What is Chiropractic?
According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”
The nervous system is the master controller of all living cells, tissues and organs; orchestrating and coordinating all cellular functions. The spinal column encases the nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots) and is responsible for its protection.
Because of this intimate relationship, bio-mechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This irritation can result from noxious inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or may result from direct mechanical pressure. In either case, the functioning of the nervous system is negatively influenced as is the functioning of the cells, tissues and organs which are supplied by the affected nerve(s). The resulting ailment(s) depends on the cells, tissues and organs affected as well as the extent of nervous system compromise.
In short, because the body’s innate recuperative powers are affected by and integrated through the nervous system, correcting spinal abnormalities which irritate the nervous system can lead to a number of favorable results in patients suffering from various, seemingly non-spinal health conditions.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort, which may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring-and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.
How does it work?
Like other health care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. Unlike other health care providers, however, chiropractors also conduct a careful analysis of the patient’s structure and pay particular attention to the spine. We also ask you about your day to day life: Do you eat well? Exercise at all? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on. The answers to such questions will help us gain a better understanding of your lifestyle and if certain unhealthy habits are contributing to your pain.
Using this information, a diagnosis is made. It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it, we do not simply treat the symptoms.
Using a number of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities. If other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area.
Chiropractors use many specialized techniques to identify and treat these spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health. In addition to spinal adjustive techniques, soft tissue techniques such as massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly recommended.
Another important aspect of chiropractic care is this: The patient’s improvement is the responsibility of both the doctor and the patient. You will be active in your own care-this is essential in optimizing the care you receive.
How long will it take?
This is a trick question because quite often the patient actually means, “How long will it take for my pain to go away?”
There are two types of care, relief care and corrective care. Relief care takes less time, but the results are less permanent. Corrective care, on the other hand, is an extension of relief care, meaning that once your pain is gone, care is extended with the goal of getting rid of the cause of the problem. This type of care takes longer.
It is important to understand the stages of chiropractic care because they are unique relative to those of other health-care disciplines. Because chiropractic addresses core physiological and biomechanical aspects of the body, the process to correct problems without drugs or surgery can take some time.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care?
Short-term and regular chiropractic care have a number of benefits including:
- spinal and extremity pain relief
- headache relief
- increased mobility and range of motion
- decreased stiffness and muscular spasms
- arthritic joint pain relief
- increased joint health
- increased performance and energy
- increased sense of well being and relaxation
- increased balance and coordination
- reduced degeneration and risk of injury
- enhanced tissue healing
- decreased tissue inflammation
For more information about New Orleans Chiropractor, Dr. Nick Thompson call 861-7167