Benefits of Chiropractic
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Doctors of chiropractic use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation practices.
Benefits of Chiropractic and Massage
- lncreases circulation
- lncreases removal of lactic acid
- lncreases delivery of oxygen and nutrients
- lncreases flexibility
- lncreases training effectiveness
- Reduces soreness & pain
- Reduces adhesions
- Reduces recovery time
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Reduces chance of injury
- Helps the body to relax, repair and prepare for the next athletic event.
Professionals and Olympic athletes are aware of the natural benefits of massage and chiropractic used in combination with proper hydration, nutrition, stretching, and training techniques. Many organizations and individual athletes have chiropractic doctors and massage therapists as integral parts of their health care team.
Additional Benefits of Natural,
Drugless Chiropractic Care
(More than Relief of Headaches and Low Back Pain!)
Far too many people still believe that chiropractic care isn't necessary unless they're suffering excruciating headache or low back pain. The millions who do receive regular adjustments and have a natural, healthy lifestyle know that chiropractic can resolve their back pain, and more and more may also be learning about the potential non-musculoskeletal benefits.
Typical observations that chiropractors see in their patients include:
- Better athletic performance
- Faster, more complete recovery from injuries
- Better nervous system function - which controls every aspect of your body
- Better immune system function - fight off disease naturally
- Healthier moms - easier pregnancy and delivery
- Healthier babies - less in-utero constraint and subsequent scoliosis
- Healthier kids - less ear infections, asthma, bed-wetting, etc.
- Healthier adults - more energy and productivity
- Healthier seniors - better balance, less likelihood of falling that often causes hip fracture
- Overall natural vitality
The beneficial effects of chiropractic adjustment of the spine were demonstrated in a recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Twenty consecutive patients from each of 87 Swedish chiropractor's offices (1,504 total patients) completed questionnaires within two weeks of previous treatment. The questionnaires documented numerous reported improvements in non-musculoskeletal symptoms, including:
- Easier to breathe (98 patients),
- Improved digestive function (92 patients),
- Clearer/better/sharper vision (49 patients),
- Improved circulation (34 patients),
- Less ringing in the ears (10 patients),
- Acne/eczema better (8 patients),
- Dysmennorhea (painful menstruation) better (7 patients), and
- Asthma/allergies improved (6 patients).
The number of spinal areas adjusted was also related to the number of positive reactions. Fifteen percent of patients reported positive reactions after having a single area adjusted; 35% of patients reported positive reactions after having four areas adjusted. Overall, 23% of chiropractic patients reported experiencing positive changes in symptoms that were not musculoskeletal in nature.
Have you experienced non-musculoskeletal benefits following chiropractic care, and if so, have you told your doctor of chiropractic? Always report any reactions (good or bad) you experience during or following an adjustment.
Reference: Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. "The types and frequencies of improved non-musculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy." Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Nov./Dec. 1999: Vol. 22, No. 9, pp 559-64.
Dr. Rick Allen is a chiropractor, massage therapist and dance student in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Rick welcomes your questions and suggestions for future articles. However, he cannot make specific diagnoses or treatment recommendations unless you visit him in person. He can be reached by phone at 503-257-1324 in Portland, 509-395-0024 in Trout Lake, or toll free at 1-888-247-3248, email or on the World Wide Web: www.CascadeWellnessClinic.com
DISCLAIMER: The information included in this website is meant to encourage thinking concerning choices of care for and insight pertaining to possible causes of various problems. It is not a prescription for or diagnosis of any disease or condition. Suggestions are based on the assumption by the writer that a thorough examination was done previously and the reader is under care by a healthcare professional. This information is not a substitute for a live doctor.
© Dr. Rick Allen
Cascade Wellness Clinic