You know I have been practicing now for over 15 years and still to this day a lot of people come in not knowing very much about what it is a chiropractor actually does. Which amazes me that they still come in! But if you are in that much pain and have exhausted every other option, you’ll do and try anything I guess.
I must also say that some of responsibility rests with the profession itself which has always had trouble expressing clearly what it is that we do. Or more correctly have tried to mould chiropractic concepts to a public they fear might not be so welcoming.
So let me have a go at it…
I’m going to give you MY five basic principles of what chiropractic is and what chiropractors do. Remember this is my opinion; formed after many years of clinical practice. Hopefully it will help my patients by giving them a succinct (I’m not known for being succinct) written tool to express to their mates and family what it is I do for them and the general public that have not seen a chiropractor before.
1. Chiropractors are spine specialists; although that isn’t all we do.
In Australia we study for 5 years, completing two degrees. There isn’t another profession that knows the spine like we do. It’s make up, how it works and what happens when it stops working properly. If your back or neck is giving you pain or discomfort, why would you see anyone else.
But more broadly chiropractors are trained “joint” specialists. We know and treat Joint dysfunction anywhere in the body. I myself am a sports chiropractor and commonly look after shoulders and knees. And no one can do that better than we do!!
And more broadly still – we are musculoskeletal specialist. We know joints, ligaments and muscles.
2. Chiropractic – as proven by countless research papers – is the most effective form of therapy for back & neck pain.
One of my colleagues website has a great page with a host of research articles for those who like a read
But to sum it up; chiropractic adjustments aid in restoring correct motion to joints. By doing so, this affects the joint, local pain receptors, surrounding musculature and ligaments which quickly restores lost function and reduces pain.
3. Chiropractic restores correct nervous system function. What does that mean??
A simple example to explain; when you cross your leg for too long, your lower leg can get pins and needles and even can go numb. Why? because you have mechanically compressed the nerve at the back of your knee so it cannot transmit correctly anymore. This is exactly what happens in the spine when the spine isn’t functioning correctly. If you have a disc injury in your lower back, you will more than likely suffer from pain in the leg and or loss of function in the leg for this very same reason. Cerviogenic headaches are another example. headaches that arise from the neck are caused in part by nerve compression at C1 and C2.
But this can happen on a more insidious level and one that most people won’t attribute to their spine…..that is until they get adjusted! Often patients will come in and as a secondary complaint they will suffer from reflux/hearburn for example. Now even though I am not treating them for this at all, they inevitably will tell me after a period of treatment that their reflux/heartburn has improved. By restoring correct function to the spine the brain-body connection is enhanced and the brain can do its job in better regulating bodily functions.
4. Chiropractic is great are altering the structural alignment of the skeleton – the underlying cause of most musculoskeletal injuries.
If you have a rotated pelvis due to a pervious fall, which inevitably results in asymmetrical muscles length, joint usage and weight distribution, why are you surprised when you strain your hamstring at soccer training? The same hamstring you always strain. Or if you have a mild scoliosis resulting in a small twist in the ribcage, why are you surprised when you can’t do pressing movements at the gym evenly and always strain the same shoulder over and over again?
Having the spine and skeleton properly assessed and treated helps people not only overcome chronic nagging injures, but its awesome at AVOIDING injuries.
5. Chiropractic is simple and effective.
It just is.
A simple quick adjustment to the function of a joint creates profound change to the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It gets rid of pain so quickly, and restores lost function so simply that there is literally nothing like it.
I hope this helps guys.