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SUBLUXATION BASED CARE
Sometimes, an individual can feel fine, but may not be in optimal health. This is because many symptoms of disease, injury or simply poor physiological functioning take a while to appear. The good news is that, by undergoing preventative chiropractic care, with an emphasis in Subluxation Based Care, the UN chiropractors can often diagnose problems earlier, so treatments are more effective. Likewise, undergoing preventative chiropractic care helps individuals optimize their physiological function, health and overall wellness.
About the Subluxation Based Care Approach
With Subluxation Based Care, the chiropractors treats the mind and body as a whole, and collaborates with the patients' other healthcare and wellness practitioners, for a comprehensive treatment approach. For instance, instead of simply prescribing pain relievers to address a painful symptom, the chiropractor strives to diagnose and treat the root cause of the pain. A Subluxation Based Care understands that the mind, body and spirit are connected and that each component must be functioning well for the body to function well overall.
Chiropractic doctors practice natural, drugless, non-invasive health care and rely on the body's ability to self-heal. Sounds ideal, but just how does it work?
We look at the whole picture
Like other health-care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. We consult, review the case history, conduct a physical examination, and we may request laboratory analyses and/or x-rays. Unlike other health-care providers, however, chiropractic physicians also conduct a careful analysis of the patient's structure and pay particular attention to the spine. We also ask you about your life- Do you eat well? Exercise at all? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on.
We seek the origin of the problem
Using this information, a diagnosis is made. Included in the diagnosis is the probable reason for your pain or discomfort. It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it-we do not simply treat the symptoms. If your roof is leaking, do you simply catch the drips in a bucket for years on end, or do you repair the roof to prevent it from leaking? Similarly, if the migraine headache you've had all week is being caused by misaligned vertebra and an irritated nerve, do you continue to take pain killers indefinitely, or do you realign the vertebra to prevent the pain? You get the picture.
We fix the origin of the problem
Chiropractors have a term for misalignments: subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that protect the spinal cord. It's a leak in the roof. Or a kink in the wiring of your nervous system. The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that can be physical, emotional, mental, or chemical. The subluxation can be caused by any number of incidents, from birth trauma to an auto accident to simple repetition or over-use.
It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of illness in order to eliminate it, instead of simply treating the symptoms.
STORY OF CHIROPRACTIC
The word "chiropractic" comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and literally means "done by hand." Instead of prescribing drugs or performing surgeries, chiropractors use manual treatments of the spine and joints, exercise therapy, massage, trigger point therapy and lifestyle changes to allow the body's natural state of health to fully express itself.
Like conventional medicine, chiropractic is based upon scientific principles of diagnosis through testing and empirical observations. Treatment is based upon the practitioner's rigorous training and clinical experience. Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, chiropractic attempts to improve the health of the individual in an effort to avoid illness in the first place. Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could. This is one of the main reasons for the big upsurge in the popularity of chiropractic. People are recognizing the benefit of seeking an alternative to traditional medicine; one that will help them achieve and maintain optimal health.
Chiropractors understand that one of the main causes of pain and disease is the misalignment and abnormal motion of the vertebrae in the spinal column called a subluxation. Chiropractic works by removing these subluxations in the spine, thereby relieving pressure and irritation on the nerves, restoring joint mobility, and returning the body back to a state of normal function.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and many other types of musculoskeletal problems. It has even been shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure, decreasing the frequency of childhood ear infections and improving the symptoms of asthma.
The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it addresses your overall health. It recognizes that many lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, rest and environment impact your health. For this reason, chiropractors recommend changes in lifestyle' eating, exercise, and sleeping habits in addition to chiropractic care.
What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. The word 'subluxation' comes from the Latin words meaning 'to dislocate' (luxare) and 'somewhat or slightly' (sub). So the term 'vertebral subluxation' literally means a slight dislocation (misalignment) of the bones in the spine. Although this term was adequate in the 1800s when much was still misunderstood about the human body, today the word 'subluxation' has changed in meaning to capture the complex of neurological, structural and functional changes that occur when a bone is 'out of place.' For this reason chiropractors usually refer to subluxations of the spine as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex", or "VSC" for short.
Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxation have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.
The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a 'crack.' The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible 'cracking' does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments.
Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain. Ultimately, the goal of the chiropractic treatment is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, I use a variety of treatment methods, including manual adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, massage, as well as counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. Since the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and to maintain its own health, the primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body's normal healing ability.
SUCCESS IN YOUR SPINE
The human body is an amazingly complex system of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves, designed to work together to accomplish one thing: motion. Remember that motion is life. Everything about the human body is designed with motion in mind: nerve fibers stimulate the muscles to contract, muscles contract to move the bones, bones move around joints, and the nerve system controls it all.
As a matter of fact, research has shown that motion is so critical to our body's health that a lack of motion has a detrimental affect on everything from digestion to our emotional state, immune function, our ability to concentrate, how well we sleep and even to how long we live. If your lifestyle does not include enough motion, your body cannot function efficiently. First, you will not be as physically healthy and will suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments, ranging from headaches to high blood pressure. Second, you will not be as productive in your life because of reduced energy levels and the lack of ability to mentally focus. Third, because you have less energy, your activity level will tend to drop off even further over time, creating a downward spiral of reduced energy and less activity until you get to a point where even the demands of a sedentary job leave you physically exhausted at the end of the day.
THE WELLNESS APPROACH
The main difference between wellness care and standard medical care is that wellness care seeks to turn on the natural healing ability. Wellness care does not add something to the system, instead it removes anything that might interfere with normal function. Wellness care trusts that the body would know what to do if nothing were interfering with it. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside - a medication, a surgery or procedure.
Inside Out vs. Outside In
If a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to choose a drug that lowers blood pressure, and ask the patient to take the drug. This may serve to lower the blood pressure, but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk of side effects complicating the person's recovery. Whether it's a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure, leaving the problem causing the symptom of high blood pressure unaddressed.
The Wellness Approach
Wellness is a state of optimal conditions for normal function… and then some. The wellness approach is to look for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption (which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time) and make whatever interventions and lifestyle adjustments would optimize the conditions for normal function. That environment encourages natural healing, and minimizes the need for invasive treatment, which should be administered only when absolutely necessary. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals well and maintains itself well, then there is another level of health that goes beyond "asymptomatic" or "pain-free" which reveals an open-ended opportunity for vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life.This is true for mental and emotional health as well as physical health. While some people may suffer psychological disorders, creating an atmosphere of mental and emotional wellness will address all but the most serious problems.
CHIROPRACTIC MYTHS AND FACTS
As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths circulating among the general public. Times have definitely changed for the better, but the fact is that many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. Let's talk about a few of the more common myths about chiropractic.
Myth #1 - Chiropractors are not real doctors.
A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. While the competition for acceptance in chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. In fact, chiropractors have more hours of classroom education than their medical counterparts. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice.
Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers' Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractors are also commissioned as officers in the military.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and surgery. Consequently, if you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is mis-aligned or you have soft tissue damage causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix it. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic really shines. Chiropractors provide physical solutions -- adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy -- to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Another distinction is the fact that it is completely appropriate to receive chiropractic care even if you do not have symptoms. Unlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.
Myth #2 - Medical doctors don't like chiropractors.
The American Medical Association's opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940s under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein called chiropractors "rabid dogs" and referred to them as "playful and cute, but killers" He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult who cared about nothing but taking their patients' money. Up to the late 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Illinois in the 1980s found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.
In the 20 years since, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed: several major studies have shown the superiority of chiropractic in helping people with a host of conditions, and medical doctors developed a better understanding as to what chiropractors actually do. Many people have returned to their medical doctors and told them about the great results they experienced at their chiropractors office. Hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.
Myth #3 - Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.
This statement comes up frequently when the topic of chiropractic is discussed. It is only partially true. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at a gym, or eating a healthy diet: As long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.
Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt, that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true of chiropractic care for your spine. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep, and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your wellness lifestyle.