INTRO TO CHIROPRACTIC
Your neck and back hurts, and medical treatments and physical therapy alone does not seem to work. With every step, reach, twist, lift and bend the pain stops you in your tracks. Or perhaps it comes and goes. Like millions of Americans you have gone to great lengths and great expense to find relief, any relief. How about Chiropractic?
Now before you jump to conclusions about Chiropractors, Chiropractors are doctors. Officially their title is Doctor of Chiropractic which although very impressive sounding, isn’t terribly easy to say. So we refer to them as Chiropractors.
Before a Chiropractor lays their hands on your back or neck, they have laid their eyes on hundreds of books. 4 years at a university and continued with post-graduate education (usually 3-4 years at a Chiropractic College). Anatomy, histology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, x-rays, physiology, and spinal adjusting techniques are just a handful of topics they’ve studied. Chiropractors must then pass rigorous National Board and State licensing Board exams.
But what does this mean to you and your pain? It can mean the difference between living with pain (how many times have you heard “You’ll just have to live with it!”) or a life with little or no pain.
Chiropractors specialize in back and neck pain. That’s their primary focus. Their main area of expertise. They are experts and unequaled in their knowledge of the back and neck. They offer hands-on, effective treatments. Treatments do not include surgery or medications. The reason for no medications: we feel that the body can many times heal itself if given the chance. Give your body it’s chance, before drugs and surgery! You’ll be glad you did.
CHIROPRACTIC FOR KIDS
THE BIRTH PROCESS
The birth process may be one of the most traumatic events in our entire life! Even during the most “natural” birthing methods used today, stress to a still developing spine can and does occur. Difficult deliveries, the use of forceps to extract the child, compound the problems and many times damage (tear) the muscles of the neck and severely damage the spine. The resulting irritation of the nervous system on the newborn, can be the cause of the health problems they experience.
The spine is the lifeline of the body. Inside the spinal column is the spinal cord, a bundle containing billions of nerve fibers that will travel to every part of your child’s body, sending messages and energy from the brain that regulates your child’s health.
Most spinal column nerve irritations are caused by segmental dysfunctions and misalignments of the spinal vertebrae. These segmental dysfunctions and misalignments are called vertebral subluxations.
How Can A Childs Spine Lose Alignment?
Spinal nerve damage, also known as vertebral subluxations can have many causes. Some injuries to the spine are caused during the birth process by obstetrical procedures.
For example, forceps are capable of causing damage to the newborn’s spine, especially when they are used to pull or twist the head and neck. Babies were meant to be pushed and guided out of the birth canal-not pulled out.
Recently the medical profession recognized the Whiplash Shake Syndrome (WSS) which occurs when a baby is severely shaken. It can cause blindness, paralysis, convulsions, brain and/or eye damage. This is something chiropractors recognized nearly a century ago.
Childhood is a very physical time for all of us. The falls, the accidents, the jumping and running are all part of childhood, and yet, they can cause spinal misalignments and nerve damage. It would be wise for all parents to have their children’s spine checked repeatedly, on a periodic basis throughout their growing up years.
Two pilot studies in Texas in the 1970’s confirmed what chiropractors have known for years-that spinal adjustments can help children with emotional, behavioral and neurological problems. The kind of problems helped were hyperactivity, asthma, anxiety, low mental stamina, discipline problems,inability to concentrate and even low I.Q. and grades.
If your child is suffering from any of these common conditions it is essential he or she gets their spine checked for vertebral subluxations, dietary and nutritional needs. The below conditions have been shown to be effected by spinal, dietary or nutritional origins. Some conditions often can need both chiropractic and medical intervention to have maximum improvement. When medical treatment is needed we can refer you to the appropriate specialist.
Is your child suffering from:
Hip, Leg, Foot Pain
Loss of Hearing
Arm, Hand Pain
Weakened or Fatigue
Asthma and Wheezing
At Arkansas Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, treatments are modified to fit a child’s size and special needs. Their size, weight, and developmental stage are all taken into consideration before adjustments are performed.
Many parents report reductions in behavioral problems. Increased immune response to colds, and in general, report that their children seem to be healthier than other children of the same age.
Problems as Adults
Many of the problems we see as adults can be traced back to injuries that occurred during our childhood. Contact sports such as soccer, football, baseball, hockey to name a few, can interfere with proper growth during rapid stages of spinal development.
Your child’s health starts with birth. A good example of this is seen in the “crack babies” born to drug users. What a way to start your life. Mothers who receive prenatal checkups at the Arkansas Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, relieve the stress on their bodies and so relieve the stressors passed to the child. A healthy diet, proper exercise, a stress-free environment and a total wellness lifestyle help to prepare for a happy, healthy baby.
What is a Subluxation?
