Chiropractic care can seem very mysterious if you have never experienced it before. Stress or injury can cause vertebrae in the spinal column to misalign, leading to pain or illness. Through realignment, a chiropractor restores normal motion to a misaligned spine so healing can occur.
A chiropractor or Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) receives an extensive education covering the body’s anatomy and physiology, changes to the body in the face of disease and toxic substances, and the art, science, and philosophy of chiropractic medicine. Once accepted into a graduate studies program, the chiropractic student will complete an equivalent five year program of studies before graduating with a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree.
Although it can vary from office to office, a typical visit to a chiropractor does have a basic structure. On your first visit, a chiropractor will discuss your concerns and areas of pain to determine the extent of the subluxation, or misalignment. X-rays may be required, in addition to an ortho-neuro examination, before a treatment plan can be established. This determination is based on a number of factors, such as the extent of the condition, the length of time since the condition’s onset, any previous injuries, the patient’s age, and how quickly the patient’s body heals.
The treatment plan focuses on restoring normal function to the subluxated areas of the spine through very specific actions using either the hands or an instrument. This is called an adjustment. An adjustment is relatively painless, although you may experience pain if the joint is irritated from swelling or surrounding muscle tension. A noise may be heard during an adjustment, similar to the sound of “popping” your knuckle. Once the adjustment is performed, your body’s inborn ability to heal then takes over. As healing occurs, your body may relapse to the same stages of dysfunction and pain that occurred with the original injury, and you may actually feel increased discomfort, but that will pass as your body continues to heal.
Throughout the treatment, the chiropractor will reassess the progress being made and adjust the frequency of visits accordingly. Most patients find that they feel so much better and have such an improved quality of life with chiropractic care that they continue care on a maintenance schedule to avoid future problems. Generally, this consists of an office visit once a month.
Chiropractic care is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to costly and painful joint replacement or back surgery. Our bodies perform so much better when misaligned vertebrae are adjusted. We are better able to digest food and to rest, and we are more resistant to environmental irritants. To see just how much better your life and health can be, visit your local chiropractor today. IBI