This is Chiropractic and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors are doctors specializing in detecting and reducing misalignments of the spine called vertebral subluxation that can cause inflammation of the joint and nerve root as well as lead to joint degeneration and interfere with central nervous system function.
Chiropractors work in alternative or complimentary medicine, performing hands-on chiropractic adjustments in order to help treat patients with spinal alignment, nervous system function and overall health.
Patients who can benefit from visiting a Chiropractor include those with symptoms or diseases such as:
Back painNeck painMigraines or frequent headachesAsthmaSciaticaBack pain due to pregnancyAcid RefluxColicHeart problems including high blood pressureBell’s PalsyFrozen shoulderJoint pains and osteoarthritisNeurological problems such as epilepsyBrain/Central Nervous System dysfunctionInsomnia/trouble sleepingTMJInjuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints Indigestion or upset stomachDental or visual problemsInjuries due to accidents or trauma
One of the reasons why Chiropractic is tied to so many benefits is because it has been shown to help reduce inflammation, the root cause of many different diseases. Another factor behind why Chiropractic can help numerous health challenges has to do with it balancing out the bodies sympathetic/parasympathetic response of the nervous system. Most people live in a sympathetic “fight or flight” response and a chiropractic adjustment in the upper cervical region and sacral region can stimulate a parasympathetic response that reduces stress and allows certain organs to function to a higher degree including the digestive and endocrine systems.
A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine done on 40 participants found after receiving a cervical adjustment, pulse rates decreased, blood pressure balanced and there was a significantly positive parasympathetic response.
This systematic review shows why so many people choose to visit a Chiropractor on a regular basis even if they don’t have symptoms because they understand the benefits of decreasing ongoing stress and maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system.
Because chiropractic adjustments can help decrease the stress load on the nervous system, chiropractic care sets the stage for recovery and healing. Contrary to that of most medical doctors or other healthcare providers, Chiropractors do not seek to cure or remove the symptom, ailment or condition. It is important to note that Chiropractors focus on removing interference from the nervous system so that patients can heal and function the way they were intended.
Chiropractors take pride in educating their patients about how the human body is designed to heal, and that the body is programmed to be constantly striving towards health. Anyone with altered spinal alignment or movement can be helped by a Chiropractor. However, because the central nervous system directs all healing in the body, many symptoms and conditions have been proven to be helped through the influence of a chiropractic adjustment.
Below are some of the greatest benefits associated with chiropractic care:
Spinal adjustments and certain other chiropractic techniques have been shown in many studies to help treat neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain. Back pain — particularly in the lumbar spine region or lower back — is one of the most common reasons that adults visit Chiropractors every year. Chiropractic for treatment of back pain and the lumbar spine has been so well-supported in studies that it’s no longer even considered “alternative care.”
According to the National Institute of Health,
Spinal manipulation is one of several options — including exercise, massage and physical therapy — that can provide mild-to-moderate relief from low-back pain. Spinal manipulation appears to work as well as conventional treatments such as applying heat, using a firm mattress and taking pain-relieving medications.
Neck pain is another common problem that can be caused by factors such as injuries, trauma, stress, poor sleep, arthritis, older age and degenerative disc disease. Chiropractors employ neck manipulation and use techniques including adjustments, mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises to help relieve pressure placed on the neck. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found strong evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal adjustments that lasted for at least 12 weeks post-treatment.
Migraines and Headaches
Adjustments to the spine, neck and head can be very effective for treating recurring headaches, including tension headaches and migraine headaches. Adjustments and neck manipulation can help restore posture of the head and relieve pressure and tension on nerves that contribute to headaches. A group trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90 percent. In this systematic review, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity. Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate headache relief naturally, without the risks of taking drugs long-term, like chiropractic adjustments can.
There’s evidence showing that symptoms due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, such as pain while sleeping or trouble opening up the mouth and chewing properly, can be managed with adjustments and neck manipulation that helps correct posture of the neck and jaw. One method that has been shown to be useful for TMJ is called the Activator Method, which involves making precise adjustments to the jaw with a small hand-held instrument.
Injuries of the Musculoskeletal System
Many symptoms due to injuries affecting involving the muscles, ligaments and joints can be treated with chiropractic care. Chiropractors use a variety of precise techniques like adjustments, massage therapy, stretching, exercises and weights to help relax tense muscles and improve posture. This helps to treat symptoms including muscle pain, tightness, reduced range of motion, weakness due to muscular compensations and spasms. Certain muscles that are overactive can be “turned off” while others that are under-used can be “turned on.”
Digestive issues can be tied to both stress and spinal misalignments, due to how both negatively affect the nervous system’s communication with the organs, glands and tissues of the digestive system. Following chiropractic treatments, the gut-brain connection can be restored in order to improve control and function of nerves and muscles in the GI tract. Chiropractic techniques aimed at evoking relaxation, improving blood flow to the digestive organs, and improving communication between the nervous system and gut are all used to treat a range of digestive problems — such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, etc.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, chiropractic is considered one of the safest therapies someone can use to treat joint pain. Chiropractors can help to relieve joint pain, such as those caused by osteoarthritis, by gently manipulating soft tissue and helping to improve overall functionality and posture. DCs may use active exercises and slow stretches to increase range of motion in stiff joints, as well as to relieve pressure placed on certain nerves or to stop muscle spasms that contribute to pain.
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Dr. Aura Tovar