The spine is a very complicated structure. It is composed of
twenty-four moveable bones (the vertebrae), five layers of music, nine
common ligaments, the central and peripheral nervous systems, and
various connective tissue. The vertebrae offer protection to the spinal
cord. They are moveable and can twist and bend in a variety of
positions. While this freedom of motion allows us to locomote and move
our bodies in a variety of configurations, it also can set the stage for
injuries. Joints that are pushed too far can suffer sprains and
strains. Joints that don't get enough motion can get stuck. Abnormal
gravitational loading on the joints and soft tissues cause degenerative
changes such as arthritis and disc disease.
Chiropractic is the
philosophy, art and science of natural healing. It is concerned with the
integrity and function of the spine and nervous system. A doctor of
chiropractic (D.C.) is a physician who is an expert at evaluating,
diagnosing and treating problems with the spine. The process starts much
like it would when visiting any other doctor.
There is some
paperwork that is completed (including a description of the problem and a
medical history). Then the chiropractor will have a consultation
followed by an examination to discover the cause of the problem. In the
examination, the chiropractor will do a variety of orthopedic and
neurological tests. Following this, there may be diagnostic tests (such
as x-ray, MRI, etc.). Then the chiropractor will diagnose the problem,
give the patient a prognosis and present a treatment plan.
does a chiropractor help to eliminate back pain? The prescribed
therapies may vary greatly from doctor to doctor. These therapies may
include chiropractic adjustments, physical medicine therapies (including
ice, heat, decompression, massage, acupressure, ultrasound, electrical
muscle stimulation, diathermy, infrared, traction, acupuncture), active
care rehabilitation (stretching, exercises for strengthening and
stabilization), and nutritional therapies (such as professional strength
supplements designed to reduce pain and inflammation at the chemical
and cellular levels).
The chiropractic adjustment is concerned
with restoring normal joint motion, re-aligning the vertebrae, relieving
pressure on the nerves (which may be pinched due to vertebral
misalignment), eliminating muscle spasms, and of course eliminating
pain. The doctor of chiropractic has four years of specialized training
in the art of delivering adjustments. The adjustment is a low-force
correction in which the chiropractor gently slips the bone(s) back into
their normal position while restoring normal joint motion. Adjustments
are almost always pain-free and result in an incredible sense of relief
and well being.
Many people have never been to a chiropractor.
They may not have ever even considered going to a chiropractor. They may
have thought that chiropractic is a new concept or experimental and
unproven. But what they didn't realize is that spinal manipulation is
nothing new. It has actually been around for thousands of years.
Hippocrates (the father of medicine) himself said "look to the spine as
the source of all disease". While bone setting has been around for
millennia (as opposed to traditional western medicine which has only
been around for 300 years), chiropractic as a profession started in
1895. Today there are over 70,000 chiropractors in the United States. It
is a science-based form of health care that has become mainstream and
accepted by the medical and scientific communities.
Not only is
chiropractic extremely effective and all natural, it is also the safest
form of health care known to humankind. Chiropractors pay the lowest
malpractice premiums of any doctor. The reason for this is clear - they
don't injure people. There have been hundreds of research studies done
to investigate the risk associated with chiropractic adjustments. And
the results came back that chiropractic is safer than drugs and surgery.
One research paper showed that a patient has 100 times greater
likelihood of being injured from taking a Motrin than from getting a
chiropractic adjustment. So if your back is hurting, give chiropractic a
try. You have nothing to lose but the pain.
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