Stress, poor posture, trauma, repetitive work and chemical or emotional imbalances can all take a toll on the body. Many times, these factors can cause misalignments between the bones in the skeletal system. Chiropractors locate these misalignments, or subluxations, and work with you to correct the source of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. Subluxations, if left untreated, can cause impairment to the nervous system, which can result in organs and other tissues throughout the body functioning poorly.
The Vertebral Subluxation Complex
The brain stem and the spinal cord serve as the body’s communication pathways, carrying messages in the form of nerve impulses to and from the brain. These messages control the function and health of nearly every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body. The main pathway is protected by the vertebra, which make up the spinal column. Even a small disturbance of the spine can affect the delicate nerve tissue it protects. When the spinal bones lose their normal position and motion, it is often referred to as Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). VSC can result in impairment of the nervous system. It often causes a chain reaction through other tissues and systems in the body, and frequently lies at the root of many health problems. Your chiropractor’s goal is to detect, reduce and prevent the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
Many Causes of Subluxation
A subluxation can occur at any age, and sometimes the exact cause may be difficult to determine. Some common causes include: falls, improper lifting, car accidents, poor posture, sports injuries, repetitive work or sitting too long, sudden violent movements, lack of exercise, chemical or emotional stress and hereditary factors.
Anyone can suffer the negative effects of a subluxation; it is important to get treatment as soon as possible to reduce the negative effects.
Chiropractors treat subluxations by performing an adjustment. This will consist of the doctor applying a precisely directed force to a joint that has “locked up,” or is not moving properly. The correct force will restore normal motion to the joint, allowing the affected bones to gradually return to their proper position. In turn, the body becomes more able to function as it should. Chiropractic is a safe, natural approach to removing interferences from the spinal and nervous systems, which can improve overall health.
There are different techniques for adjustments. Most times, either the doctor’s hands or a specially designed instrument will provide a quick, therapeutic thrust to the affected joint. Some adjustments may require a slow, constant pressure to be effective. Each patient’s unique spinal problem will be evaluated by the doctor, and based on years of training and experience; an individual program of care will be created for the patient.
As your symptoms clear, you will naturally begin to feel better. You may be tempted to believe that you have completed your recovery, and that you do not need to continue your treatment program. Research has indicated that ligaments and discs heal very slowly, because they have a very poor blood supply. Additionally, muscles damaged by nervous system interference may have formed fibrotic scar tissue, which decreases natural elasticity. Frequently, a program of physical therapy will be implemented by the doctor. Massage, exercises, stretching and rehabilitation can all help speed up the healing process. Discontinuing treatment early will not only delay full recovery, it may lead to a relapse of the original problem.
Your chiropractor will continue to monitor the progress of your healing process. Following through with your treatment plan and making lifestyle changes suggested by your doctor will assure you a more lasting recovery, and feeling your best physically will carry over to other aspects of your life. Many doctors encourage regular chiropractic checkups to maintain optimum health, and regular patients often report higher energy levels and better concentration than they had experienced prior to seeking chiropractic treatment.