregnancy. In addition, if you’re having neck pain or headaches you probably don’t want to take medication while you’re pregnant. The doctors at the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol can help treat your pain without the use of medication.
Chiropractic, Babies and Children
Babies and children grow quickly, and their muscles, ligaments, and bones develop rapidly. A jump, tumble, or fall can jar the body, affect the spine (and possibly the nervous system), and then go undetected for years. Even simple factors, such as a heavy backpack or an ill-fitting car seat, can have negative effects on a child’s health.
With these things in mind, it’s evident that babies and children have much to gain from chiropractic care. Regular spinal exams can provide corrective and preventive care for “little ones,” as well as peace of mind for the parent.
Parents of small children also have much to gain. We can offer advice regarding how to pick up and carry a child and, for post-partum mothers, an assessment of any structural changes that may have occurred during pregnancy, labor, and/or delivery.
Chiropractic and Teenagers
Teenagers often have growth spurts. In addition, they often think they are invincible, which sets them up for many accidents that can cause subluxations.
Sadly, most teenagers don’t eat well. Whether it’s fast food or candy, their diets can use a bit of help and advise. I’m more than happy to discuss the importance of proper eating with your teen. Oftentimes, it’s good to have someone else offering the same advise you’ve been giving them for years.
Chiropractic and Senior Citizens
As we age, there are a variety of things that start to ache that never did before. There are several reasons for this.
- The discs in the back begin to ‘dry’ out and even lose some of their height
- We may be developing osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- We may not be as active as we once were — this leads to stiff joints and decreased movement in the spine.
- We may develop osteoporosis (brittle bones)
Our doctors have years of experience dealing with senior citizens. There’s no reason you have to suffer. Let us help you. We offer gentle chiropractic adjustment techniques and for the lower back a form of gentle traction that not only feels great, but can help to normalize joint function in the lumbar spine.
Senior citizens also have unique lifestyle requirements. This includes unique types of diet, and exercise, as well as stress management. We can help you with all of this.
I know what your thinking….yes, Medicare does cover chiropractic care.
If You Feel Fine
Oftentimes pain is the last thing to occur when there is a problem. For example, did you ever hear of the guy that goes to the doctor and gets a clean bill of health, only to have a heart attack the next day. Many patients stop care when they ‘feel’ better…but that doesn’t mean the condition has been corrected.
We often see these same patients back with the same problem fairly soon after stopping care prematurely. Also, many patients that did not have any back troubles often find themselves in pain after beginning a new sport/hobby, such as golf, yoga, martial arts etc. It’s usually a good idea to have one of our chiropractors check out your spine and offer you some tips before beginning a new exercise regimen.
In short, chiropractic health care is a smart choice for most everyone, at any time-you’ll stay healthier longer, and the time and energy (and money!) saved due to your preventive efforts can be spent on things that are fun to do. A better quality of life awaits you.
By Dr David Spitz