MisunderstoodA chiropractic doctor is probably one of the most misunderstood healthcare practitioners in the medical profession. Through the years they have been looked at askance by doubters who are full of suspicion. In times past, they have been called quacks, or worse. This is due, in part, to the public's narrow and limited view of medical treatment - being that solely of administering prescription drugs and performing surgery. It's unfortunate that the majority of people believe this is all there is to health care. There truth is there is more to health care than drugs and surgery! A great deal more!Sad to say, but even some chiropractic patients haven't a real clear understanding of what chiropractic is. And for those who have never been to a chiropractor, most are totally misinformed as to the make up of the profession. The fact is chiropractic is the largest drug-free form of health care and the third largest form of any health care in North America. What is Chiropractic?The word "chiropractic" is a blending of the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and means "done by hand." Chiropractic is an alternative medical system in that the practitioner takes a different approach from conventional medicine in diagnosing, classifying, and treating medical problems.Essentially, chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body's structure - primarily that of the spine - and the body's function. Doctors of chiropractic use hands-on therapy called manipulation (or adjustment) as their core procedure.Comparable to an MD? So is the training of a chiropractor as rigorous as that of a medical doctor? The answer is a resounding, yes. Today's doctor of chiropractic receives an extensive educational background beginning with three years of pre-chiropractic study. From there they advance into a four-year course of study. A student of chiropractic spends as many hours in the study of human physiology as that of a medical doctor. Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.The difference between the education of an MD and that of a chiropractor lies in the fact that an MD trains in pharmacology and surgical procedures and chiropractor trains in the care of the spine.Worth the Cost?Some will assert that it costs too much to go to the chiropractor. However, the opposite is true. The fact is that oftentimes when a person is treated by a chiropractic doctor for one certain symptom, the adjustments (treatments) result in a higher level of overall health and well being. This leads to cutting back on prescription drugs, preventing the need for surgery, and slowing down the aging process. Those who benefit from chiropractic treatments look at it as an important part of their ongoing health maintenance, similar to that of regular exercise or visiting their local health spa. They now know the difference - how they felt before chiropractic treatments and how much better they feel now. A survey of patients of chiropractors in an independent physicians' association found that, when asked if they would recommend their Doctor of Chiropractic to others, 95.5% of the patients said "yes." 1A chiropractor is a whole health practitioner who is concerned not just about your symptoms, but your overall state of well being. What your doctor of chiropractic can offer, no other doctor can. Have no doubt that a chiropractor is well trained to assist you reach your own personal optimal health. 1 http://www.neffchiro.com/research.htm CLA Insight
Personality Traits of a Great Chiropractor
CLA Insight Let's use the term 'subluxation.' Subluxations occur when vertebrae in the spine become misaligned or move out of place. When an individual vertebra moves out of its proper position, it can press on the nerves that pass from the spinal column out through the space either above or below it. Because nerves carry messages between your brain and your body at lightning speed (think about how fast you move your hand when you touch something hot), nerve interference caused by a spinal misalignment can cause the body to malfunction.Simply put, subluxations interrupt normal nerve function, causing a breakdown in the body's communication center, the central nervous system. How do subluxations occur? There are three main causes:o Physical causes, such as a car accident, a slip or fall, a sports injury, repetitive movements, such as lifting all day on a job, improper sleeping positions, inadequate sleep and bad posture.o Emotional causes, such as grief over the death of a loved one, anger and other negative emotions that cause too much stress in your body and result in damage to your body's immune system.o Chemical causes, that result from improper nutrition (fast food), smoking, alcohol and substance abuse and toxins in your external environment, food and water.Chiropractors receive special training to adjust the spine, which moves the misplaced vertebrae back into their proper position. It may take time for your body to "hold" an adjustment and for the vertebrae and the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tissue to [recognize] the new position as being "normal." However, once the subluxation is corrected, the nervous system becomes fully functional again, allowing your body to heal. The biggest problem with subluxations is the fact that you often don't even know that you have one until you experience symptoms, such as pain or a breakdown in the functioning of a major organ, and then it might be too late.Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments keeps your nervous system in prime working order, much the same as receiving regular dental care keeps your teeth and gums healthy. If you have any questions about subluxations or the effects that they can have on your health, please be sure to ask us at your next visit.What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. The word "subluxation" comes from the Latin words meaning "somewhat or slight" (sub) and "to dislocate" (luxate). So the term 'vertebral subluxation' literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine.When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a "crack." The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible "cracking" does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important. The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed and the information flowing, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurence is just as important as the initial remedy.There are actually five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).Bone Component-where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration. This frequently leads to a narrowin of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself. Nervous Component-is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted. The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally. Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.Muscular Component-since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. A subluxation can irritate a nerve, the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and you have a vicious cycle. It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.Soft Tissue Component-the VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force. Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction. Chemical Component-is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC. Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called "kinins," are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area.These changes get progressively worse over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement, as well as muscle weakness and spasm. Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxation have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.
