Common Chiropractic Questions
- • How does chiropractic work?
- • What causes a subluxation?
- • Can children have subluxations?
- • What do subluxations do?
- • Why is having a subluxation not a good thing?
- • Are all subluxations painful?
- • How do I know if I have a subluxation?
- • How can chiropractic care help?
- • Can another health care provider treat a subluxation?
- • How can I stay healthy?
- • How healthy do I need to be?
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractors locate and remove neurological short-circuits within the body, called subluxations, which interfere with or prevent the nerve system from properly managing the body’s health. A subluxation is the term used by doctors of chiropractic to describe the misalignment of bones, joints and muscles that result in nerve pressure or irritation,
causing symptoms of dysfunction, discomfort or pain.
What causes a subluxation?
Common causes of vertebral subluxations can begin with the birth process. Subluxations may also occur from the ordinary stresses and strains of normal, everyday living, even from such simple acts as twisting and turning. Another major cause of major subluxations are falls or injuries. They can also be created by any type of shock that overloads the nervous system’s protective mechanism. Even the unavoidable and ever present downward pull of gravity on the upright body often overcomes body balance and produces poor posture and misalignment of the spinal vertebrae or body joints. Left unattended, subluxations may become chronic and result dysfunction, pain and disability.
Can children have subluxations?
Of course, they have spines too. More and more parents are seeking chiropractic care for their children. Many spinal problems seen in adults began as early as birth. Even natural birthing methods can stress an infant’s spine and developing nerve system. The resulting irritation caused by spinal and cranial misalignment can be the cause of many newborn health complaints such as, colic, breathing problems, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections. And although these particular symptoms of neurological distress may fade or disappear as the child matures, if not addressed, other conditions and symptoms may appear as the child matures and grows into adult life.
The most common reason parents will seek out chiropractic health care for their child is because of a trauma or injury. Most parents are unaware that subluxations can be present in their child even before they are able to walk so it usually takes a fall or some traumatic event to spur the parent to seek out chiropractic care for their child. Misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. And because infants are unable to communicate, a chiropractic checkup can locate sites of neurological short circuiting, painful or silent, and make the necessary correction. Early intervention can help avoid many of the health issues and complaints seen later in adults. Proper spinal hygiene is an important key to better health and proper development of a growing child.
What do subluxations do?
The slightest misalignment of joints, bones or muscles can produce pressure and irritation upon nerves, effecting improper communication of vital nerve impulses to the organs, cells and tissues of the body. The greater the degree of misalignment, leads to a greater possibility that it will affect a nerve, and an increased likelihood that the irritation to the nerve will be severe. The more severe the subluxation and corresponding nerve irritation, the greater the likelihood that higher levels of discomfort, pain and often disabling illness will result. Abnormal function of cells, tissues and organs may result from the ensuing nerve irritation produced by the condition of the vertebral subluxation complex.
Why is having a subluxation not a good thing?
Research has shown that the slightest pressure on a spinal nerve root as it emerges from the spine can reduce the function of that nerve by 60% in a matter of minutes. Through research it was also discovered that by exerting, for a period of one to three hours, the same degree of pressure that chiropractors find in an average patient’s spine, many of the nerve fibers and nerve roots rupture producing toxins which spread into surrounding tissues. When absorbed into the nerves, the toxins will, in time, progressively destroy them. Everyone knows that a broken neck, broken back, or similar spinal injury can produce pressure on the nerves to the extent that partial or even complete paralysis of parts of the body may result. However, one tends to shrug off the possibility that a subluxation resulting in pressure on those same nerves can be extremely destructive, causing a condition of decreased activity amounting to a slight paralysis, or the reverse, a dangerous increase in activity. For instance, a sluggish liver or gall bladder indicates decreased activity, and an over-active stomach or rapid heartbeat signifies increased activity. Irritated nerves can cause either decreased or increased body function in whatever organs those nerves supply. Organs, tissues and cells cannot maintain their own state of health without guidance from the brain through nerve impulses.
Are all subluxations painful?
No. Subluxations can be quietly present in the body without causing any immediate sign of their existence. Slowly, over time, they can make their presence known through symptoms which we may either ignore or consider a condition that will go away at some point as mysteriously as it arrived. The most common treatment is self-administered ‘over the counter’ drugs to control the discomfort and pain and to force the body to work as normally as possible.
How do I know I if I have a subluxation?
Common indicators of subluxation are: headache, neck stiffness, pain between shoulders, backache, pain in arms, legs or feet, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, or general nervousness. These seven cardinal danger signals of subluxation are the body’s way of warning us that something is amiss. AdditionaI signs of subluxations are:
- • Your heels wear out unevenly
- • You can’t take a satisfying deep breath
- • Your jaw “clicks”
- • You have to “crack” your neck, back, or other joints a lot
- • You can’t twist turn your head or hips to either side easily and equally
- • You are often fatigued
- • You have poor concentration
- • You have low resistance to disease
- • Your foot flares out when walking
- • One leg appears shorter than the other
- • You have poor posture
- • You have headaches, back aches, sore or tender spots in muscles or joints
- • You have a constant stressful feeling and tension especially in muscles and joints
- • You feel stiffness in your back and neck
- • You just don’t feel right, you are in general poor health
If left unaddressed, the symptoms will undoubtedly continue to increase and produce even more severe conditions. If you do not have any of these danger signals or signs, a reassuring chiropractic examination will help you be certain that you don’t have any silent subluxations.
How can chiropractic care help?
Doctors of chiropractic examine your spine and body joints, locate and treat subluxations using gentle chiropractic spinal adjustments that skillfully and carefully assist the body to move the vertebrae and joints into normal position. Chronic subluxations may take frequent adjustments to retrain the body to hold the vertebrae and joints in their normal, non-irritating positions.
Can another health care provider treat a subluxation?
Only doctors of chiropractic treat subluxations through a specific process of locating short-circuits within the nervous system, diagnosing the findings and then developing an appropriate treatment plan for adjusting the vertebrae, bones and joints into proper position. You may consult any number of other professionals who may treat the symptoms of subluxations, but only a chiropractor will treat the cause of your subluxations. Following examination and diagnosis of your condition, if it is determined that you will require additional professional health care attention, you will be referred for appropriate health care.
How can I stay healthy?
By eliminating nerve interference, chiropractic care can not only correct numerous health problems, but also be preventive, enabling the body to maintain its natural, inborn resistance to illness and disease. For continuing good health, the best answer is preventive health care.
How healthy do I need to be?
The essential elements that contribute to a foundation for health are:
• • restoring and maintaining a healthy nervous system
• • proper nutrition
• • adequate exercise
• • sufficient rest
• • a positive attitude
These components together will create the conditions that will enable you to fulfill your human potential, and where it may lead you. The health of your nerve system and its ability to successfully guide your life is fundamental to your being all you can be in this life.