When do you need to see a chiropractor?
Severe pain is a last-resort message that your brain sends to your body when your nervous system is impaired. The lack of visible symptoms should never be assumed as an indicator of good health! More than half of normal adults are walking around with a disc problem. They don’t feel it – or not much – but an MRI would show some degree of swelling, tear, or misalignment in the spine.Just as there are often no visible warning signs of a pending stroke or heart attack, back problems may go undetected until sufficient damage occurs to create a painful wake-up call to the patient. People see their physicians and dentists for preventive check-ups. They regularly test their cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure because elevated levels aren’t obvious to the individual. Women get mammograms and pap smears to watch for potential problems. But only a fraction of the population tends to their spinal health. A regular chiropractic check-up should be included in every person’s wellness plan in order to avoid debilitating pain and irreversible degenerative damage.
The central nervous system – the brain and the spinal cord – is the first part of the body to form in the womb. Once developed, it sparks the development of the rest of the body. Nerves that branch out from the spinal cord carry electrical impulses from the brain to every cell in the body. When a vertebral misalignment, or subluxation, interferes with the nerve’s ability to communicate these messages, those body parts – organs, joints, muscles, and tissue – respond with pain, stiffness, illness, or dysfunction.
So it makes sense to pay attention to this communication center in the body machine. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining a healthy spine, thus enabling the body to heal itself naturally, without invasive procedures and medications. A chiropractor is trained to identify vertebral subluxations that lead to a host of problems in the body, such as pinched nerves and “slipped” or ruptured discs. Through a combination of manual adjustment, soft tissue therapy, and other painless techniques, the chiropractor can restore the spine to its correct position. It sounds easy, and yet too many people live with problems that could be eased or managed through chiropractic:
• Chronic headaches, including migraines
• Back and joint pain
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Neurological conditions such as neuritis and radiculitis
Many sufferers rely on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications to manage the pain and discomfort. These drugs merely mask the pain and provide no long-term relief and they can lead to side effects like addiction and organ damage. Pain is the body’s natural warning system. By silencing the pain siren, we ignore the underlying cause.
Chiropractic gets to the root of the problem by addressing the body’s core: the central nervous system. Restoring the spine to its normal functioning position, a patient can enjoy:
• Renewed vitality and sense of well-being
• Increased ability to focus
• Improved immune function
• Better sleep quality
• Greater range of motion
And it’s achieved naturally, without the need for potentially addictive drugs.
Chiropractic’s role in wellness
Chiropractic has evolved as a sought-after alternative medicine that stems from dedicated medical study. Chiropractic students in Australia undergo similar training as medical students in their first two years of medical school. They study anatomy, physiology, neurology, and the other sciences that relate to the human body. After the first two years, chiropractic studies focus on manual and physical treatment protocols – such as manual adjustment, soft tissue therapy, and trigger point therapy – while medical students move on to individual specialties. Both groups of students are highly trained in their areas of expertise.
Today’s chiropractors utilize physical therapy, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and herbal therapies for a truly holistic approach. They also recognize the importance of partnering with their colleagues in the medical profession in order to provide overall wellness for their patients.
The goal of a physician is to provide health and wellness advice and care to patients. When those patients suffer from pain, discomfort, reduced joint flexibility, lack of clarity in thinking, fatigue with no medical explanation, and increased emotional sensitivity, a chiropractic evaluation should be suggested. By working together to utilize the strengths of each link in the healthcare chain, we can all contribute to optimum health for the people who rely on us.