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-to care for the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. In layman’s terms, this includes treatment of neck pain, back pain, joint pain and even pain caused by headaches. The history of chiropractic goes back as far as 1895, but the practice has seen particular highs in popularity over the past 20 years.
Joint manipulation and joint adjustment, which may be applied to spinal vertebrae or any other joint in the body are two terms often used interchangeably in the chiropractic field. The central treatment used by most chiropractors, spinal manipulation is used most often to treat back pain, neck pain resulting from what is called subluxation.
In simplest terms, a subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.
How does this affect you? Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly.
How It Works
The goal of spinal manipulation is to get ill-functioning joints back in working order and to increase the flexibility of your spine. To accomplish this, chiropractors have received extensive training in the use a manual technique best described as a “thrust” – pressing the hands into a specific area of your spine joints, causing them to surface or realign and return to full function.
What’s That Noise?
Many patients or prospective patients fear the notorious “crack” or “pop” associated with a spinal alignment. In reality, this noise is nothing to worry about – and it is certainly not caused by your bones cracking!
When the thrust is administered and the joint surfaces separate, gas bubbles in the lubricating fluid located between your joints are released, creating the cracking or popping sound. Although most patients will hear this noise when they have their treatment, not everyone will, and it has no bearing on the success of the treatment.
Is It Safe?
Simply put – yes. Chiropractic care has been subject to strict medical scrutiny but has always come up as beneficial for treatment of back pain and associated conditions. However, every patient is different, and there are a few guidelines to keep in mind before receiving spinal manipulation:
* Bone injuries. If you have a condition that weakens your bone density, or if you have a prior bone injury that may affect your treatment, be sure to disclose it to your chiropractor. He or she can make adjustments to the treatment plan that will benefit your unique condition.
* Associated symptoms. If your back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or weight loss, be sure to consult a medical doctor before heading to the chiropractor. Your doctor can examine you for underlying conditions and, if appropriate, give you the approval for chiropractic care.
* Health history. Issues such as stroke or surgery that you’ve had in the past may affect your treatment options with a chiropractor. Be sure to disclose all relevant health information to your chiropractor before you begin treatment.
The key to good chiropractic care is communication – if you’re concerned about treatment, talk to your family physician and, if possible, have him or her talk to your chiropractor. Working together, the two can form a treatment plan that works best for you.
Chiropractic Manipulation and NeurOntogenics®
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