What is Chiropractic?
'Chiropractic' comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning 'done by hand'. Today, the World Federation of Chiropractic defines Chiropractic as: 'A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health'.
By restoring normal function to the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic can play a major part in relieving disorders, and any accompanying pain or discomfort. This can arise from accidents, stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, illness and everyday wear and tear that can happen to all of us.
Here at New Smyrna Spine & Injury Center, Dr. Donald Walsh DC takes a biopsychosocial approach to your health and well-being. What this means is that Dr. Walsh considers your symptoms in the context of your full medical history, your lifestyle and your personal circumstances, in order to help you to manage your problem and prevent it from recurring.
What is Chiropractic based on?
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your nervous system controls the function of virtually every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. While your brain is protected by the skull, your spinal cord, covered by 24 moving vertebrae, is more vulnerable. When these bones lose their normal motion or position (which may be caused by factors such as accidents, poor diet, repetitive strain, lack of exercise, poor posture and anxiety), they can irritate the spinal cord and the nerves branching out of it. This spinal nerve stress can lead to the symptoms of discomfort, pain and even disease, which are a warning that your body is not functioning properly.
Also, this can disrupt the function of the tissues or organs that these nerves control. Depending on where the nerve irritation has occurred in your spine, your symptoms may include the following:
- headaches or migraine
- neck pain
- back pain
- chest or abdominal pain
- shoulder, arm, wrist and hand pain
- leg, knee, ankle and foot pain
This is because the irritation of a nerve in one area can sometimes lead to pain (known as 'referred' pain) in other parts of your body. Chiropractic locates these areas of spinal malfunction and corrects them to allow your body to heal itself (it's the same as your body's ability to heal bruises, cuts and broken bones). As we all know, regardless of which type of doctor you consult, only the body can heal itself.
Chiropractors use their hands to specifically adjust the joints of your spine and limbs where signs of restriction in movement are found, improving mobility and relieving pain. This treatment is known as an 'adjustment' or 'manipulation'. Also, by manipulating joints, chiropractors stimulate the proprioceptors - your body's position sensors which provide feedback to your brain on where the joint is in relation to the rest of your body. This stimulation improves the way your nervous system works.
What do Chiropractors do?
Chiropractors take a holistic approach which includes identifying and correcting the causes of the patient's health ailment.
Chiropractors believe that correcting the cause of the problem provides significant long-term benefits over only treating the symptoms.
Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or use surgical procedures. When some techniques are used, there is a pop or click heard. This is completely normal and is the sound of gas escaping from the joint. If you are not comfortable with this, just tell your chiropractor who will use a different, but just as effective, alternative technique.
Who is Chiropractic for?
Chiropractic treatment is suitable for everyone, including newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women and sports enthusiasts. Once you are better, your chiropractor will help you to maintain your own health, and keep your body working as it should. They will do this by offering exercise and lifestyle advice for you to follow in the future.
Today's chiropractors help many tens of thousands of patients each week for a wide variety of conditions. They support their treatment with advice about their patients' work, diet, exercise, and lifestyle for them to follow in the future.