Chiropractic: A Basic Understanding

Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts where its philosophy is based on the belief that the body will heal itself if given an opportunity. For example, when you cut your finger, the blood will clot, a scab forms, and over time new skin forms. In order to keep the body functioning at its ultimate potential, the chiropractor monitors the person’s nervous system and keeps it working at its maximum. Since the nervous system, consisting of the brain and nervous system, controls all cells, organs and its functions, keeping it working properly is very important to your health. Your heart beating, your breathing, the muscles working when walking, etc. are all controlled by the nervous system.

The spinal column consists of 24 individual bones that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. In the neck, there are 7 bones, in the mid-back there are 12 and in the low back there are 5 bones. The spinal column is then stabilized by the pelvic bones. Between each bone, are nerves that extend out from the spinal cord and controls the body’s tissues, organs, muscles and cells. If the spinal column is out of alignment, the nerves can get irritated, causing pain, discomfort, and disease. Sometimes you don’t even feel any pain, but if the problem isn’t corrected early, it can lead to more severe problems later in life.

When do people see a chiropractor? Most people see a chiropractor when they have neck pain, low back pain, or pain after an accident. Chiropractic care is great for these conditions, but chiropractic can help in so many other ways too. Since the nervous system controls every function in the body, when you have a headache, have a cold, or your asthma acts up, these are all signs that your nervous system is not working properly. Yes, you can take Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Aspirin for that headache, take a cold medicine for your cold, use your inhaler for your asthma, but all of these things don’t “fix” or correct the actual problem. All of these medicines help with the symptoms of the problem. Seeing a chiropractor and keeping your spine and your nervous system aligned and working properly gives your body a better chance of fighting against these conditions and keeps you in better health.

Some people are afraid to see a chiropractor because they think the chiropractor will be too rough, “rip their head off”, “crack their bone”, or they’ve heard that once you go, you’ll have to keep on going for the rest of your life. There are all valid concerns. There are different techniques different chiropractors use in adjusting a person’s spine. Some use manual manipulation where using their hands they deliver a force. For the most part, this shouldn’t hurt but if the area is painful to the touch then there may be some discomfort. Some use an instrument to deliver the force to specific points in the body. The instrument adjustments are low-force and are very gentle.

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