What is Chiropractic?

by Wendy on 19th December 2019

What is Chiropractic | Bury Chiropractic

A Potted History

Chiropractic comes from the Greek word ‘Kheir’, meaning hand, and ‘practic’, meaning practice. Chiropractic originated in the USA and was founded in 1896. Its founding Father was Daniel David Palmer. He is said to have adjusted the mid-back of a deaf janitor, Harvey Lillard, and in doing so, cured his deafness.

Palmer’s son, BJ, continued to develop the profession. As Chiropractic care became increasingly popular, Chiropractors were prosecuted and jailed for practising medicine without a licence. However, the premise of the profession is that the body heals itself and that Chiropractors don’t actually “treat” anything. Rather, we work on restoring normal movement to jammed areas that are causing nerve interference in the body, producing symptoms such as pain. Restoring normal movement to an area corrects nerve flow which allows the body to heal itself. It was this premise that eventually freed those jailed Chiropractors as they could truthfully state they were not practising medicine; rather, they were enabling the body to do what it does best: heal itself.

What if I’m too old?
People often ask whether Chiropractic care could help them because they have x, y, z, or worry that they are too old or too young. There is also an assumption that we can’t help because they’ve had an operation on the area, or because they’ve been told nothing can be done for them. Our reply is that you are ALWAYS better off with a spine and nervous system that functions well rather than one that doesn’t, regardless of age, operations, or pre-existing conditions.

How does it work?
Nothing happens in your body without a signal from the brain running through the spinal cord and out through the nerves. The nerves in your body are linked to every tissue, muscle and organ.

The spine and skull house the central nervous system. If the spine and/or any single vertebrae becomes stuck, swelling can cause the nerves to become pinched. Irritation of the nerve often results in a symptom somewhere along the path that that particular nerve supplies.

So, in short, a bone out of place pinches a nerve and causes a problem. If that bone or vertebrae is adjusted back into its correct place, and retrained to stay put, the pressure is taken off the nerve, allowing the body to heal itself, thereby rectifying the problem. We believe Chiropractic care therefore gives life to your years and adds years to your life.

Whilst mainstream medicine tends to focus on the area of pain and treat that one area, Chiropractors look at the body as a whole and how the entire body is moving and functioning. The body should move like a well-oiled machine; degeneration in one area might not necessarily be coming from the area that is jammed. A useful analogy for this is the wheel alignment of a car. If the wheels aren’t aligned, you will start to see excess wear on the tyres. If the body isn’t aligned, wear and tear can manifest in one spot, e.g. the hip or the knee. Just addressing the knee or hip will not prevent further degeneration in those areas as the original problem wasn’t with those areas, but with the misaligned spine. Re-aligning the entire body helps to prevent excessive pressure on both the knees and hips, thereby relieving pain and slowing the degenerative process. Chiropractic care is holistic, it works on the body as a whole.

What’s an adjustment?

An adjustment is a way of loosening up a stuck joint (gently, by hand) to enable the body to heal itself and restore normal function. During an adjustment, clicks and pops may be heard. This is the movement of air into and out of the joint.

In short:

• Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to be over 1,000 times safer than taking an aspirin.
• Adjusting a jammed area and restoring correct nerve function has been shown to slow down degeneration.
• Chiropractors approach health holistically. We take and analyse X- Rays which can provide the patient with a more accurate diagnosis, prognosis and care plan. The premise of Chiropractic care is that the body heals itself.
• Pain relief is only the first benefit and not the only benefit of chiropractic care. You may also notice other unexpected benefits such as: improved sleep, better digestion, increased mobility, fewer headaches, etc.
• Did you know you are just as likely to suffer from a stroke waiting in a GP surgery as you are from having a neck adjustment —and more likely to suffer from one whilst having your hair washed at the hairdressers!
• You may feel a bit achy or you may experience a “fuzzy” head immediately after your first couple of sessions. This tends to be short lived (24 hours). This can normally be minimised by using an ice pack as directed by your Chiropractor. This becomes less frequent as your body becomes more familiar with the care and adapts to it.
Further reading:
“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.” ~McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001), Duke Evidence Report

“Chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients. Results from observational studies suggested that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies conclude that patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than they were with physical therapy after six weeks.” ~Hertzman-Miller et al (2002), American Journal of Public Health.

Medical risks less than 1:10,000 are classed as clinically insignificant. In terms of VBA stroke risk, we are talking about a risk two orders of magnitude less. Cassidy (2009) found no evidence of risk of VBA stroke associated to chiropractic care compared to primary care. http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(08)00347-3/abstract

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