What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is most often viewed as an alternative treatment for back and neck pain which is a shame because there is so much more to this misunderstood branch of healthcare. Some of the most incredible stories of healing and recovery come out of chiropractic offices and it’s not a coincidence. At its root chiropractic was never about back or neck pain, but rather about improving nervous system function. The back and neck pain getting better is just a bonus.
The root meaning of “chiropractic” is practiced by the hand, which makes sense because most of the real work is done by the chiropractor’s hands – the adjustment. When a chiropractor uses their hands to quickly, yet gently, move vertebrae in your spine it’s called an adjustment. The goal of an adjustment is to reduce and eliminate the nervous system dysfunction coming from the vertebrae that was stuck out of normal position.
The real benefit of chiropractic care everything to do with improving nervous system function and very little to do with bones, joints, and muscles. Your body is like a third-grade classroom in the sense that each individual muscle, organ, gland, and tissue of your body is like one of the students in the classroom and your nervous system is the teacher. When given clear instructions and with plenty of oversight each third grader is quite capable of doing their work, but when the teacher steps out of the classroom for a moment… chaos ensues.
The tight, sore muscles and stiff joints often seen walking into a chiropractic office get better not because the chiropractor does anything to the muscles and joints directly, but rather alters the nervous system control of those muscles and joints. Many chiropractors use adjunctive therapies in an effort to get the most symptom relief possible in one office visit, but don’t let all the “bells and whistles” fool you… it’s the adjustment that benefits the patient the most, not the hot/cold packs, traction, lasers, thinga-mo-bobbers, or flux capacitors.
The truest form of chiropractic care and the one that has the best track record of success for long-lasting results is upper cervical chiropractic. Using digital x-rays, infrared thermography, and a highly specialized way of adjusting the vertebrae in the upper neck, upper cervical chiropractic is able to help patients achieve long-term improvement without frequent adjustments.
And it’s more than just neck and back pain that benefit from chiropractic care, it’s almost all chronic health problems in which the traditional approaches (medication, physical therapy, massage) are not working well. By improving nervous system function the whole body improves its function. A great diet and a healthy lifestyle are important too which is why many chiropractic offices offer some form of diet and lifestyle workshop.
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