The Chiropractic profession has been around for over 100 years. There are several reasons on why there is so much confusion about what a Chiropractor does, and what the chiropractic profession does. In my personal opinion, it’s a travesty. Yes, travesty. Why? Because thousands upon thousands suffer every day from the lack of adequate and proper chiropractic care. Some suffer for months and years on end. This article will shed light on what a Chiropractic is and how you can use it to improve your well-being.
I hear it every day in my office when I go through and explain to my patients the role of Chiropractic in their overall Healthcare. “Oh really? I never knew that Chiropractics could help with (insert name of a condition).” I could probably even guess your answer, if I asked you what a Chiropractor does.
Buckle up as I set some facts straight here and potentially correct some misunderstanding out there on Chiropractic. This could literally change your life or the life of someone you love. Hopefully none of this will be new to you.
Check out this interview for my explanation of chiropractic care. Read below for more details regarding chiropractic care.
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Chiropratic vs. A Chiropractor
Chiropractic is a profession of Doctors who address a condition known as a Subluxation. That’s it! Yes, that is the job of a Chiropractor, to locate and remove Subluxations. Before I explain what that is, we must understand that doing this has profound implications on the health of the body and how well it functions. Subluxation to a Chiropractor is what a cavity is to a Dentist. When you have a cavity, you see a dentist. When you have a Subluxation, you see a Chiropractor.
Definition of Subluxation – a misalignment of one of the bones in our spine, that causes irritation or interference with how the brain communicates with the body to make it function properly.
Let’s look at this a little closer. Have you ever seen a picture of a spine? Did it have the head on top or not? Well, think of the one with the head on top. What’s inside our head? Our brain of course! Our brain is connected to and comes out of our head to the rest of the spinal cord. Nerves come off of our spinal cord and out of little holes between our spinal bones (vertebrae). All of the bones in our spine must be in alignment, because if they are not, they “pinch” the nerves coming out that go to every single thing in our body. Yes, EVERY single thing in our body. Muscles, joints, organs, glands, everything. A Subluxation, meaning a spinal bone out of alignment is what causes this “pinch”. This is what a trained Chiropractor fixes.
What does this have to do with my health problem?
Do this. Imagine the health issues, problem, ache or pain that you’re dealing with. Got it? Is it digestive issues? Is it a pain somewhere? Is it a weakness somewhere? Is it in your jaw? Is it poor sleep? Got it? OK. Now think about how your body is transmitting those signals or symptoms to your brain, to make you aware of the fact that something is wrong. The pathway from the origin of that pain or symptom message, travels through nerves, in between the spinal bones and up the spinal cord, and to the brain. If there is a problem, to or from that pathway, your body will not work correctly and it will manifest as pain or symptoms.
My spine feels fine, it’s probably not that.
The bones in our spines are held together by muscles and ligaments. Throughout our lives we have falls, spills, accidents and injuries that cause damage to those muscles and ligaments that hold the bones in their proper place, causing them to become misaligned.
Typically, this happens at a young age when we fall down around 5,000 times learning how to walk. Playing outside, during sports, falling down steps, or off of jungle gyms, etc. This can also happen later on with car accidents and other traumas. The injuries alone can cause pain and will resolve on their own much of the time. But more importantly, and very often, an injury to the area remains. This injury, if it has caused a misalignment, will affect the way the body functions and will get slowly worse over time if not corrected. You can have misalignments/Subluxations in your spine and not feel pain because of it.
Well, Let me ask my “real” doctor.
Most people don’t know that Medical Doctors and Chiropractic Doctors, in their foundational education and knowledge, study the exact same subjects and take the same amount of course hours. So they have the same education and are both “real” Doctors.
The difference comes in their method of treating the patient. Most Medical Doctors use an “allopathic” approach, which means using pharmaceutical drugs to either suppress symptoms like pain, or change physiology such as high blood pressure. Chiropractic Doctors use a “holistic” approach to restore normal function by adjusting (removing) Subluxations of the spine.
Chiropractors believe that the body was designed to function normally and healthy, and that pain and symptoms are signs from the body, like an alarm system, indicating that something is wrong. So instead of masking the pain with pharmaceuticals or artificially changing physiology, Chiropractors will seek the cause of the pain. Many times it is due to a Subluxation. When it is not, the patient is referred to an appropriate professional who can address the actual cause.
Common Misconceptions about Chiropractic Care
The two big stigmas in Chiropractic care are: 1) Once you go, you will have to keep going back, and 2) Chiropractic is only good for neck and back pain.
1) You DON’T “have to” always go back once you start. Getting Chiropractic care is your decision, just like eating vegetables, exercising, and going to the dentist. They are all recommended to do, for your entire life, but people still don’t do it, do they?
A Subluxation, is detrimental to health, period. They occur often in life. Whether you choose to live with them or have them removed is up to you. A good Chiropractor will recommend that you use Chiropractic in your Healthcare repertoire for your entire life because it will increase your overall health. Chiropractic is not a treatment for anything, it is a foundational aspect of your health, like proper eating, exercise, healthy relationships etc.
2) Chiropractic is NOT only for neck pain and back pain. I’m not going to get into the political and historical reasons why this is the reputation, but it false and misleading. Chiropractic can actually help with hundreds of health conditions. Based on what you’ve read so far, you know that the entire body is controlled by the brain and nerves, thus hundreds of things can go wrong depending on what nerves the Subluxation is affecting.
When is it appropriate to see a Chiropractic Doctor as opposed to a Medical Doctor?
When there is an urgent or emergency situation, Urgent Care or the Emergency Room is first on your list. This is where the Medical Profession shines. This is where I, a Chiropractic Doctor or you will go when there is a situation where your health is slightly or gravely in “Immediate” danger.
When you are released and your situation is not in need of immediate medical attention, you can decide what is the next step. If you are not in need of Urgent or Emergency Care, you are also ready to decide. Your decision is based on whether you want to treat yourself with the allopathic or symptoms treating model, or the holistic model meaning giving the body what it needs to be healthy. If you are ok with taking pharmaceutical drugs, then the medical doctor is your choice. If you are looking to address the cause of what’s going on with your health, the Chiropractic Doctor is your choice. A good Medical Doctor will work with you, your Chiropractor and your other natural healthcare practitioners to exhaust all potential possibilities with natural healthcare before recommending pharmaceutical or surgical intervention. If you have a health condition, your best question, whether to a Medical Doctor, Chiropractor, P.T., Naturopath etc., is, “What is the CAUSE of my problem?”
How do I find a Good Chiropractor?
There are several factors to look for when deciding on a Doctor of Chiropractic. Notice if these signs are present in your consultation with a Chiropractor.
- The chiropractor will administer specific exams and x-rays performed to see where the problem exists. The chiropractor will discuss ways to correct the misalignment and be sure that there are no contraindications to treatment.
- Specific Adjustments (removal of the Subluxation) Not all Adjustments make a popping or cracking sound. That sound is just gas leaving the joint space, not an indicator that the Subluxation has been removed. I practice a technique called NUCCA which has been around for half a century and uses scientific and mathematics based analysis and protocols to give an extremely precise and gentle adjustment.
- A doctor who takes time to explain what the problem is and spends the necessary time on each visit to make sure you are completely adjusted and that all your questions are always answered.
- A doctor who has identified your health desires and goals and works with you to achieve them no matter what.
- Checks before an adjustment to verify the existence of a Subluxation, and checks after to verify it has been removed. This may sound obvious, but it is not always done.
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