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Posted on 06-15-2015

Do you know the answer to that question?  Well, if you don't, you aren't the only one!  I've been going to chiropractors since I was a baby.  Sometimes I take for granted that not everyone understands what chiropractic truly is.  

According to the American Chiropractic Association, Chiropractic is a "healthcare profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health."  Chiropractors are looking for subluxations in your spine.  Don't worry, that word isn't as scary as it sounds!  A subluxation, according to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges,  is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise the neural integrity, and man influence organ system function and general health.".  Basically, any time there is something that causes nerve interference, a chiropractor is trained to find this area and fix it.  
The reason chiropractors usually focus on the spine is because the spine houses the biggest set of nerves in the body.  Every nerve that runs every function in your entire body runs through the spine.  If anywhere along the spine there is any interference (subluxation), that area of the body will not be able to function at it's highest level.  It is then the job of the chiropractor to identify these areas, and then restore proper function by removing the interference (subluxation).

Chiropractors treat these subluxations by adjusting the area where there is interference.  There are over 100 different chiropractic adjusting techniques used throughout the world.  Some of them are what are considered manual techniques.  This is usually what most people think of when they think of chiropractors.  They think of laying on their side, and having the chiropractor "pop" or "crack" their back.  Then, they lay on their back and the chiropractor does the same thing to their neck.  It can be very scary!  While, these techniques have been around for a long time, there are also less stressful techniques that can be used.  There are techniques that use instruments to adjust the spine.  These tend to be very light force, but still get the job done.  Patients do like these techniques because they aren't twisted up, or pushed on, and they still feel great.  

Who need chiropractic care?  In short, everyBODY!!  If you have a spine, you need chiropractic care.  Birth can be a very traumatic event for a baby.  If something is causing a subluxation from day one, there of course will be an issue throughout that person's life.  Most people think that back pain or neck pain happens only to older people.  But just think, we were all born (traumatic event), then we learned to walk (falling down along the way), we probably fell off our bike as a child, and if we ever played sports...of course as adults we have pain!  I'm not saying that chiropractic care will prevent us from ever being hurt, or feeling the pain from an injury, but, if our body is functioning at it's highest capacity when an injury happens, it might be less severe and of a shorter duration.

Back pain and neck pain aren't the only reason people seek chiropractic care.  Ankles, knees, shoulders, wrists, and any other joint can benefit from chiropractic care.  Take an ankle sprain for example; a sprain is when the ligaments are stretch further than normal.  In an ankle, this can pull one of the bones slightly out of place.  If the sprain heals, but the bone is still out of place, the ligament will be constantly stretched too far and the ankle will be more likely to sprain again.  By adjusting the bone back to its normal position, the ligament will heal better, and hopefully prevent further injury.

I know this is a lot to take in.  Please remember that if you ever have any questions about this or any other health related questions, don't hesitate to ask!

~Dr. Stacy

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