Chiropractic Care: Enhancing your Health & Wellness Naturally
Chiropractic care is a healthcare profession that cares for a patient's neuromusculoskeletal system - the bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There is a fundamental belief in the chiropractic industry that there is an innate relationship between the nervous system and the spine meaning that the structural derangement of the spine can adversely affect the nervous system. For many conditions, chiropractic treatment can restore the spine's structural integrity, reduce pressure on sensitive neurological tissue, and consequently improve the individual's health.
Chiropractors don’t typically suggest pain medication. Care is focused on natural healing and assisting the body in its ability to heal itself. By improving the neuromusculoskeletal system’s ability to perform, chiropractors believe that spinal adjustment and realigning joints improve the functioning of other systems throughout the body.
What methods do Chiropractors use?
A chiropractor helps manage back and neck pain by using spinal manipulations of spinal mobilization to maintain good alignment. Spinal manipulation is a technique where practitioners use their hands or a device to apply a controlled thrust to individual vertebra.The amount of force can vary, but the thrust moves the joint more than it would on its own. Spinal manipulation differs from spinal mobilization. It does not involve a thrust, is performed within a joint’s natural range of motion, and can be controlled by the patient.
Soft Tissue Therapy
Although a chiropractor's primary therapy is spinal manipulation they might also use soft tissue therapy. Using this method, the chiropractor relaxes and treats tightness and soreness in muscles. Chiropractors use a tool to apply pressure gently and sweep over the region. Soft tissue therapy is a pain-free treatment that feels similar to a deep massage. Results of soft tissue therapy can be seen within two to three treatments and help to decrease pain and enhance functioning throughout the body.
Your chiropractor may also assign exercises for you to perform at home. These include motor control exercises, acupuncture, massage, core, and other strengthening exercises. They might also provide tips for maintaining appropriate body posture, safe lifting methods, and other strategies to include in your daily routine.
In addition, chiropractors may recommend other treatments such as:
- Hot & cold treatment
- Diet and weight loss counseling.
Benefits of Chiropractic care
- Improves neck/back pain. Neck and back pain are common complaints among people who sit or are on the computer for extended periods of time. Spinal adjustments may help decrease neck pain in the short term by modifying levels of neuropeptides in your blood. Neuropeptides are proteins made in your nervous system that function as neurotransmitters or hormones.
- Reduces reliance on opioid pain relievers. Chiropractors do not prescribe pain medication but instead focus on the body’s ability to heal itself.
- Possible reduction of osteoarthritis symptoms. Osteoarthritis pain is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage in a joint that causes the ends of your bones to rub together. Some types of chiropractic adjustment may help align your joints and reduce how much rubbing occurs.
- Eases headache symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments may be effective at treating tension headaches and other headaches that originate in the neck.
- More affordable treatment for chronic back pain. Chiropractic care may be a less expensive option than conventional treatment for chronic low back pain.
- Helps improve posture. Undergoing chiropractic treatment may help with poor posture, especially if your poor posture is due to too much sitting.
- Increased Energy and Vitality. Chiropractic care may improve energy levels and overall vitality by optimizing the body’s natural healing abilities, reducing stress on the nervous system, and promoting proper alignment.
- Holistic Approach to Well-being. Chiropractors focus on addressing the underlying causes of health issues rather than merely treating symptoms, taking into account the whole person and their lifestyle choices.
Other Applications of Chiropractic Care
Improved Brain Function
Skilled chiropractors have long observed a wide variety of changes in their patients after spinal adjustments. A study in the Journal of Neural Plasticity shows that those changes can show up in the form of increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls higher learning and cognition as well as socialization, and sensorimotor control. It’s thought that consistent chiropractic care could prevent falls and increase muscle strength in our lower limbs.
Lowered Stress & Anxiety
There have been studies that show that chiropractic treatments can ease anxiety. One study found that patients who received chiropractic treatments saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure and reported decreased anxiety following their adjustment. Besides lowering blood pressure, treatments to adjust your spine can release feel-good hormones that help to lower anxiety and help treat insomnia.
Chiropractic techniques such as manual adjustments, soft fissure therapy, and exercises can improve athletic performance. This is because improvements to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems can help athletes improve their flexibility, strength, and endurance. These improvements can also improve posture, balance, and coordination, which are critical to increased athletic performance. Chiropractic care can not only help with athletic performance but also aid in recovering more quickly from injury.
The benefits of chiropractic care are numerous. From pain relief to improved brain function, chiropractic’s holistic approach to healthcare helps to address underlying causes of health issues and empowers individuals in achieving optimal health and enjoying an active, balanced lifestyle.