What is Subluxation?
CLA Insight Chiropractic care is sometimes connected with several risks and advantages. The reality is, it is proven to be effective by thousands of people internationally. Doctors actually recommend that alternative therapy before patients resort to bigger measures like surgery or long term medicine use. Here are some of the known risks and advantages.Chiropractics is Science-BasedChiropractors are in reality very qualified experts who have undergone both undergraduate and postgraduate studies to achieve their title. There are National and State Board Examinations as well, to make sure that practitioners only ever use the highest levels of techniques and applications that ensure patient wellness. The science of chiropractic enhances the association between the spine and nervous system, so bodily processes are improved significantly.Chiropractors apply several techniques that correct vertebral subluxations. The procedure becomes very secure and efficient because professionals are able to locate, initiate, control and manage the various functions of cells and body systems by improving the flow of energy. Chiropractic care is viewed a holistic approach, but science-based. Safer than Other RemediesAs a holistic sort of treatment, chiropractic care is by and large safer than other treatments because patients do not have to undergo surgery or be placed in a sedated state to get results. As an alternative type of remedy, most doctors suggest that people try the methods first before resorting to surgery or long term drug use. You can anticipate to pay less when investing in chiropractics.The type of remedy is also safer with low risk for complications when used by qualified professionals. Chiropractics apply non-surgical, natural and drug-free methods to enhance the body's natural power to recovery and improve. Treatment courses can be very short if the patient responds positively. You may see that chiropractics can continue maintaining optimum level of health for the long term. Patients who have recovered fully may continue visiting the chiropractor's clinic for relaxation.Knowing the RisksThe risks begin primarily if you count on somebody that does not truly have a background in chiropractics. Make certain you make a background check first on who will be rendering services by reviewing the professional license, asking for patient referrals and determining if the individual truly is registered in your state. Check the rates as well, so that you avoid paying exorbitant fees. You can avail of packages, dependent on your condition to make sure that you will simply be paying the amount that was initially given to you.Some Problems In some situations, there are likewise possible complications like neck or spine injuries owing to wrong maneuvering of the joints. Some patients may find the therapy very painful in the beginning, while others may not receive any benefit at all from the approaches.The chance of injury from treatment is reduced. Prior to any procedure is done, medical diagnostics is virtually always required by qualified professionals, so that they can accurately determine the origin of the problem and correct the joints efficiently.Some physicians might even refuse to treat you, if they realize that the patient is very vulnerable to develop problems during or after treatment. Some patients may not react during remedy but suddenly develop problems hours or days after.The proper application of force is extremely important, especially when employing the systems on the elderly, infants, kids and pregnant women.Daily in my interactions with my patients and in the Bellevue community I am asked one simple question over and over. That question is "How do I know if my friends or family need to be seeing a chiropractor?" It's a great question! I have developed 10 tests and questions that can determine if you need to be evaluated by a doctor of chiropractic.1. The Head Turn TestTry turning your head as far as you can to the left and to the right. The first thing that you want to look for is if either of these motions are painful at all. The second thing that you will want to look for in this test is if on one side or the other (either right or left) you can turn further than the other side. Normal range of motion (or being able to turn your head to the right and the left) is being able to turn your nose parallel with your shoulder. Is there pain on these movements or are any of them reduced?