Chiropractic is the treatment of muscle and joint dysfunction, which can impact how your body perceives and interprets pain, as well as your overall mechanics. The cause of your pain will be determined through appropriate testing, and if your pain is a result of muscle/joint dysfunction, then chiropractic can help!
Did you know that the American College of Physicians recommended conservative care prior to more invasive treatment options regarding low back pain? Check out the link below to read their literature and review on the topic.
Have you ever smashed your thumb, or shut one of your fingers in the car door? Besides verbally expressing your frustration, what is one of the first things that you instinctively did? I’m going to guess that you shook your hand about or grabbed it as to put pressure on it. This is called the Pain Gate Theory. This theory works on the basis of utilizing non-painful input to alter the sensation of pain, either through movement or other input (pressure). The same theory applies to minor burns, or “walking it off”.
Imagine if you will, just two receptors for the sake of simplicity. Those two receptors are pain receptors and movement receptors. Anatomically, they reside very close to one another on the same tract within the nervous system, They are responsible for communicating messages to and from the central nervous system to the periphery in regards to their respective descriptions, pain and movement. Activating one, can inhibit the other, but it is often multifactorial (i.e. mechanism of injury, severity of injury, duration of injury, chemical input, visceral input, etc.).
Now think about the mechanism of the chiropractic adjustment. The primary purpose is to induce, restore, and maintain movement in areas or joints that are restricted in motion mechanically. The results are also multifactorial, and often patient by patient dependent for aforementioned reasons. So if you’ve ever wondered if we just “pop and pray” that pain will go away, rest assured that there is indeed a method to the madness.
Absolutely not! It's a statistical, not a causal (cause and effect) relationship. Strokes can be the result of an occlusion in an artery that dislodges and travels throughout the arteries of the brain and become lodged once again. Chiropractic adjustments don't result in the formation of a thrombus, which is responsible for occluding an artery, rather it forms and secondary symptoms manifest that might result in an individual seeking out a chiropractor for relief. One of the primary symptoms of an artery dissection is neck pain, usually accompanied by a combination of neurological symptoms, including the worst headache you've ever experienced, double vision, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, drop attacks, nausea, facial numbness, and/or the inability to complete facial expressions. Therefore, somebody may seek out treatment from a chiropractor to remedy their symptoms, and if the warnings signs are either unapparent or missed, a chiropractic adjustment could result in dislodging the thrombus, but so could any other particularly unassuming neck movement. A thorough examination will determine whether your symptoms are related muscle and joint dysfunction, or something else entirely, warranting immediate referral.
To put your mind at ease, neck adjustments don't cause any more strain on the muscles or arteries than simply turning your head yourself one way or the other. Statistically speaking, you have better odds of hitting the lottery than suffering a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment.
Absolutely not! After establishing your diagnosis, I'll have a treatment plan that we'll review together that will consist of the frequency of care warranted, as well specific exercises and postural alterations unique to you! Everybody is different, and injuries are often multifactorial, where severity, mechanism of injury, length of injury, chemical input, and visceral input, etc. often impact the amount of care required to maximally reduce pain and restore proper movement.
Ultimately, it's your choice whether you want to come once, for the duration of your treatment plan, or with whatever frequency you ultimately feel comfortable with.
However, just as you'd want to routinely follow up with your primary care or dentist, you should regularly follow-up with some frequency. You might not notice a cavity until it's too late, and the same can be said for a movement restriction. The body will always follow the path of least resistance, and will only let you know something is wrong once pain and/or impaired movement is present.
Professionally, I recommend a frequency of 1-3mo if you're asymptomatic depending upon the nature of your hobbies, habits, and physical activities.
Recent literary evidence reveals that there's actually a spinal cord connection in those with chronic headaches. In an article that reviewed numerous, recent, research articles, it was revealed that dysfunction in the upper cervical spine (neck) was attributable to cranial pain, i.e. headaches. The 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) discovered that interventions routinely used in chiropractic treatment improved outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain, while increased benefits were proven in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain had been used. Dating further back, a 2011 JMPT study discovered that chiropractic adjustments improved migraine and cervicogenic (originating in the neck) headaches.
Read the link below for more info.
Is chiropractic care during pregnancy safe? Absolutely! To date, there aren’t any known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. In fact, all chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Some chiropractors even take it a step farther and work exclusively in prenatal and postnatal care, which requires additional training. Chiropractors that have been properly trained to work with pregnant women may use specialized tables that adjust for a pregnant woman’s body, and will utilize techniques that avoid unwarranted pressure on the abdomen.
During pregnancy, there are several physiological and hormonal changes that occur in preparation for the proper development of the fetus. Specifically released throughout the body, is a hormone called relaxin. As the name suggests, it produces a relaxing effect on the ligaments associated with the musculoskeletal system, particularly the pelvis, to accommodate lengthening of the cervix. Unfortunately, this can result in joint restrictions and musculoskeletal imbalances such as increased back curvature, postural adaptations, sciatica, and low back/pelvic discomfort, as higher levels of relaxin reduce structural stability.
When the pelvis becomes shifted/restricted, in addition to any pain/discomfort, it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. Moreover, it may also make it difficult for the baby to attain the best possible position for delivery, possibly resulting in what’s called a “Breech.” Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor, often leading to interventions such as C-sections.
It’s considered normal, depending on whom you ask, for a baby to present breech until the third trimester. Most birth practitioners aren’t concerned with breech presentations until a patient is ~37 weeks along. How can chiropractic help? Through proper chiropractic examination and treatment, chiropractors can re-establish balance/proper movement throughout the pelvis, reducing undue stress on the uterus and supporting ligaments. This balanced state in the pelvis has been clinically shown to allow for optimal fetal positioning.
According to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, an 82% success rate was reported, of babies turning head first (vertex) when chiropractic care is utilized. Furthermore, the results from the study suggested that it might be beneficial to receive care as soon as the 8thmonth of pregnancy, when a woman has a breech presentation. Currently, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to establish pelvic balance and optimize the room a baby has for development throughout pregnancy.
With a balanced pelvis, babies have a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the crisis, as well as anxiety associated with breech/posterior presentations, may be avoided altogether. Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor), resulting in easier/safer deliveries for both the mother and baby.
As more women are seeking the benefits of chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy, more healthcare providers are seeking trained doctors of chiropractic in their communities to refer to with confidence they’re making the right choice. Discuss these options with your health care provider. If they’re unfamiliar with chiropractic care and pregnancy, ask them to find out more about its numerous benefits. Most importantly, seek options that support your body’s natural abilities to function and find a team of provider who are mindful of your choices/preferences.