COMPLETE GUIDE TO CHIROPRACTIC
This is the Final installment of our Series of Articles on Alternative Wellness Options. Be sure to read our other articles on General Wellness Options, Cryotherapy, and Massage.
Chiropractic is defined as a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.
Besides physical manipulation of the body, chiropractic may also include exercises, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling for an improved quality of life going forward.
Chiropractic’s main goal is to allow the recipient’s body the ability to heal itself by aligning the body’s various systems. In addition, the initial goal for most, in the short term, is to relieve pain.
According to Webmd, recent statistics show that roughly 22 million Americans visit Chiropractors annually. With about 35% of this seeking treatment for back pain.
THE “CRACKING” MYTH
The biggest myth and confusion surrounding Chiropractic is “cracking” sound one hears while undergoing treatment. Many believe these are bone on bone cracking sounds when getting a particular part of the body adjusted. This makes many first timers leary about trying this form of alternative wellness.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. What the cracking noise actual is, is the fluid around the joints builds up in pressure. The “cracking” sound is just this air being release.
The fluid changes from a liquid to a gas and the cracking sound is called cavitation.
WHAT CHIROPRACTORS DO
Chiropractors are a licensed Health Care professional that will conduct patient care similar to a conventional Doctor. For example, most will interview the patient, conduct a patient history, discuss an ongoing program, and conduct testing prior to starting the treatment.
The actual physical treatments can involve massage, stretching, exercises, and the actual manipulation of the joints using quick and gentle thrusts.
- To practice in the U.S. Chiropractors must earn a D.C. degree (Doctor of Chiropractic).
- Pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam and have a state license.
- A D.C. program typically takes four years to complete.
- Many Chiropractors complete postgraduate education in specific fields as well, such as Pediatrics and Orthopedics.
- Scope of Procedures the Chiropractor is allowed to perform, and Insurance Coverage will vary State to State
A few years ago I suffered what turned out to be a knot in the back of my neck from falling asleep on the couch too many times and from working out. However, at the time I was a tobacco dipper so any discomfort around the neck made me anxious to say the least.
This turned out to be referred pain from the back of my neck transferring the pain to the front around my lower side of the neck. This was a constant pain, like someone pressing on your neck 24 hours a day.
After a few months of refusing to go to the Doctor as I am a man after all (lol), and falling into depression for a few months from reading all the horror stories you will find if you google some pain in your body. I gave up and went to an Ear/Nose/Throat Doctor.
After the exam the doctor looked at me like I was a hypochondriac, he didn’t see anything and said it was probably acid reflux and gave me a prescription for some pills. I left there feeling dumb, but also upset. I knew something was still not right.
So I went to a chiropractor, and the first thing she said was wow you have about five knots in your back and this big one on the back of your neck. So I thought that makes sense back of your neck is the back of your throat and those ligaments and muscles wrap around to the front.
After only one procedure the pain was gone 90% and after the second procedure it was completely gone.
Now, what upset me the most is this is a Doctor who specializes in this region of the body, but never mentioned “Referred Pain“, never asked if I worked out or any other habits that would cause a knot or a muscle spasm. He never even felt the back of my neck.
This is just one example of the shortcomings of western medicine, the lack of common sense that the back of your neck is directly connected to the sides/front of your neck.
The waiting was my fault I admit that, but any trained Doctor should know this information, and this lack of common sense is what most of western medicine suffers from.
Can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. While on the other hand, this is the basis of alternative wellness treatments.
To see the body as a fluid, all connecting mechanism. More Importantly, trying to find the root cause of an impairment, over the routine take a pill mentality that puts a bandage on the problem.
Overall, if you are in chronic pain and suffer with anxiety or stress, like most of us do to some degree nowadays, maybe trying a chiropractic treatment could help you.
If you are one to seek natural treatments for wellness then we recommend trying it for one or more sessions, you might be surprised at the results.