What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic is a natural approach to healthcare that focuses on locating and removing interference from the nervous system. The nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and millions of nerves, is the master system that controls every cell, tissue and organ of your body. The spinal cord itself is the ‘information superhighway’ that allows instructions to pass from our brain to the rest of the body and allows information from the body to be relayed back to the brain. If there is any interference in this vital pathway, the body is not able to function at 100% of its potential and this can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
Simply put, if your nervous system doesn’t work right, YOU don’t work right and that means you’re not as healthy as you could be!
The main principle of chiropractic is that the body is able to heal itself, it just needs to be free from interference. This interference oftentimes comes from one of the 25 moveable spinal bones surrounding the spinal cord. These bones can become ‘stuck’ (subluxated) due to any physical, chemical or emotional stress that a person might be under.
When a spinal bone is subluxated it interferes with the communication pathway between the brain and the body and it can lead to a variety of health problems. No matter what technique a chiropractor uses, the main goal of a chiropractic treatment (called an adjustment) is to make sure that the spinal bones are moving properly to allow the nervous system to function at its best and therefore to allow the body to heal naturally, without the use of drugs or surgery.
By removing the spinal subluxations that interfere with the proper function of the nervous system, chiropractic is often able to help with a wide variety of ailments, from back and neck pain and headaches to sinus problems, allergies, gastric reflux, constipation and more. Chiropractors can even adjust joints in the head, arms and legs to remove nerve interference in those areas.
The 3 Phases of Chiropractic Care
Phase 1: Relief Care
Thumbs Up to Relief
Many people go to a chiropractor because they are in pain. In this first phase of care, the main goal is to reduce your symptoms. Sometimes this will require daily visits, or two to three visits per week for a time.
Most people are under the assumption that if they don't feel any pain that there is nothing wrong with them - that they are healthy. Unfortunately, pain is a very poor indicator of health. In fact, pain and other symptoms frequently only appear after a disease or other condition has become advanced.
For example, consider a cavity in your tooth. Does it hurt when it first develops or only after it has become serious? How about heart disease? Regardless of whether you are talking about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stress or problems with the spine, pain is usually the last thing to appear. When you begin chiropractic care, pain is also the first symptom to disappear, even though much of the underlying condition remains.
Phase 2: Corrective Care
Teaming Up for Optimal Health
Most chiropractors regard the elimination of symptoms as the easiest part of a persons care. If all that the chiropractor does is to reduce the pain and stop there, the chances of the condition recurring are much greater. In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are gone.
During the correction / restorative phase of your care, you will not have to receive adjustments as often as you did during the first phase of care and, depending on your particular circumstances, you may begin doing exercises and stretches either at the center or at home to help accelerate your healing.
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups in your symptoms on occasion. This is normal. Flare-ups are bound to occur during this phase because your body has not fully healed. Depending on the severity of your injury or condition and how long you have been suffering from it, this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Phase 3: Wellness Care
Maintenance is Key to Healthy Living
Once your body has fully healed, routine chiropractic care can help ensure your physical problems do not return and keep your body in optimal condition. Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system.
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer, and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.