Chiropractic is based on a simple assumption that our bodies can and will heal themselves. But we have to understand that decisions that we make on a daily basis can and will affect our body’s ability to express health or something less than optimum health (disease). Chiropractic focuses primarily on structure and function. A chiropractor analyzes the body exactly the same way an engineer or an architect analyzes and appreciates a skyscraper or a fine European sports car. Simply make one change to a structure and the alignment completely changes. For example, just try driving with a mattress or a bike on the roof of your car and everything will change (acceleration, braking, cornering, fuel consumption, handling). The same is true of your body — not only when you fall victim to a trauma, or disease, but also when a change takes place that simply adds a stress your body can’t adapt to, based on your current overall health status. Sometimes it can prove to create neck and back pain. But most of the time it can be easily dismissed, ignored and even misdiagnosed as “normal pain,” “getting old,” and most commonly numbed with store bought drugs.
Chiropractic focuses on the “structural” integrity of the spine because it houses and protects the central nervous system — the system which monitors, controls and regulates all body function, allowing the body to adapt to its environment and to both internal and external stress. Your spine is an essential series of joints, just like your knee, wrist and fingers. However, unlike those joints, the spine has a relationship with nerves that can interfere with the communication to other areas of your body. With uncontrolled structural and/or functional changes in the spine, symptoms could be experienced in other areas of the body. Think of it like a green garden hose with a black shoe standing on it, changing the flow into the garden bed on the other side of the house. If that garden hose was a nerve, pain may or may not be present. There is a structural change, and that can change everything at the region of pressure, but also to the area that receives the flow. For example, some are familiar with the word “sciatica,” which means a significant structural change that causes pressure on a nerve that travels into your buttock and leg, providing a sensation that will vary from individual to individual, describing feelings of numbness, tingling, burning, achy, sharp to name a few. Essential “sciatica type pressure” can happen virtually every where a joint, bone and nerve have intimate contact.
The spine has about 50 regions where structural changes can take place and that’s why chiropractic is only focused on your spine. If you want a strong tree you have to look at the trunk. The branch may have the leaves, flowers and fruit, but it’s only because of a structurally sound tree trunk.
Chiropractic has been shown to be effective for acute and chronic lower back pain, neck pain, headaches (including migraines), carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and other sports injuries. Chiropractic may also be helpful for otitis media (ear infection), digestive problems, menstrual and premenstrual pain, and asthma.
Where and how care is provided is of such importance, it is understandable to want as much information as possible when contemplating the number of available treatments for any given condition. Often people, who have never known the benefits of chiropractic care, have reservations or concerns before choosing this form of alternative treatment. Here are a few of the most common questions along with answers, designed to help in making an educated and enlightened decision.
Your first visit will last about an hour. Our chiropractor takes a complete health history, including information on lifestyle; diet; sleep habits; exercise; mental stresses; and use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco and other subtle and often overlooked daily choices that, by virtue of constant exposure over time, weaken us and create disease. Certainly we discuss the obvious, such as past injuries and illnesses; current conditions and medications; but all of us should know by now it’s the consistent little things that tend to make a world of difference. Like a drop of water that eventually cuts through stone, if ignored, something consistent can cause dramatic structural change.
After a thorough history, we will evaluate where structural issues (cause) exist, and the extent of the corresponding functional compromise (symptoms). This will allow us to treat the cause of the symptoms, not simply mask them. Causes can be evaluated and seen through X-ray, MRI and CT-scans. Symptoms can be evaluated by additional testing to see if the nerve is functioning properly via reflexes, muscle testing, orthopedic testing and other system and organ evaluations, like blood pressure and pulse testing. Based on the history, chiropractic attempts to readily identify whether the patient would benefit from care. Sometimes patients can wait such a long time to seek treatment from any doctor, that the structural changes become too involved and crisis care is the only option left. Crisis care may involve surgery and/or long-term medication. These cases include patients with bone fractures or tumors, advanced arthritis, bone or joint infections, uncontrolled osteoporosis, and specific blood vessel disease.
Once determined, our chiropractor will refer you to another specialist as the structural change has begun to adversely affect other areas of your body. A chiropractic patient has to be up-front and honest and not be afraid to discuss all physical disabilities they have, or disclose symptoms of numbness, tingling, weakness, or other neurological problems. A healing partnership requires honesty, so we can customize care for your unique body needs. After the first visit, you can expect to know what is the cause of the symptoms, what exactly we are going to do for you, and most importantly, what you are going to do to help yourself.
More than one session is usually needed to correct a problem based on your present state. Typical structural issues take years to manifest, and we are more concerned with fixing the problem as opposed to simply making you numb to the symptoms. Often, we are unable to make all the necessary changes in one’s life to optimize healing. However, our bodies can respond positively when structure is restored and complimented by muscle strengthening. In other words, just because the spine may be weakened, we have an incredible muscular system that can be used to “share the load”, thus allowing compromised structures to heal (like the neck and back as well as other involved structures like disc and nerve). Simply stated, in order for you to heal, we have to make you stronger. For a bodybuilder, Olympic sprinter, or a toddler learning to walk, strengthening takes time. Each of us have areas that have an incredible capacity to become even stronger when weakness is acknowledged. Consistent effort, when combined with this acknowledgement, will result in a better, healthier, stronger and more confident you..
Please call (401) 354-5500 to set up an appointment and discuss a payment plan.