Chiropractic is a form of complimentary or alternative health care. The word “chiro” means hand, and “practic” is to practice. We use hands on techniques to treat conditions rather than medications. Our most powerful treatment modality is the chiropractic adjustment, which offers an endless number of health benefits from reducing pain to improving the immune system.
Chiropractors are spinal specialists who treat conditions of the skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous system. We perform thorough physical examinations including orthopedic testing to uncover the origin of dysfunction, produce a diagnosis, and create an individual treatment plan. Depending on the patient’s needs the initial evaluation may include x-rays or other imaging and possibly a referral to another health care provider if appropriate.
A chiropractic treatment plan is based on the restoration of normal joint function as well as pain relief. Once this is reached the body is able to more efficiently healing itself. If the joints are not moving properly or are misaligned symptoms may include: joint pain and stiffness, muscle pain and stiffness, inflammation, nerve pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, frequent injuries, and more. All organs and body systems are regulated by nerves sending messages from the brain. Chiropractic can remove nerve irritation and allow the nerves to transmit messages to the body clearly. This may result in improving organ system function for example the immune system or blood pressure, and an increase in healing among other benefits.
What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment
The chiropractic adjustment is a high velocity low amplitude manipulation of a joint.
A trained chiropractor can detect which joints in the body are not moving properly and strategically position the patient to apply a gentle amount of quick force to the joint and restore the normal motion.
Common effects of an adjustment include pain relief (due to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer), increase in motion, reduced muscle tension, removal of nerve irritation, and many more.
As with any form of healthcare there are certain risks with chiropractic. Although they are very rare, side effects will always be discussed prior to administering treatment.
When provided by a licensed chiropractor an adjustment should not be painful and is safe for the whole family, at any age.
How is chiropractic such an effective way of treating pain, mobility restrictions, and maintaining health?
How does chiropractic work?
1) With receiving a chiropractic adjustment the body releases endorphins. These are natural chemicals that work like morphine to reduce pain. Endorphins are responsible for the pain relief felt with each chiropractic adjustment.
2) Manipulation guides joints into the proper position. Injuries, poor posture, and muscle imbalance can create misalignment. As with your vehicle tires, misalignment causes poor wearing on the tires, misalignment in the joins causes poor wearing of the joints.
3) Chiropractic can help to remove nerve impingement and/or nerve irritation and allow normal nervous system communication to result in optimal health and wellness.
All nerves in the body are routed from the brain to the spinal cord, then they must exit through tiny holes in the vertebra. The nerves then travel to the organ or body part in which they control.
If there is an irritation or impingement of a nerve then the message being delivered from the brain may not reach the body part intended or the signal may be diminished resulting in less optimal performance of the body part.
Symptoms of nerve irritation or impingement may include nerve pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and even problems with organs such as the heart resulting in elevated blood pressure, or the immune system causing poor immunity and delays in the healing process. It all depends on which nerve is irritated and what body part that pinched nerve signals to.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the ‘popping’ noise heard with chiropractic adjustments?
- Is chiropractic dangerous?
- How long does it take for Chiropractic to work?
- Once becoming a patient do I need to be adjusted forever?
- What is chiropractic training like?
What is the ‘popping’ noise heard with chiropractic adjustments?
Often times with an adjustment, an audible ‘pop’ may be heard.
The ‘pop’ is a sound created as tiny nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide gas bubbles are formed within the joint and released.
A joint capsule surrounds most joints and that capsule contains a lubricating joint fluid so that your joints are able to glide smoothly. It is normal for these gas bubbles to form in the joint fluid, within the joint capsule, and create a popping sound as they are released.
The popping has nothing to due with bones cracking, should not be painful, does not cause arthritis, and does not cause your joints to enlarge.
Not all adjustments can be heard, and therefore the pop does not indicate a successful treatment. An adjustment can be very therapeutic and provide benefits regardless of popping or no popping.
Is chiropractic dangerous?
Chiropractic care, provided by a trained and licensed chiropractor, is safe for all people at any age, even pets!
A physical examination and discussion of current and past health conditions is required prior to treatment and will allow your chiropractor to make a decision regarding the best type of treatment for you
How long does it take for Chiropractic to work?
The time it takes for chiropractic results depends on you and your goals.
Many people feel immediate results, and for some it may take a few treatments. If chiropractic care is the right treatment for your condition, you should see results within the first 4 treatments. If no results are achieved within the first four treatments Dr. Teah will perform a re-examination and either change the treatment plan or refer you to another type of provider for an evaluation.
For those with injuries, chiropractic care is a type of rehabilitation. We must work to align the body and train the muscles and joints to stay in that normal balanced position. Since we are not able to send you home with a ‘pill bottle of adjustments’ to take, you may find frequent treatments over a short period of time are necessary until the body begins to maintain the aligned position.
The rate of recovery usually depends on how long the problem has been going on, the patient’s age, the patient’s job/home activities, any complicating health conditions, patient compliance with the recommended treatment plan, and if the patient is a regular chiropractic patient.
Those patients who seek chiropractic care regularly for wellness purposes tend to respond more quickly when receiving care for injury relief and they also notice injuries occur less often.
Once becoming a patient do I need to be adjusted forever?
Chiropractic has many effects on the body, but causing a physical addiction is not one of them.
Since chiropractic is a form of rehabilitation it is common for a treatment plan to require frequent visits initially, then with improvement less visits are needed, then no visits are needed when maximal recovery is achieved.
Many people feel so good with regular treatments that they choose to continue to get care.
Monthly wellness visits are recommended by many chiropractors as treatment increases flexibility, improves joint function, reduces muscle tension, removes muscle and joint imbalances, removes nerve irritation, prevents injuries, and provides overall wellness.
What is chiropractic training like?
To become a chiropractor you must be accepted into a four-year graduate program for chiropractic.
Chiropractic students take an average of 34 credits per quarter for a total of 12 quarters (4 years total).
Required classes include Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology, Physical Diagnosis, Radiology, Nutrition, Laboratory Studies, NeuroMusculoSkeletal Diagnosis, Minor surgery, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Obstetrics, Law and Ethics, Clinical Internship courses, and several adjusting laboratory courses.
Click on University of Western States to visit their website for more details.