Chiropractic medicine is an alternative approach to health care.
Migraines? lower back pain? neck pain Acid reflux or constipation? There is only one possible solution to all of these common problems: chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care is a specialty in spine health and focuses on the well-being of the spine. People often associate a visit to a chiropractor with typical complaints of neck and back pain, and while chiropractors are trained to help patients get relief from these conditions, a chiropractor can do so much more.
“What it’s really about is allowing people to function at a better level from the inside out, without drugs or surgery,” says Dr. Arminta Phelps of Achieve Balance Chiropractic. “Chiropractic focuses on the central nervous system, making sure that your brain and body communicate the way they need to so you can cope with the stresses in your life more effectively.”
The nervous system is connected to everything in the body, says Dr. Ashley Emile of Compass Chiropractic & Wellness. Nerve pathways run through the spine and between the vertebrae, and pressure or rotation in an area of the spine can interfere with the functions that area controls, says Ashley.
“Removing those intrusions can help everything work at its best,” says Ashley. “Keeping the pressure off the nerves keeps everything running at top level.”
Why take care of chiropractic?
People choose to see a chiropractor for several reasons. Some suffer an injury or have been in an accident, others suffer from chronic health problems, others suffer from migraines or chronic headaches, and some seek relief from lower back pain or discomfort. Some want to correct a specific problem, and some want to develop or improve their general health or preserve their joints.
“Adapting to healthcare is about keeping your body in the optimal position where you won’t be prone to accidents or problems later on,” says Ashley. “The ultimate goal for most people when they come in is to fix the problem and then preserve the body in hopes of not re-affecting themselves or developing a chronic problem later on.”
When the nervous system works as it should, Armenta says, patients can also experience fewer colds and more robust immune function. Because each patient has different needs, goals, and circumstances, each new patient is evaluated so that a plan of care can be tailored to suit them.
“When patients come in, they’ll sit down with one of our doctors and go through a series of questions about their medical history,” Armenta says. We perform a spine examination in addition to X-rays and other tests to determine function. Then we have different recommendations based on how severely injured or broken that person is.”
There are a variety of chiropractic techniques, and they usually vary by practitioner. Some use a pulldown table, while others use a tool called an activator or use various manual techniques specific to their training. Ashley says some patients are looking for a practitioner for a specific technique, while others are looking for a practitioner who specializes in a specific specialty, such as sports medicine, pregnant women, or infants.
Chiropractic care for mothers and children
Both Ashley and Arminta take care of pregnant women as well as babies as young as a day old. Contrary to what some might think, women can, in fact, have a chiropractic adjustment while they are pregnant.
“I see a lot of women who come for pregnancy care to stay nice and healthy through labor and delivery,” says Armenta. “It makes it easier to recover after pregnancy and childbirth.”
Chiropractic care can also reduce the length of labor and facilitate delivery, Ashley says.
Chiropractic care has many benefits for children and infants as well, although the techniques used for children are different than for adults. When it comes to babies, Armenta says chiropractic care can lead to fewer ear infections, less colic, and can even help relieve digestive issues.
A different approach to healthcare
Many people don’t realize that chiropractic can be used as an alternative to a primary health practitioner. Those who use chiropractic instead of traditional Western medicine approach their health from a different perspective, Armenta says.
“We usually think of looking after health from the outside in, rather than the inside out,” says Armenta. “A lot of health care in our world is reactive, making it patient care rather than health care. We’re changing the conversation to be proactive and keep the system healthy so it doesn’t get sick. It’s a different way and mindset.”
Armenta cites a study from the Journal of Immunotherapy and Physiology, which followed 75,000 individuals over seven years. Those who were under a chiropractor’s care during that time had 60 percent fewer hospitalizations, 85 percent fewer medication costs, 62 percent fewer outpatient surgeries, and 59 percent fewer hospital days than those without chiropractic. spine.
At the same time, chiropractors can do the work alongside other healthcare professionals to meet the patient’s needs.
“We might offer a referral to a physical therapist or a doctor for muscle relaxants,” Ashley says. “We are great at working with other providers.”
While Ashley says chiropractic care is great for anyone of any age, there are some medical conditions and situations that one should be wary of.
“Chiropractic should not be used in the area where you had a spinal fusion because you can’t adjust that in that area,” says Ashley. There are some genetic disorders or certain injuries for which chiropractic treatment may not be helpful. You may need something else first, and then you may be able to go back to the chiropractor.”