Chiropractors are experts in the care of the bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissue that make up about 60% of your body. All of the joints in your body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health.
Chiropractic doctors find the underlying cause of your ache or pain and help to correct it. It surprises many patients when they discover chiropractic doctors don’t treat symptoms but find the underlying cause so symptoms improve naturally.
Types of Chiropractic Care
Initial Intensive Care – New patients want to feel better so, in the beginning visits may be more frequent. Your chiropractic adjustments may be combined with other procedures to help relieve your symptoms. Repeated visits over weeks or months may be necessary to reduce symptoms.
Rehabilitative Care – More complete healing can occur as your ache or pain is reduced. Underlying muscle and soft tissue damage can remain even after you feel better so continued care is important during this stage to prevent a relapse. At this stage, visit frequency can be reduced.
Wellness – After the recovery of your original problem, regular chiropractic appointments can help preserve your progress. Periodic visits can help catch little problems before they become major concerns. Like other preventative measures, a chiropractic lifestyle can save time and money by helping you stay well.
Disc Problems and the Chiropractic Approach
The spinal disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. Spinal discs have a very poor blood supply and depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring in nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. The chiropractic approach to disc problems is to help restore better motion and position to the spinal joints.
Discs do not slip since they are attached to vertebrae but they do tear, bulge, herniate, prolapse and dessicate.
Disc Tear – a small crack or micro tear in the tough, outer cartilage material of the disc called annular fibers. This allows the fluid to start leaking out and the disc begins to wear thin.
Bulging Disc – swelling occurs when the soft material in the middle of the disc pushes to one side, forward or backward
Herniated Disc – the soft material in the middle of the disc ruptures through the tough outer fibers and extends to the outer edge or beyond the normal limits of the disc.
Prolapsed Disc – a piece of disc material separates away and becomes a fragment or a free-floating piece
Dessicated Disc – the disc loses its fluid content and degenerates down to a rough, worn-down appearance and the bones begin to fuse to each other.
Subluxation Degeneration is a process of uncorrected spinal damage. The body deposits calcium on the surface of adjacent bones that aren’t moving properly. If neglected long enough, this splinting effect can result in complete fusion and can occur throughout the spine. Subluxation degeneration is how the body responds to improperly functioning spinal joints.
With early detection, appropriate chiropractic care has been shown to slow, stop, or even reverse the early stages of this process.
Children and Chiropractic Care
Regular chiropractic visits are especially beneficial as head support and natural spinal curves are established. Spinal malfunctions caused by falls from learning to walk, can often be helped with chiropractic care.
Many spinal problems seen in adults begin in childhood. If neglected, the bumps and falls during a rapid growth period may lead to serious spinal deformities later in life. This can set the stage for scoliosis, “growing pains” and a weakened immune system response. Proper spinal hygiene is an important key to better health.
Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care
As the center of gravity changes, so does the stress on the spine. This period of rapid development, hormonal changes, the laxity of connective ligaments, and shifting of weight-bearing structures may cause many pregnant women to experience low back pain.
Chiropractic care helps normalize nervous system function and can be very helpful to relieve the discomfort many expectant mothers experience. Many chiropractic patients report that their deliveries were faster and more comfortable than their deliveries prior to chiropractic care.