What Chiropractors do, what an adjustment is, and why maintain your spine?
Millions of people visit Chiropractors for: pain relief; to relieve symptoms associated with nerve irritation; or for regular care to maintain their healthy lifestyle. The most common application of treatment is through a ‘Chiropractic adjustment’. Often, further advice or strategies are given to the client so that they may self-manage their spinal function. This blog article aims to explain what Chiropractors do, describe the Chiropractic adjustment, and explain how it may help you with your pain in the short and long term.
Central to Chiropractic care is the belief that your nerve system plays a vital role in your health, immune system, and all bodily function through out your whole life. The Chiropractic adjustment reduces nerve tension and irritation and enhances its ability to function properly.
Chiropractors assess the spine and deliver the Chiropractic adjustment to the pelvis or spinal vertebrae where joints have become locked, blocked, or imbalanced. The adjustment involves a quick shallow thrust that often involves an audible click and is most often delivered by the Chiropractors hands but may be delivered via a small adjusting tool called an ‘Activator’. Additionally, your Chiropractor may use a specialised table or drop-piece to allow greater comfort during the adjustment phase of your care.
Chiropractic adjustments are unique from other forms of therapy. Massage often applies slow long strokes, or may involve holding trigger points that aim to relax the muscles and increase blood flow to enhance soft tissue healing. Acupuncture is a prickly approach (boom boom) that stimulates energy lines to bring the body back to a balanced state. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to dampen down or speed up body functions through chemicals that may affect other non-targeted body functions (side-effects). All have therapeutic value, however the Chiropractic adjustment is specific to the spine and nerve system. In this way Chiropractors are specialists in the care of the spine and nerve system.
In summary, Chiropractors specialise in assessing the spine for spinal faults, deliver a specific therapy to correct spinal faults, and enhance the health of their clients.
How the Chiropractic adjustment works.
The Chiropractic adjustment delivers a non-painful impulse into the nerve system that most often results in a change of activity of those nerves.
Specifically, muscles that are working hard (tightness or stiffness) or joints that are imbalanced (overloading joints and/or causing pain) are controlled by the nerve circuits from that level of the spine. The Chiropractic adjustment re-sets the tensions in the muscles and tendons that results in: relaxing the muscles; increased and balanced movement of the spinal joints; and, most importantly, removes tension or irritations on the nerves.
Your nerve system controls every function of your body, including your pain mechanisms, and by removing nerve irritations and enhancing their function you often feel better and give your whole body a chance to function better.
Why do you need multiple or regular Chiropractic adjustments?
Unfortunately, nerve circuits will return to their old patterns and express the same symptoms unless a new nerve circuit is developed. This is why your Chiropractor recommends three stages to your Chiropractic care plan:
- Reduce painful symptoms and improve spinal function as quickly as possible. This often involves more regular appointments to quickly re-set the neural circuits causing pain and discomfort.
- Stabilise the nerve circuits to avoid regression back to your presenting symptoms. In my office this is achieved by once a week appointments and advice to do all regular activities including work and sports.
- Maintain the nerve system with regular Chiropractic check-ups. This often involves four, six, or eight weekly appointments that correct spinal faults beginning to develop, reappraise self-management strategies, and continue the correction of old imbalanced nerve circuits. Additionally, these appointments maintain posture and help clients adapt to new challenges such as different sports or changes at work.
Chiropractic is unique and specialised in the therapy it provides for millions of people around the world. Further, there is a reason why so many people use Chiropractors to help them get out of pain and maintain their nerve system in optimum working order.
The reason is – it works!
Call us today for an appointment and please bring all your questions with you. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Dr Matt Short – Dr of Chiropractic
B.Sc (Physiology) Auckland, B.Sc (Chiropractic) NZSC, P.G.Dip (Musculoskeletal Management) Otago