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  • Chiropractic 101

  • In this blog I’ll talk about chiropractic; how it works, myths and ways to use it to help you reach your goals.

    What is Chiropractic?

    Your body has a miraculous ability to heal itself! Chiropractic unlocks this innate ability within us all, removing any interference to it. Chiropractic is completely natural, nothing gets added to or taken away from what you already possess. It’s excellent for pain relief, increasing performance and improving your overall health. Chiropractic focuses on the spine because of the relationship it has with your nervous system (NS). Your NS controls everything that goes on in your body such as all your cellular, tissue and organ functions. When your spine isn’t aligned or moving properly it can cause your NS and body to malfunction (1). This is because your delicate NS travels through your spine and the two are right next to one another.

    These spinal regions that are misaligned or not moving properly are called subluxations. Subluxations interference with the normal functioning of the NS and our they alter our biomechanics causing spinal wear. Chiropractic is a science, philosophy and art focused on locating and correcting these subluxations with gentle adjustments. Adjustments are typically done by hand but special tables or hand-held instruments can also be used.

    After people’s first adjustment it is common to feel better but being sore is a possibly. This soreness is similar to how it can feel after exercise if you haven’t done it for a while. Your chiropractor and you are a team so make sure you communicate with them. For instance, let them know how things are going, if new or old problems pop up (this is can happen) and if you prefer or dislike certain treatments.

    Subluxations are usually caused by traumas earlier in life, such as falls, accidents or even babies during the birthing process. Most of the time subluxations do not cause symptoms; they are silent, until we aggravate them with different forms of stress. Stress can be broken down into three types, physical, chemical or emotional. Examples of physical stress are poor posture (slouching), repetitive strain, inactivity or trauma. Chemical stress can come from a poor diet, drugs, chemicals, additives or pollutants. Mental stress can be from a lack of sleep, being or feeling overloaded or from emotionally traumatic events such as divorce, job loss, relationship struggles and more. Anyone can be subluxated from newborns to elderly even if you don’t currently have symptoms!

    Chiropractic Myths

    There are a few common myths about chiropractic that I wanted to address.

    • The first is that chiropractors crack or crunch bones. This is obviously not true! That cracking sound is not from bones breaking, it’s from gas being released within the joint. It’s the same sound as someone cracking their knuckles.
    • This leads me into another one, and it’s that cracking your knuckles or getting chiropractic adjustments causes arthritis. Neither is true. Cracking your knuckles is harmless and has no side effects even if the sound is gross to some. In fact, chiropractic is ideal for spinal arthritis and being aligned actually helps prevent it (2)!
    • Another common myth about chiropractic is that once you go, you have to go forever. Nothing could be further from the truth! Chiropractic is not addictive (unless you consider being healthier addictive) and doesn’t make your spine ‘loose’ or dependant on future adjustments.

    I strongly recommend avoiding cracking your back or neck. People crack their own backs or necks because they feel like they need it and it gives them a very brief period of relief. Instead seek out professional help. Chiropractors go to school for a long time and continually take courses and seminars as new information and research emerges. The feeling of needing to crack your back will go away as your alignment improves. It would be great if we could adjust our own spines! In my personal and professional experience, people who crack their own backs have health and alignment issues. If however you hear cracking sounds when you stretch it’s okay and not the same thing.

    Three Ways to Use Chiropractic

    1. People usually first come to us because they are suffering with a symptom that’s interfering with their life. Once a thorough history and exam are done, we’ll let you know if we can help and what we recommend. Our goal is to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. Research and clinical evidence have shown us that the more frequently you can see a chiropractor when you’re symptomatic, the faster you are likely to feel better. This is because adjustments build on each other and help start the momentum needed to heal. If what we suggested doesn’t work for you let us know, and we will find something that fits. If you are fearful about getting your neck ‘cracked’ or simply don’t like the sound it makes just let us know and we’ll make sure not to do that or use an alternate method.
    2. Once people feel better the problem that caused the symptoms (pain or dysfunction) typically isn’t fixed. The second way to use chiropractic is to get the problem stabilized and fixed. This is when there’s a decision to make. Either get chiropractic care when your symptoms return, or continue care, at a less frequent basis until the problem is fixed.
    3. The last way to use chiropractic is as part of a lifestyle. If you want something to last and perform you need to maintain it. Think of your body as high performance machine that needs regular maintenance to be that way. This is no different to maintaining a car with oil changes, brushing and flossing regularly, exercising and eating well or maintaining a house. Chiropractic is an investment in you and your health. Chiropractic when used this way helps you to be and stay at your best.

    However you choose to use chiropractic we support you and have your back. If questions or concerns arise about your health or chiropractic please call me. I can be reached seven days a week and even after office hours by calling 250-592-5553 (our office number). Many other factors influence health and we’re dedicated to helping you grow into a more whole and balanced person mentally, physically and spiritually. Because when you are in that place of wholeness and balance you feel great and perform at your best! To learn more about health please check out our weekly blogs and videos on our Victoria Family Chiropractic Facebook page, website (www.vfchiro.com) and YouTube channel or attend our awesome Health Optimization Workshops that run from January to June.

    All the best,

    Cale

     

    References:

    1. Bolton, P. JMPT. Reflex effects of vertebral subluxation: The peripheral nervous system. 2000; 23(2).
    2. Lantz, C.A. CRJ. The vertebral subluxation complex. Part 2: The neurophysiological components. 1990; 1(4).