What is Chiropractic?
Every cell in the body is controlled by one master system – The Nervous System. The Nervous System is made up of the Brain, the Spinal Cord and Nerves. The first system to develop in an embryo is the Nervous System.
The brain controls everything we do at all times. It’s our most precious organ. The brain tells the body what to do by sending messages through the nerves. The spinal cord acts as a pathway for sending messages through the nerves.
Nerves have one main function – to transport the brain’s vital messages to every part of the body. Discs separate each vertabrae of the spine and allow the spinal nerves to pass between them. When the vertabrae are properly aligned with one another, the nerves can pass between them without interference.
A misalignment of a vertabrae in the spine is called a Vertabrael Subluxation. A Subluxation does not allow for proper communication between the brain and the body. The nervous system cannot function at 100% when Subluxations are present.
Chiropractic is the art and science of finding disruptions in the nervous system which have been caused by misalignment (subluxation) of the spinal vertebrae, and realigning these vertebrae to allow the body to heal itself and maintain a state of optimal health.
Accidents, overexertion, even tension and stress (as well as numerous other reasons) can result in a misalignment of the spinal column. Your chiropractor will, in most cases, use his or her hands or an Activator to apply corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location. This gentle manual force helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae.
Optimal health can only be achieved when all parts of the body are working together normally at all times. Chiropractic adjustments are 100% natural and safe for people of all ages.
Doctors of Chiropractic practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Types of Adjustments
There are well over 100 different types of adjustment techniques that a Chiropractor may utilize. Some may be by hand, some may use an instrument or a specialized table to achieve the particular adjustment. With some adjustments you may hear a “pop” noise and others you may not hear anything. In our office we use both low force adjustments and manual adjustment techniques. We also use soft tissue techniques to assist our adjustments.
Dr. Ramos uses:
- Activator Methods
- Thompson Drops Technique
- Diversified Adjusting
Dr. Pye uses:
- Activator Methods
- Thompson Drop Technique
- Craniosacral Therapy
A Typical Chiropractic Visit
On an initial visit to a chiropractor, a new patient will complete paperwork outlining their current and past health history. Once completing the paperwork, our staff will bring you into the exam room. Once the Chiropractor enters the room they will go over the history forms with you and perform a physical examination to narrow down the cause of your current issue and form a diagnosis. The first visit will usually take 45 minutes. On the second visit the Chiropractor will present you with a Report of Findings folder complete with your diagnosis, treatment plan, techniques that will be used, further recommendations as well as information about Chiropractic. The typical adjustment visit takes less than 15 minutes.
The adjustments are performed while you are laying face down on the adjusting table. Both Dr. Ramos and Dr. Pye use low force techniques that are not accompanied with a “crack” or “pop” noise, but they may also use manual techniques that may cause a “crack or pop” noise. The noise that is heard sometimes during the adjustment is a release of built up gasses from improper motion. Some people may experience some slight muscle discomfort after the first few adjustments. This discomfort is similar to the muscle pain you may feel after working out for the first time in a long time. Since the body has been used to being in that position for so long, the muscles have lengthened to hold the joint there. It may take a few visits for the muscles to “get used” to their new positioning. At the end of your initial treatment plan, the doctors will perform a progress exam to check your progress with treatment and make any alterations needed.
What are Subluxations
A Subluxation is an area of the spine that does not move properly or is not positioned properly(1). This improper functioning of the spine affects how the nervous system functions(1). Sometimes a subluxation will result in pain, but many times a symptom is not present for a long time after a subluxation develops. A Chiropractor will assess the spine to see if each vertebra is moving properly and if it is not then a Chiropractor will perform an adjustment to correct the function of the spine and nervous system.
When an area of the spine has a subluxation, the message from the brain going to our body is distorted. Also, the message going from an organ/muscle/tissue/cell is altered on its way to the brain. Since our nerves go to every part of our bodies (muscles, organs and cells), it is important to have your spine checked for subluxations to ensure your nervous system can work to its optimum ability.
What are Adjustments
The key to chiropractic care is the spinal adjustment. This is the way Doctors of Chiropractic correct spinal subluxations (misalignment of vertebrae in the spine).
The Goal of the Adjustment
The goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to correct the spinal subluxations detected during an examination. To do that, the doctor applies pressure to the bone and “unlocks” it from its improper position. The bone will then be free to align itself correctly.
Many people think that the chiropractor forces a vertebra back into its “proper” place. But only the individual’s own Innate Intelligence knows for sure what the proper place for each bone is. The role of the chiropractor is to free up the vertebrae. Then, the body can do its job and put them back in the correct position.
Unfortunately, the muscles connected to subluxated vertebrae get used to their positions and have a tendency to pull the bone back out of place. It may take several adjustments before the adjustment “holds” and the bone settles into its proper alignment.
