Q. How Do You Spell Relief?
You probably know that your nervous system controls the functioning of your organs, tissues and cells, and that the spinal cord and nerve roots are located in your spinal column. Chiropractic corrects spinal abnormalities which irritate the nervous system, providing relief from a variety of health conditions throughout the body.
Q. What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that has been practiced for thousands of years in older cultures and more recently here in the United States. The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, which means “effective treatment by hand.” It involves first assessing and then correcting the spine’s subluxations, which are areas of constriction or impingement that restrict the flow of nerve energy to vital systems.
Chiropractors use consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and diagnostic imaging, just as any other doctor. They also provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
Spinal manipulation, also called chiropractic adjustment, is the most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic. Manipulation, or adjustment, restores joint mobility by applying controlled force into joints that are tight, or restricted in their movement due to tissue injury.
Q. What Conditions Does Chiropractic Address?
Because chiropractic treatments are primarily applied to the spinal region, some people assume that chiropractors only treat problems of the back and neck. It’s true that treatment can alleviate back and neck pain caused by a single event, such as improper lifting, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting at a desk with poor posture for an extended period of time. However, there are many more issues involving inflammation, pain and reduced functionality that can be effectively treated because of the relationship between the spine and the central nervous system. These range from overall mobility, to balance and coordination, to headaches.
Q. Is Chiropractic Only Concerned with Spinal Manipulation?
No. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Q. What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Specific chiropractic manipulations are performed in accordance with your specific needs and comfort level. Treatment involves manual therapy, which means it’s done with the hands. Your body will be positioned for optimal effectiveness of the treatment, and your practitioner will apply controlled force to a joint or joints. Treatment may also involve mobilization (or moving a joint through its range of motion), massage or application of heat, ice, ultrasound or electrical stimulation.
Adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness following treatment, similar to how you feel after exercising in a new way. Post-adjustment tenderness tends to resolve within 12 to 48 hours.
Q. Is Chiropractic All the Treatment I Will Need?
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. However, when other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Dr. Spates will refer you to an appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for your condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other medical professionals.