What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. Your nervous system consists of your brain, spinal cord and millions of nerves. While your brain is protected by the skull, your spinal cord is protected by the vertebra – the 24 moveable bones of the spine. Many everyday activities can cause these spinal bones to shift from their normal position.
Improper position or motion of the vertebra can rub, irritate, pinch or choke delicate nerves. This causes pain, can limit range of motion, and also affects tissues, organs and functions controlled by these nerves. Long term malposition of the vertebra can affect the muscles supporting the spine, weakening them, tightening them, or in severe cases, causing muscle atrophy. This is a major cause of muscle pain and spasms anywhere from the neck to the lower back.
Chiropractors are doctors who identify these abnormalities (referred to as subluxations) and are trained to correct them through “adjustments.” Performing an adjustment is an individualized, hands-on process. The patient is positioned on a chiropractic table and the doctor gently manipulates the body to return individual spinal bones to their proper motion and position.
Your doctor has studied many techniques for adjusting and chooses the style that will be most effective for you, taking into account your age, severity of the problem, lifestyle, surgeries, and all the other factors that affect your particular case.
Chiropractic is safe!
Chiropractic adjustments are safer than long term use of NSAIDS and narcotic pain relievers or surgery. This has been demonstrated in dozens of research studies. Despite the high level of safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care there will sometimes be patients who do need to be referred to a surgeon. At Calhoun Chiropractic we never hesitate to recommend the best course of action to you.
Does chiropractic hurt?
Since we are making changes to your body you will feel that change. It is similar to starting a new exercise program – you may feel a little sore, but this feeling quickly dissipates. Many patients experience no discomfort at all, and instead walk out of the office with immediate relief.
When is the right time for chiropractic care?
Ideally, taking care of your spine with chiropractic would start in childhood and continue through old age. That’s because regular adjustments maintain proper alignment of the vertebra, increasing overall function of the muscles and organs and preventing problems before they have an opportunity to develop into a painful condition.
Most people are unfamiliar with the concept of using regular chiropractic care to maintain the health of their spine and only seek treatment when the problem has progressed to the point of pain. If you fall into this category the best time to see us is as soon as you begin to notice that something is “not right.”
Pain and even mild discomfort are signals that subluxation may be taking place. Over time subluxations can affect not just the bones and nerves, but also the discs – the soft padded cartilage between the spinal bones. Subluxations can cause degenerative disc disease, torn discs, bulging discs, ruptured discs, bone spurs, and even spinal fusion.
The worst thing to do is assume back or neck pain will go away by itself. Although you may experience times when your pain lessens, the subluxation is still there and needs to be corrected. For this reason, it’s important to come in as soon as you notice discomfort.
How many treatments will I need?
Adjusting the spine to alleviate pain that has already occurred is not an instant process. Chiropractic care requires a commitment to multiple visits. The number of visits depends entirely on your individual situation and the Doctor’s evaluation.
The doctor’s job is to identify all the areas that need to be addressed, which may extend beyond the source of the pain, and then to use their experience to estimate of the number of treatments you will need. Your treatment plan may shorten or lengthen as the doctor witnesses how well your body responds to adjustments. will be customized to suit your problem.
Ongoing monthly or quarterly appointments will benefit your spine, maintain your results and help prevent further issues.
What can I do to help myself?
Unfortunately you can’t adjust yourself! But you can assist the body’s natural healing ability by learning proper body mechanics – how to sit, lift, stand up, get in and out of a car, etc. We will help educate you on proper movement habits so that you can maintain the benefits of chiropractic between adjustments.
Proper rest is a key factor – sleep is the body’s opportunity to focus on cellular repair, and adequate amounts of sleep will give your body maximum time to perform repairs.
Lastly, proper nutrition is a must. Just like any machinery our bodies are designed to utilize only certain types of raw materials – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy meats. So use this time to cut down on soda, sugar and hidden sugars, fast food, and highly processed packaged foods.
Special note about newborns:
Coming through the birth canal can be tough on a baby’s skeleton. Infants are resilient and “bounce back,” but once mom and baby are ready, a quick trip to the chiropractor is a good idea.
Dr. Calhoun can check your newborn and very gently coax tiny vertebrae into place. Starting your baby out with good spinal alignment can stave off many issues in the future.