If you are a little confused about what chiropractic care actually entails, you are most certainly not alone. Many people are confused about the nature of chiropractic treatment and the somewhat poor reputation associated with chiropractic care.
Let's find out more about this highly successful form of alternative medicine that offers relief to millions of Americans every year.
Various forms of manipulation have been used therapeutically for centuries. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that scientific basis for the practice was instituted, and the word ‘chiropractic’, a translated form of the Greek words cheir and praktos, which essentially mean ‘done by hand’, was established.
Chiropractic care refers to the manual manipulation of the body with the purpose of alleviating problems with the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is comprised of the bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues that provide shape, support, stability and movement in the body. When there are problems within the musculoskeletal system, it can cause mild, chronic or extreme pain, limited mobility, and difficulty in carrying out our usual day to day tasks.
A chiropractor can treat a variety of spinal conditions and their side effects by manipulating the spine by hand – a process that sounds much more intense and painful than it really is. In fact, spinal manipulation is a precise, swift adjustment that aims to release the pressure on the nerves in your back in order to allow the body to begin to heal itself.
Chiropractic care has been successfully used to treat a wide range of spinal conditions with most problems occurring either in the lower back (lumbar) or neck (cervical spine). Some of the most commonly seen conditions treated by chiropractors include:
Arthritis in the spine
Whiplash, usually as a result of an automobile accident
It is a very common misconception that you will be asked to remove your clothes at a chiropractic appointment. A regular chiropractic adjustment is not a massage and while you may be asked to remove a layer of clothing, it is often purely so that your therapist can better see the alignment of your spine. If this is a concern for you, you can ask your practitioner if you can be treated fully clothed at your consultation appointment.
Every patient is different, as is the amount of time that it takes for them to respond to treatment. Some patients will need just a couple of appointments to achieve adequate relief from their pain, while others with chronic conditions may have ongoing appointments with their chiropractor. It may be possible for your practitioner to give you an estimate of the number of appointments that you may need during your consultation, but these are subject to change depending on the severity of the condition.
Chiropractic care has something of an unfair reputation when it comes to this question, as many people do complain that some of the manipulations are uncomfortable or momentarily painful. Rest assured that the goal of chiropractic care is to reduce your pain, not cause it. It is completely normal to feel stiff and a little sore in the days after your appointment, particularly if it is your first chiropractic session. However, nearly all patients find that they then experience an improvement in their pain levels and mobility within 24 hours of their treatment. You should be substantially less achy after each subsequent appointment as your body starts to heal itself.
Chiropractors have one aim – to help your body to heal itself. In addition to spinal manipulations, many also offer advice on nutrition, exercises and lifestyle changes which will help support the health of your musculoskeletal system and enable you to live life to the fullest.
As parents, we always want what is best for our children. We are careful about the things that they are exposed to since we want to give them the best possible childhood in order to set them up for a successful future. When our kids become sick or injured, it can be a worrying time, and it can be challenging to identify the best path for their care.
Effective medications to treat childhood ailments are tough to come by. Prescription medications have some scary side effects which can become even more severe when given to our little ones. And the possibility of surgery looms as an even more frightening prospect.
Several childhood ailments lend themselves well to chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractors have been practicing their craft with children for more than a century. With the long history of successful treatments in children, it may be an option that is worth considering for your kids.
Chiropractic care is based on the relationship between the spine and the central nervous system. Our spinal cord houses the brain stem and all the nerves as they exit from the base of our skull and then pass through the spinal cord.
Nerves that control different parts of our body exit from the spinal column at specific vertebrae which means that if you are having an issue somewhere in your body, it may be linked to your spinal health. Chiropractors are specially trained to evaluate these possibilities.
Children and infants are subjected to a wide range of changes occurring rapidly to their bodies throughout their youth. This means that any injuries or issues should be addressed immediately in order to reduce the potential effects on your child’s future. Some of these problems may even occur to your child because of the growing process.
You may want to consider chiropractic care for your newborn too. While many women are aware of the baby’s positioning in utero, they aren’t told about the stresses that this may place on your child’s spine.
Many infant issues may be directly related to problems with the spine or the nervous system that may be corrected with chiropractic care. You should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor if your infant is experiencing issues with:
Chiropractic care is non-invasive and doesn’t involve your child taking any medication and is, therefore, a safe option to gain more insight and weigh different treatment options.
Just like other medical professionals, a chiropractor will want to conduct a thorough review of your family history, your child’s medical history and the issues surrounding the reason for your visit.
After completing this review, your chiropractor will want to conduct a thorough physical exam to find any potential problems. They may request some additional testing such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to adequately diagnose your little one.
At the end of their examination, you can expect that your chiropractor will develop a diagnosis and treatment plan for your child. Feel free to ask questions and make sure that the treatment is specifically tailored to your child.
Chiropractors have a wide range of treatment options that are available and safe for children. This may involve manual manipulation of the joints which helps to properly align and position the joints to allow passage for the nerves.
You may hear popping or cracking sounds during this process. That is a common and normal reaction during adjustments and is caused by gases escaping from the joints. The release of these gases also helps to reduce pressure on the nerves.
Your chiropractor may also use therapies that involve heating or cooling the joints or using ultrasound. Ultrasound produces sound waves that help stimulate the nerves to reduce inflammation and swelling.
If your infant or child is having any health-related issues, it may be worth scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor to review their case. Chiropractors have a long and safe history of working with children to alleviate their pain or sicknesses without using harmful medications or invasive and painful surgeries. Call to schedule your appointment today.