Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of Chiropractic is known as a “Chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of an adjustment is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. Injured tissues undergo changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Adjustment of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractors are university trained professionals and undertake training for at least five years at a tertiary institution. During the degree there is comprehensive study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics, neurology and clinical science very similar to a medical degree. Additionally, learning the science and the art of manual adjusting technique starts within the first year of the degree. Upon graduation a chiropractor not only has significant scientific knowledge in the above mentioned areas but is specialised in adjusting both the spine and extremities as well as a range of other manual therapies.
An adjustment is the restoration of normal function and motion to a joint. There are different techniques for adjusting the spinal joints or extremities and different techniques may be used depending on the your specific needs as an individual.
When manually adjusting a joint a clicking or popping noise may be heard. This results when the joints are moved slightly apart causing an expansion of nitrogen gas within the joint. The noise is not caused by bones breaking or smacking together.
A chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint within the body to restore function and motion to that particular area. Just “cracking” yourself does not achieve the same outcome and can actually cause more problems within the spine. Only a trained chiropractor can deliver a safe chiropractic adjustment.
Every patient is treated as an individual and treatment is tailored specifically. There a range of different adjusting techniques that can be used to suit everyone’s needs. Keeping your spine healthy and functioning correctly is the priority.
There are two general types of care provided. Relief care focuses on addressing the problems found during the initial consultation and usually involve an intense period of care to reverse the changes seen. Following this most patients will continue to enjoy the benefit of their care if they are maintained correctly and continue to follow the advice given. If you don’t choose to maintain your health most people will eventually fall into old habits or reinjure themselves and so the cycle continues. Maintenance care can reduce the chances of this occurring and keep your spine healthy and functioning correctly. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.