Children and Chiropractic
The Nervous System is the first system to develop in your growing child’s body. It controls, influences and coordinates everything in your child’s body. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The nerves that come out of your child’s spinal cord sends messages to and from the brain to every organ and tissue in the body. A subluxation in a child is when one or more bones in the spine are misaligned or not moving properly which can cause interference or irritation to the nerves(1). Subluxations can change the message the brain is sending to your child’s body. Chiropractic adjusting can help your child have proper growth and development by keeping the communication from the brain to the body and the body to the brain working properly.
A normal birth process may be stressful on the mother and baby. Birth may be the time your child’s first subluxation occurs. Regular Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for the mom and the baby. Having a newborn baby assessed after birth can ensure that there are no spinal misalignments from the birthing process. Studies have shown that in infants that have trouble with breastfeeding, over 80% had misalignments in their cervical spine(2). Chiropractic for infants and young children involves gentle fingertip and low force adjustments to correct the biomechanics of your child’s spine. The mission at Absolute Chiropractic Wellness Centre is to educate parents on how their children can live a healthier life with Chiropractic.
Chiropractic allows your body to work its best naturally from the inside out. As parents we need to be vigilant and be on the lookout for signs and activities that may be leading to misalignments and subluxations in our children. With infants it could be something as simple as only turning their head to one side or having trouble with breastfeeding. In school aged children an overloaded backpack could lead to imbalances in the spine. Physical activities and sports can involve a lot of falls which can lead to increased stress on the spine. If you feel your child may be showing signs of misalignments or is involved in activities that may lead to subluxations then have them checked to ensure their spine is functioning properly.
Children are our future! Give them the opportunity to be their best with Chiropractic!
Subluxations develop from stress. There are three types of stress that we are under every day, Physical, Chemical and Mental. Physical stressors include injuries, accidents and falls. Chemical stressors include pollutants in our environment, ingredients in our food and other items we put into our bodies. Mental stressors can come from arguments, work, family and financial concerns. Each type of stress has the same effect on the body which can decrease the effectiveness of the nervous system.
Having an Adjustment does not hurt. A patient may experience some areas of the spine or muscles around the spine that are tender while the doctor is performing their assessment but the adjustment does not cause pain. Both Dr. Ramos and Dr. Pye use low force techniques which are more comfortable for the patient.
The noise that is heard sometimes during the adjustments is a release of built up gasses from the joint due to improper motion.
A patient does not have to go back to chiropractor once they have had treatment and have had relief from their symptoms. Many patients choose to continue to see a chiropractor on a maintenance program to make sure that their nervous system is working properly. A Chiropractor maintains the spine like a Dentist maintains your teeth. Some patients decided to stop care once their pain has subsided and choose to come back if their pain comes back. Either option is welcomed and completely up to the patient. People who do choose to continue on a maintenance program tend to notice more benefits from the regular adjustments. Many articles have been published showing how individuals under chiropractic care tend to have fewer illnesses, miss less work due to sickness, and also tend to recover quicker from an injury because their spinal health is regularly checked.
From the mid 1990’s to the mid 2000’s a correlation developed between individuals under chiropractic care and suffering a Vertebral Artery Dissection. Since 2005 many studies have been published that have disproven this correlation. One such study by David Cassidy DC, PhD, DrMedSc looked at all of the individuals who suffered a vertebral artery dissection from 1993 to 2002 in Ontario. He found there was no difference in seeing a Medical Doctor or a Doctor of Chiropractic and the incidence of suffering this type of stroke. What was found was that individuals who had this type of stroke in progress suffered from neck pain and headaches. To get relief they would visit their MD’s and DC’s for help. Both profession misdiagnosed the stroke. Medical Doctors would perscribe medications for the pain while Chiropractors would perform adjustments and hence was where the correlation began. The likelihood of a chiropractic adjustment causing a stroke is 1 in 5.85 million adjustments.
In our office we look for certian symptoms, perform test and ask anyone with a headache or neck pain certian questions to rule out the possibility of a Vertebrobasilar Artery Insufficiency which can lead to a stroke. If you have a headache with neck pain and also have nausea, dizziness, double vision or vision problems, sudden numbness/weakness of the face, arm or leg on one side of your body, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, or involuntary rapid eye movements get to an emergency room immediately!
By using the Activator Instrument in our office for neck adjusting we can reduce the chance of a stroke even more. By eliminating any twisting or bending of the neck, and the rest of the body for that matter, less stress is put on the other structures of the spine (muscles, ligaments, arteries). This reduces the chance of tightening up or guarding against the adjustment and reduces the chance of any strain of the spinal structures.
Chiropractic care is extremely safe for people of all ages. From a newborn to a senior, Chiropractic is a safe alternative method to stay healthy. Children especially should see a Chiropractor to help eliminate any underlying issues received through a difficult birth, a major fall, or sporting injury from causing trouble later in their life. Everything that happens to you through your life stays with you unless properly addressed. So a minor fender bender as a teenager my cause you chronic neck or back pain as an adult. Chiropractic has also had great success in helping children with bed wetting, asthma, colic and many, many more. Consider having your child assessed today!
Please see www.icpa4kids.org for more information on Chiropractic and Children.