Chiropractors believe that “subluxations” can cause the medical conditions that we experience. They base this on the idea that when our bodies are injured and the structure to our body (spine) it leads to a misalignment that can cause damage how nerve signals are relayed back and forth from the brain. The belief is that when those who practice chiropractic realign the body then the nerve relays can be corrected thus correcting any resultant medical conditions.
Chiropractic theory is that good health is related to proper spinal column position and condition. In 1895 Daniel David Palmer founded Chiropractic practices. He believed that diseases were a result of spinal bones that had become misaligned.
His theory of “subluxations”, these misalignments of the spinal bones is what causes disease when the “nerve energy flow” is interrupted. This flow from brain to all the body cells is interrupted by the spinal misalignment causing disease.
The term “subluxation” is used differently in the medical community from how it is used in the chiropractic community. In the medical community the term means that there is a partial dislocation of a joint structure. In the chiropractic community, “subluxation” refers to more of a metaphysical status of body structure.
The Connection Between Health and Alignment
Health conditions related to the misalignment of the spinal cord include: breathing disorders such as asthma, cramps, headaches, and stomach ailments. There seems to be a pattern to how health ailments occur – the sequence is that first there is a misalignment, then pain is experienced in muscles or body structure, then the nerves, and lastly the person’s energy and health.
The basic chiropractic therapy is to manually adjust what is distorted or misaligned with the body (spine or other skeletal bones). This realignment restores the normal flexibility to spine and joints. This allows for normal positioning of the spine and structure of the body, which in turn relieves stress on the nervous system.
When the nervous system is restored, energy can again flow correctly throughout the body restoring and healing damaged or unhealthy body parts. Tense muscles can contribute to misalignment so most chiropractic therapy involves ultrasound and massage to help relax muscles.
There are certain conditions that chiropractic therapy may help. These conditions are: joint locking, and myofascial pain syndrome (fibromyalgia).
Chiropractors use many instruments including x-rays to determine what misalignments have occurred to the body structures so that proper realignment can take place. Whenever a patient has known symptomatic vertebral disc herniation chiropractic manipulation is contraindicated. Those who have arthritis of the spine must also not be subjected to chiropractic manipulation.
Tips to Verify a Good Chiropractor Therapy is being practiced
Like most professions there can be some who practice unsavory theory. There are some ways to determine the good from the bad.
1. Recommendation from your physician
2. The chiropractor is a member of the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine or the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists
Who to Avoid
1. Those who use scare tactics
2. Any who offer to sell supplements there in their office
3. Have lengthy contracts for clients to sign that promote regular “preventive” adjustments
4. Suggest that they are substitutes for regular visits to your physician or that they can treat medical problems, which are not musculoskeletal in nature