(YES) If there is any pain or if one side or the other is unable to turn as far as the other side this can be a possible sign that there is something wrong in the bones of the neck. From the time that we are born our necks go through a lot of abuse. From the actual birthing process, falling while learning how to walk, to the many injuries that we get through life, the neck is vulnerable to being injured. A Chiropractor would be able to diagnose exactly what the cause o f the pain is or what is causing the reduced range of motion in your neck. Many times when you experience pain or reduced range of motion in your neck this means that either the joints that connect the bones are stuck in place, or that the bones are out of alignment. These problems may lead to headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm and hand pain, and many other more severe problems. Joints that are stuck and bones that are out of place are what chiropractors primarily treat on a daily basis. This is one big sign that you should be seeing a chiropractor.2. The Shoulder Pinch TestHave you ever had someone give you a back rub and felt that your shoulders were very sore? That soreness can be from dysfunction in the bones that those muscles are connected into. Try this...take your pointer finger and your thumb and gently pinch your trapezius muscle (this is your shoulder muscle). Is it sore? If so this may be due to referred pain (pain that comes from a problem somewhere else), or trigger points in the muscle.(YES) This may be due to referred pain (pain that comes from a problem somewhere else), or trigger points in the muscle. There are many times that muscle pain and soreness are due to areas of the spine that are out of place. Because the muscles hook into the bones, when the bones pull out of place they pull on the muscles and create dysfunction. Daily, as a chiropractor I find that when I correct the spinal problem the muscle problem goes away.3. The Stand on One Leg Test Get up out of your chair for the next test to see if you need to be seeing a Chiropractor. Standing up strait close both eyes. Now with your eyes closed try to stand on just one leg for as long as you can. No peaking! Not as easy as it sounds is it? Now try doing the same thing with the other foot. You should have no problem standing on one leg for 20-30 seconds. How did you do?(0-20 seconds)If you had a problem getting to 10 seconds let alone 30 this may be a sign that there is some dysfunction in the joints of your body. Each joint of the body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head has little sensors in them that are linked to the brain. These little sensors tell the brain where the body is at in gravity. Try this little activity to show these joint sensors in action. Close your eyes again...don't worry no more standing on one foot...extend your arm and index finger out to the side as far as you can, and with your eyes closed touch the tip of your nose (yes this is the drunk person test!). The fact that you were able to touch your nose and know where your arm was with your eyes closed shows that the sensors in your elbow and shoulder are working fine. The problem comes when the joints get injured. An injury to any joint of the body, but especially the joints in the low back, pelvis, and legs will disrupt the joint sensors ability to tell you were you are at with your eyes closed. So if you had a hard time standing on one leg for very long, it may mean that your joints are not working as well as they should be. When you go to the Chiropractor they will be able to diagnose the specific joints that are not working and make adjustments to those joints to restore function. Proper function in the joints means your brain can once again communicate with your body!(20-30 seconds) Wow, I am impressed! Amazingly enough many people have a hard time making it to 10 seconds let alone 30! When the joints of the body can not tell the brain where they are at, imbalance occurs. This miscommunication most commonly occurs when the joints are damaged (like a sprained ankle), or if they are in dysfunction (because they are out of place, or stuck in place). Chiropractors help joints heal and work in a proper manner, allowing the joints to communicate with the brain.4. Have You Ever Been in a Car Accident?(YES)If you have been in a car accident of any kind lately you need to be seeing a Chiropractor. Car accidents can, and usually do cause injury to the neck and even the low back that, if left untreated can lead to worse problems in the future and even degeneration of the spine. Recent research suggests that even low impact (or fender benders of even 5MPH) can cause damage to the spine, and especially the bones of the neck. A Chiropractor will evaluate your spine by doing specific tests as well as take x-rays to look for any damage to the bones and motion x-rays to look for any damage to the ligaments (the things holding the bones together), and joints.5. Do You Have Decreased Energy?(Yes) Low energy can be an indication that there is a problem going on in the body. Poor diet, poor sleeping habits, even dehydration can be causes of low energy levels. Another common reason is improper mechanics in the joints of the body and especially the spine that takes a huge toll on the body. The longer that this dysfunction stays in the joints the more likely it is that you will use much more energy to the same activities that before used little to no energy. A chiropractor is able to diagnose poor joint function, correct the problem and allow your body to return to the way that it was meant to function.6. Are You Achy in Morning?