How does chiropractic treatment relieve pain and restore health?
Chiropractors recognize that doctors don’t heal people — the human body must heal itself. Unlike some other medical practitioners, chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery to improve health. Chiropractic reduces interference to your body’s own healing ability.
The nervous system controls the function of every cell in the body. The spinal cord is the superhighway of the nervous system. It is housed within the 24 bones, or vertebrae, of the spinal column. When these bones are misaligned, they can irritate the spinal cord and nervous system — like a ‘traffic jam’ on the nervous system’s superhighway — resulting in disruption of the health of the tissues and organs that these nerves control.
Chiropractors reduce or correct these misalignments using specific spinal adjustments that restore the bones to a more normal position and motion, in effect clearing the traffic jam. When spinal function is improved, nervous system function — and the body’s overall health — can improve too.
How do people get these misalignments?
If you have neck pain, a backache, or any number of other physical problems, your pain may be a manifestation of a misalignment. There are three main causes:
- Physical stress including childbirth, poor posture, falls, sports injuries, and car accidents.
- Chemical stress includes smoking, poor nutrition, excess consumption of alcohol or caffeine, and pollution.
- Emotional stress, which can be caused by any number of problems, including difficulties with work, family, finances, or dealing with grief or anxiety. When these outside stressors overload your body’s ability to handle them, muscles can become chronically tense and pull the bones of the spinal column out of alignment. Nearly everyone experiences these misalignments.
If most people have misalignments, why even deal with them?
Though misalignments may be common, they are not ‘normal’. Left untreated, spinal misalignments and the pain they cause can become worse the longer you ignore them and negatively affect the quality of your life.
While you may not be able to feel a bone that doesn’t move well or a ‘pinched nerve’ in your spine when it first occurs, the longer it’s there, the more damage it causes, including premature deterioration of the spine, scar tissue, swelling, muscle spasms and, worst of all, altered nerve function. Since your nerves control everything your body does, if they can’t function properly, neither can you.
Most people wait until they feel lousy before visiting their chiropractor. Chiropractic care can offer great health benefits before you feel pain, to keep you feeling great and moving without discomfort. Chiropractic helps restore function and health so well that it is the second largest health profession in the US.
How safe is chiropractic?
Chiropractic adjustments have been rigorously examined for safety. Six government inquiries into chiropractic worldwide in the last 25 years have concluded that chiropractic care is safe, effective, and cost-efficient. While most people wouldn’t think twice about popping a pill for aches and pain, studies also show that receiving a spinal adjustment is many, many times safer than taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Advil), etc.
I thought chiropractors were just for back pain.
Though chiropractic is a simple concept, it has wide-ranging effects. Chiropractors know that a healthy spine is the key to a healthy body, because the nerves inside the spine control everything the body does. The body can only stay healthy when the spine and nerves are functioning properly. Chiropractors can help people with all kinds of health problems, as well as maintain good health to prevent problems.
Will I have to see a chiropractor for the rest of my life?
Just as you care for your teeth with regular dental care to ensure a lifetime of good oral health, a well-maintained body — supported by good diet, exercise, relaxation, and regular spinal adjustment — feels better, looks better, and develops fewer problems over the course of a lifetime.
Regular chiropractic care can help you not only when you hurt, but it can address common causes of injury and illness.