Understanding Chiropractic Care
The following are common questions asked about chiropractic care. We would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have by sending a message through our contact form or give us a call at (509) 489-2883.
Chiropractic is a hands-on, holistic, alternative health care approach to better health and increases quality of life through manipulation of spine and extremities, diet, exercise. We are considered to be the neuromusculoskeletal (nerve-muscle-skeleton) professionals. Chiropractic is a lifestyle of health care.
Chiropractic can help you by working with you and your other health care professionals (M.D., and D.O.) by maintaining your spine in proper alignment. Every organ in the body is under neurological (nerve) control, so doesn’t it make sense that if nerve impulses do not get to the organ its function will be compromised? Not all nerve impulses have a stimulatory effect on organs, some impulses inhibit the organs they influence. For example, the Vagus Nerve has an inhibitory effect on the heart causing the heart to slow its rate when it receives these signals. The same Vagus Nerve, however, on the stomach and digestive tract stimulates these organs into increasing their activity. Through manipulation of the spine, the Chiropractor helps place the spine in proper alignment to prevent a malfunction of nerve impulses to other organs and tissues.
The manipulation (also known as adjustment) is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust given into a specific joint in order to provide a therapeutic result. This is not to say, however that all manipulations are the same. Just as Chiropractors are different individually, so are our many techniques. A particular technique that I might use and feel comfortable with may feel odd or uncomfortable to another Chiropractor and vice versa.
The manipulation can sometimes cause some minor discomfort, but it is not usually considered painful. Most of the discomfort will go away after the manipulation is performed several times. That is right – several manipulations may be necessary before total relief is seen. Let’s face the truth, you wouldn’t expect to take just one of the twenty pills of any prescription to get a cure. You shouldn’t expect only one adjustment to do the same. Just as you were given twenty pills to cure your illness, you may have to have four, five, or even more manipulations to do the same! The discomfort that you may feel is very often related to how long you waited before you sought treatment for you pain or illness. The sooner we can start the manipulations after onset, the less discomfort you will feel and the fewer treatments you will need for your continued good health.
Whiplash is defined as “an injury to the cervical spine caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, either backward of forward.”
Whiplash usually occurs when the head and neck are unexpectedly or suddenly thrown very quickly in one direction and then rebound in the opposite direction. You might say the head is “whipped around” on the neck. A whiplash type injury doesn’t only occur in automobile accidents. Whiplash injuries may occur as a result of sudden forces to the body such as in contact sports like football, soccer, or boxing, falls, direct trauma to the skull or even a sudden sneeze.
Whiplast type injuries may develop quickly, or then again may not show up for hours, days, weeks. Therefore, following even a minor accident, the kind where you just feel “shaken up”, a visit to the doctor of chiropractic is in order. A doctor of chiropractic will make a thorough examination, including the use of x-rays and clinical laboratory tests. Following evaluation, the chiropractor will make the necessary delicate spinal adjustments to correct any misalignment of vertebrae; also alleviating pinching of nerves or constriction of blood supply to the body. Do not put off an early visit to your doctor chiropractic following any accident! If you experience any of the following after any accident, you may have whiplash:
- headaches, head and neck pains, stiff neck, muscle spasms
- Restricted head motion
- Equilibrium problems, loss of hearing, ringing in the ears
- Experiencing eye strain
- Feeling light-headed, excessively tired, or blacked out
- Experiencing any neuralgia (nerve pain) or neuritis (nerve inflammation)
- Cold hands or feet, or numbness of arms, hands, shoulders, feet or legs
- Experiencing periods of unexplained depression, anxiety, irritability
- Unable to concentrate, poor memory
- Pains between the shoulders, low back pains, tremors, rapid heartbeat
The Doctor of Chiropractic is trained in body mechanics and how to relieve the cause of the symptoms that you have. The term “pinched nerve” is not a clinical term but helps to explain why the symptoms you have may be directly associated with the spine. If you are suffering from radiating pain in the neck, arms, shoulders, back, legs or feet it may well indicate pressure on the nerves as they emit from the spine. Headaches are one of the most common results of nerves being stretched, irritated or compressed by inflammation in or near the spine. The doctor may call it a pinched nerve for easier understanding, and then identify it with a more clinical term on your insurance form. Undue pressure on a nerve may cause an increase or decrease in normal nerve impulse transmission and bring about symptoms from headaches, stomach malfunction, and numbness in the legs. Since the nervous system is the first system formed in embryo, every function of the body is related to the brain and the nerve pathways of the muscles, organs and bones. Your body temperature, speech, vision and balance are all controlled by the nervous system.
- Dizziness, headaches, nervousness, insomnia, allergies, sore throat, head colds, ringing in the ears, etc.
- Stiff neck, asthma, arm and shoulder pain, etc.
- Stomach and digestive orders.
- Kidney and urinary problems.
- Bowel and female problems such as menstrual cramps and irregular periods.
- Low back pains, sciatica, e.g. and knee pains, etc.
- Swelling of the ankles and ankle discomfort.
The Doctor of Chiropractic will normally check and adjust the area of the spine associated with the symptoms you have. This adjustment of the vertebra is done after thorough examination and X-ray to determine the exact location of the trouble. Published solely in the interest of Chiropractic Health Education.
You don’t have to live with lower back pain. Call us for a consultation and to start a treatment program before it gets any worse.