(YES) Waking up stiff and achy in the morning is a sign that there is a problem in the joints of the body. When a joint in the body is not working the way it should because it is out of place, it is sprained, or if it is not moving properly, the body will fill that joint up with swelling. This swelling happens the most when you are not moving joint (this is because if you move a joint, some of the swelling is pumped out), and the time you are not moving for the longest period of time is at night when you are sleeping. This is the reason that you may wake up stiff and achy and by the time you get moving around and into the shower you a loosened up a bit more. Many times we have found that if we restore proper function to the joints, by realigning them and getting them moving better, the morning achiness is reduced or goes away entirely.7. Do You Suffer From Headaches?(YES) Headaches can be a horrible thing to suffer from! According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in Atlanta, Georgia, as many as 45 million Americans suffer from severe headaches. Sadly, the number of people being affected by severe headache pain continues to grow each year. There are many types of headaches, but one of the most common types is called a cervicogenic headache. This type of headache actually starts in the neck. When the bones of the neck get out of place it puts a tremendous amount of stress on the nerves, blood vessels, and even the brain. In response to this the body gives you a head ache to let you know that there is something wrong. It is a lot like the oil light in your car. When the oil light comes on in your car it is a warning that the oil is getting low. What do you do when you see this light? You change the oil of course. It is the same thing in the body, when you have a head ache you have to remove the reason for the headache, which many times is a misalignment of the bones of the neck from injury, poor posture, a traumatic birth, or even falls as a child! I have found that when you realign the bones of the spine a huge majority of the time the heads go away or are greatly reduced!8. Does your current job require you to spend long hours sitting or engaging in repetitive motions? (YES) You are not alone! Most of Americans have jobs that keep us in a seated position for most of our days. The problem is that we are not made to sit for extended periods of time. When you sit, especially at the computer you are most likely putting your head, neck, mid back and low back in a very vulnerable position. The longer that you sit the more likely it is that you are creating dysfunction in the neck, mid back, and low back. This dysfunction could be fixations in the joints (the joints getting stuck) or even misalignment's of the bones and joints. These dysfunctions can lead to degeneration and even disturbances in your nervous system. If, at points during your day you feel the need to stretch your neck, or your shoulders are starting to feel "tight" it is important that you are examined by a chiropractor.9. Are you 50 years of age or older and suffering from multiple muscle/joint problems?(Yes) Every day we are alive is a stressor to our bodies. As we grow older the joints and muscles in our bodies tend to weaken and become more vulnerable to these stressors. Proper alignment and movement in the joints is vitally important to weak muscle and joints. If any of the bones or joints are not in proper alignment or are not moving well this can create pain, stiffness, weakness, and instability. It is especially important to the aging body to maintain proper joint function. If you are over the age of 50 and suffering from any joint or muscle problems you need to be seeing a chiropractor.10. Have you suffered an injury (e.g. sprained ankle, pulled muscle, pulled disc, etc.) from which you are still feeling after-effects despite sufficient healing time, medication or other forms of therapy?(Yes) This can be a common experience. When you injure an area of the body many things occur. There is what we call "soft tissue" injuries which is what a sprained ankle, or a muscle tear is. This part of the injury that can be very painful. Many times though this is not all that is wrong. Along with the soft tissue damage, the bones and joints can also be injured. In some cases the bones and joints can even become misaligned. This is very common in the neck (i.e.-whiplash injuries) and the low back (i.e.-lifting injuries). If there is any type of misalignment of the joints this will keep the area from healing completely. This is the reason why an injury can become a nagging injury that continues to give pain long after the time it should have healed. A chiropractor will analyze the injured area and determine if your injury caused any type of misalignment to the joints. If they find that it has then a gentle chiropractic adjustment will help realign the joints.