What is Chiropractic?
The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words “cheir” (hand), and “praxis” (practice). This is a hands-on therapy.
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that places emphasis on treating the musculoskeletal system and especially the spine. The main idea behind this practice is that mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system can affect not only the health of the spine, but of entire body as well, and by keeping the spine healthy, the rest of the body will be healthy as well. Because of this, chiropractic focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
The most common method of chiropractic is spinal manipulation. The goal is to use pressure to realign the slight misalignments of the spine (called subluxations) that can lead to poor health. This is done by a licensed chiropractor, where he or she uses their hands or a tool to apply controlled force to a joint, helping to give it a better range of movement. This is most commonly benefits patients complaining of lower-back pain, headaches, neck pain, upper and lower extremity (mainly hand and foot) joint conditions, and whiplash-associated disorders.
Chiropractic is a natural way to heal your body. It does not require the use of drugs or surgery. Instead, it relies on the application of a precise force to a specific part of the spine or joint to help correct misalignment and allowing your body to become rebalanced and heal on its own. This type of alternative medicine can be beneficial to anyone, but is especially beneficial to those who have suffered a brain injury and are unable to take drugs, especially pain medicines.
Although chiropractic is considered an alternative medicine, approximately 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. There are also a multitude of scientific studies that show that at the very least, it has been shown to alleviate lower back pain in many of it’s patients. It is also very successful in treating headaches, a common symptom of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).
How We Uniquely Use Chiropractic
While many seek out the help of chiropractors for lower back pain, Dr. Diane emphasizes how significant of an impact chiropractic can have on patients who have suffered a concussion and are seeking treatment for their symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Symptoms of PCS that we treat with chiropractic include headaches, dizziness and imbalance, and muscular and motor problems. These muscular and motor problems include problems with muscle coordination, loss of muscle strength, loss of muscle tone, posture problems, and muscle injuries (whiplash, myofascial dysfunction, fibromyalgia, and temporomandibular disorders).
In cases of PCS, a chiropractor may order an EEG, MRI, or other diagnostic test, in addition to a cineradiography (a motion X-ray that determines the degree of trauma to the neck). This is done to rule out the possibility of structural problems that may result in further damage from certain treatments or movements. In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractic techniques include soft tissue massage and stretching, as well as osseous (bone) treatments done with the hands or small tools. Techniques vary according to the type of injury, the practitioner’s preferences and physical strength, and the patient’s body type.
How Does Chiropractic Work?
This practice is based on the premise that pressure on nerves exiting the spinal column can cause neurological and circulatory problems throughout the body. Chiropractic involves the manipulation of the spine to restore free movement and nerve functioning, thereby relieving a host of disorders and symptoms. This type of treatment is performed by licensed chiropractors, who are doctors of chiropractic and who have had our years of classroom and clinical training beyond college.
Chiropractors as well as professionals in the field believe that the delicate relationship between the nervous system and the spine can greatly impact the general health and well being of our body. With this belief comes the notion that biomedical and structural imbalances in the spine can throw off the health of the entire nervous system, and consequently the entire body as well. Therefore, chiropractic sessions and regular treatment can restore the structure of the spine, reduce the hazardous pressure on the neurological tissue, and greatly improve the overall health of the individual.
How is Chiropractic Done?
Before a chiropractic session begins, the chiropractor will get a background of the patient’s health history, and will sometimes perform a physical examination. X-rays are taken if necessary. A special emphasis is put on the examination of the spine in all of these preliminary screenings.
During, a chiropractic session, the chiropractor conducts manual therapy (a physical treatment that typically involves kneading and manipulating the muscles), which involves manipulation of the spine, joints, and soft tissues. The most common therapeutic practice done by chiropractors is called “spinal manipulation”, aka “chiropractic adjustment”. This goal of this method is mainly to restore joint mobility, and it is done by applying weight to joints that have become restricted in movement, usually as a result of a tissue injury. This can help to restore mobility in the joints. The chiropractor may also recommend an exercise regiment for the patient to help facilitate spinal health in between sessions.
What Does a Chiropractic Session Feel Like?
Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic does not hurt. Many chiropractic patients report feeling much better, more flexible, in less pain, and even more relaxed after a session. However, some patients do report mild soreness or aching, headaches, tiredness, or discomfort in the joints that were treated following a session, but this usually goes away within 12 to 48 hours.