The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “to dislocate” (luxare) and “somewhat or slightly” (sub). A subluxation means a segmental dysfunction (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (bones of the spine). These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae. This irritation may cause pain and dysfunction in muscle, lymphatic and organ tissue as well as imbalance in the normal body processes.
WHAT CAUSES A SUBLUXATION?
A fall, injury, sudden jar, trauma, or sometimes an inherited spinal weakness can displace a vertebra. Other causes include improper sleeping conditions or habits, poor posture, occupational hazards, incorrect lifting practices, obesity, lack of rest and exercise, and stress.
HOW IS A SUBLUXATION CORRECTED?
Doctors of Chiropractic are specialists in neuromusculoskeletal conditions. They are trained to restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spinal column. They do this manually, utilizing the chiropractic procedure known as “spinal adjustment.” Your chiropractor, in most cases, will use his or her hands in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location. The manual force or thrust helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae. In some cases, the chiropractor may use instrumentation to detect subluxations and adjust the spine.
DOES THE ADJUSTMENT HURT?
Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless. In cases of recent trauma, such as whiplash, mild discomfort may be experienced due to inflammation. It is also common to feel a brief sensation in the extremities immediately following an adjustment due to the sudden decompression of the affected nerve root.
IS REGULAR CHIROPRACTIC CARE NECESSARY?
Regular chiropractic care may be necessary to correct spinal subluxations to help maintain sound health and fitness. Your spine is under constant strain during waking hours. Improper lifting techniques, poor posture, accidents, falls and bumps, and other causes can contribute to spinal strain. Timely adjustments can help restore the neuromusculoskeletal integrity of the spine to normalize the bodily equilibrium and increase resistance.
How old should a person be before he or she begins chiropractic care?
Chiropractic patients range in years from birth to old age. Regardless of age, the vertebrae can become misaligned. For example, the birth process may cause trauma to the neck and spine. Left uncorrected, the vertebral subluxation may disturb the delicate spinal cord and nerves which control the youngster’s muscles and organs. In some cases, an uncorrected subluxation may lead to a deformity of the spinal column. An early chiropractic checkup may detect many spinal problems while they are still easily correctable.
How will the adjustment help me?
Chiropractic adjustments by themselves do not actually heal the body. When any of the 24 moveable spinal vertebrae become misaligned, a basic imbalance or disruption can occur in the nervous and blood vascular systems, which may contribute to stress in the body. Chiropractic adjustments help eliminate that imbalance or disruption so that the body can function at its true potential.
Does an adjustment have to make noise to be effective?
No, it is a common misconception that your joints must make a noise to be properly adjusted. However, more often than not when your vertebrae are adjusted, the smooth articular (joint) surfaces become separated, creating and then releasing a small vacuum, making a noise. This is the sound made when you crack your knuckles. Your chiropractor is concerned with the position of your vertebrae, not with the noise that may occur.
Should I go to a Chiropractor if I feel fine?
Even if you feel fine, chiropractic care can help your body maintain its required level of health and fitness. Your chiropractor can recommend a preventive spinal-care program and advise you on correct posture, dietary information and back exercises. Regular spinal checkups can help detect and prevent spinal stress due to subluxations.
Is it true that Chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgery?
Yes. Chiropractors do not include medication or surgery in their treatment program. Chiropractors maintain that the body has a built-in capacity to restore health within certain limits, and base their care on this principle. Occasionally, the use of medication can interfere with the body’s healing mechanisms, produce side effects, create a dependence and lead to drug-caused disease or complications. The first response in most illnesses and injuries should be conservative care. Chiropractic’s principles make it possibly the safest and most appealing of the healing arts.
How does chiropractic care help the pregnant woman?
Because of the additional weight and stress on the framework of the body in pregnant women, chiropractic adjustments can help lower the incidence of pain in the low back and legs, and between the shoulder blades. In some cases, fewer headaches and problems with nausea and elimination may also result. Many chiropractors care for expectant mothers in the regular course of their daily practices. It is wise, however, to first inquire about the experience of your chiropractor in caring for pregnant women and what he or she recommends for you.
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Rest assured that your doctor will avoid the surgically modified area of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above and below the involved area. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care. It’s important to rehabilitate the spine following surgery. The fact that you had surgery indicates there was a weakened area. In order to reduce the risk of having additional surgeries, it is important to strengthen the weakened area of the spine through proper rehabilitation.
Can patient's with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
Yes. When developing a care plan, your doctor will consider the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
How long until I feel better?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover that it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in good condition? Within a short period of time, most patients sense enough progress to full carry out their doctor’s recommendations.
Are adjustments safe?
Yes. A New Zealand Government study concluded that chiropractic adjustments are “remarkably safe.” Taking over the counter pain relievers is about 100 times more risky.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it, like tooth decay or cancer. Subluxations can be present before any warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have