What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the healing art concerned with the structure and function of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractors spend a minimum of 7 years in post secondary training with the final 4 years of training spent at an accredited Chiropractic College of which there are 2 in Canada. Training is focused on the biological health sciences, the chiropractic sciences and a year is spent in a clinical internship. Upon completion of their arduous training Chiropractors are experts in the diagnosis and management of spinal conditions and their manifestations.
What are Subluxations?
A "subluxation" is a misalignment of a vertebra. The vertebrae make up the boney structure of the spine enclosing and protecting the spinal cord. These misalignments can irritate and in some cases actually put pressure on the nerves that exit the spinal cord on their way to the various tissues of the body. They can also tension the spinal cord further compromising the body's nerve supply. Left unchecked, subluxations may lead to pain, loss of vitality and even illness.
What Causes Subluxations?
Subluxations are caused by the everyday stresses that the body is subjected to. Whether it's improper lifting, poor posture, repetitive and/or sustained motions (including sitting at a desk), excessive physical activity, trauma, dietary toxins, environmental toxins, alcohol, emotional stress, spiritual disconnect, or a combination of these, stress accumulates over time subtly affecting the flow of energy through the body, stressing it's systems and eventually your health.
How are Subluxations Corrected?
Spinal misalignment's are corrected by the administration of precise manual adjustments to your spine. These adjustments should be performed by a Chiropractor who has received extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of subluxations. Adjustments are gentle and can be applied by hand or with specialized instruments called "Activators". It is important that the right adjustment is applied to the right vertebrae to receive the maximum therapeutic benefit. In addition to adjusting a subluxation the underlying stresses that led to the subluxation must be addressed. This "Lifestyle Medicine" involves an analysis of your physical activities, your environmental exposures, your diet and your emotional health and making any necessary changes to optimize your health. Soft tissue therapy such as "Active Release Technique" and/or Massage Therapy also plays an important role in addressing the spinal misalignments that are affecting your health and vitality.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
Chiropractic adjustments are drug-free and non-invasive. As such it is a low risk therapy. Complications arising from an adjustment are rare.
What About Neck Adjustments?
Millions of cervical (neck) adjustments are performed safely and effectively in Canada every year. The most recent research into the rare cases of stroke found that patients who visit a Chiropractor are no more likely to experience a stroke than those patients who visit their Family Physician. The study concludes that this particular type of stroke is extremely rare, has been known to occur spontaneously (that is it would happen regardless of where you are) and commonly begins with neck pain and/or headache which is what causes the individual to seek Chiropractic or Medical care before the stroke fully develops. Research continues to better understand why in very rare cases certain people are susceptible to these strokes when the majority of the population is not.
Once I Start Getting Adjusted Do I Have to Keep Coming?
For many people that begin Chiropractic Care the condition has been silently progressing for months or even years. Symptoms do not usually appear until the body can no longer compensate. Once you begin Chiropractic Care your body can begin to heal the injured tissues that are creating your discomfort. The speed of healing is very individual and depends on a number of factors including; how long the condition has been occurring, the physical stresses that your body is under, your diet, your environment, your emotional state and your commitment to the healing process. Quoting Einstein if you are "doing the same thing and expecting different results" healing will be slow. How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic Care is ultimately up to you keeping in mind that the resolution of symptoms does not necessarily mean the resolution of the underlying cause of those symptoms.