The Quick Answer
(i.e., I'm hurting so please, just get to the point)
Chiropractic is an effective, evidence based, non surgical, non drug treatment for most back and neck related issues. The simplest way to look at Chiropractic Care is to understand that the injured area of your body has more mechanical stress on it than the other areas. This could have been due to a sudden injury like a quick twist, a fall or car accident, or it could have developed over time. Either way this extra mechanical stress will cause soft tissue in or around the injury site to stretch and tear and thereby cause the pain and swelling you feel.
Normally, when the joints in our neck or back (or any joints) are moving properly, the muscles and ligaments surrounding that joint can move
within their normal pain-free range. When they
move beyond that range like in a sudden injury, or even slowly over time, they tear and cause the majority
pain we feel in classic back pain. Sometimes, the nerves
can become involved which leads to pain that runs down
the legs as in sciatica
or into the arms and hands, or even up into the head causing headaches. A Chiropractor
will do an exam and find the areas that aren't moving
correctly, usually, but not always, the painful area,
and gently get things moving better. By taking stress
off the injured area, the body can start healing and
you start feeling better. It's like if you have
a cut on your finger, and you keep pulling at it, it
will never heal correctly. But by taking the stress off
area by "unsticking the joints" and restoring motion, the injured
soft tissues (i.e. muscles, ligament, tendons, and nerves) can start
Long Answer Science
shows that we all have within us an innate ability
to heal ourselves.
This "innate" ability is housed in our brain and communicates
with every cell of our bodies through our nervous system.
As long as this two way communication is functioning unimpaired,
we are in a state of health and wellness. However, when
this communication between our brain and body is impaired or
irritated, our innate ability to heal ourselves doesn't work
properly. This causes the symptoms we want to get
rid of like:
many many more
brain and spinal cord are well protected within
skull and spinal column. However, the nerves that leave
the spinal column to connect with our muscles and organs,
called spinal nerves, are not protected. Because of our
human anatomy, our spinal nerves can become compressed between
the joints of our spine if our spine is injured or not moving properly. The
small bones of the spine called "vertebrae" can
become misaligned or restricted in their motion. These
misaligned and or restricted vertebrae are called "Subluxations".
Subluxations stress and irritate the soft tissues of the joints, and can compress the nervous system, ultimately leading
to stiffness, pain and eventually arthritis of the joints.
Doctors of Chiropractic, called "Chiropractors",
identify these subluxations through a thorough history, examination
and X-rays if needed. The Chiropractor then formulates
an appropriate treatment plan based on your particular problem.
basic chiropractic treatment involves gentle re-alignment
of the misaligned bones and restricted joints. These
specific manipulations done only by chiropractors are called
"Adjustments". Chiropractors are the only health
practitioners qualified to diagnose and treat subluxations.
Chiropractors perform adjustments on other joints of the body,
as well as the spine, to treat foot, ankle, knee, wrist, elbow,
hip and shoulder problems. While other factors affect the
total health of an individual, elimination of subluxations
is the single most important thing to living a happier, healthier,
and pain-free life.
is your body's way of telling you something is wrong.
Medication often just masks the symptoms, and does not address
the real cause of the problem. If the oil light came on in
your car, would you cover the light with tape? Of course
not, you would fix the problem and prevent major problems
in the future. It is exactly the same with your
body, only far more important.