Chiropractic treatment provides much more than just pain relief. While a trip to the chiropractor is typically prompted by neck or back pain, there are a myriad of reasons to include regular adjustments as part of your wellness program.
Regular chiropractic treatments bring balance and optimal function to the body’s systems by freeing up obstructions that restrict the natural flow of essential nutrients and nerve signals. A functional medicine chiropractor understands the role this therapy plays in achieving whole-body wellness.
Let’s start by describing in basic terms how chiropractic care works.
Restricted Motion Restored
Chiropractors identify and treat subluxations. This is not exactly a misaligned joint, but rather one that has lost its range of motion. Through damage, wear, or disease the joint has become stiff, stuck, and unable to rotate freely. While stiffness and pain are the most obvious consequences, they are not the only ones.
Subluxations cause inflammation and swelling, increasing oxidative stress and causing all over body pain. Nerves are irritated and inflamed, disrupting their effective function. If this state persists long term the cumulative effects will disrupt the body’s functional systems which are all interrelated and dependent on healthy nerve and immune system function.
Chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations with manual or assisted techniques to restore the full range of the joint and let the natural lubricant flow freely again. Even if you hear a popping noise during your adjustment, remember that no bones are being cracked. That noise is the result of “gapping the joint,” which means restoring the space between the bones to the correct and healthy alignment.
So, What Is That Joint Popping Sound?
The joints of the body, particularly the spine, create synovial fluid which lubricates and nourishes the joint. Its production creates oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. When the joint is gapped, the release of those gases makes the popping sound, which is known as a cavitation.
This harmless sound is a sign that your chiropractor is doing a great job and your joints are producing healthy fluids!
The Focus of Modern Chiropractic Therapy
The almost immediate relief of painful subluxations is the most obvious and pleasing of the chiropractic adjustment benefits. Most patients report relief immediately after treatment. Depending on how long the joint has been stuck, the pain may be only partially relieved and may return without regular therapy. The more frequently the joint is returned to full mobility, the more complete the healing process becomes.
The full scope of mechanical, anatomical, and neurological benefits chiropractic therapy provides include1:
- Releasing joint capsules that are entrapped in facet joints
- Treating tight fibrous tissue which results from injury
- Repositioning the discs between vertebrae
- Relaxing muscle spasms of the spine, neck, arms, and legs
- Releasing compressed, pinched, or irritated nerve fibers
Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt?
One of the primary purposes of a chiropractic adjustment is to relieve pain, but new patients who may not have been in proper alignment and mobility for some time might experience some soreness after their first few adjustments.
The soft tissues that are attached to the bones and joints have been compensating for the limited joint mobility for some time. They were likely strained and inflamed before treatment and the manipulation of the joint into its healthy position may stretch and pull them in the opposite direction. Ice, heating pads, and recommended stretches will relieve this temporary discomfort. Discuss this with your chiropractor if it becomes a concern.
Regular adjustments keeps the joints moving freely and the soft tissues limber and flexible. Once the healthy function is restored and regularly maintained, not only is the joint and muscle pain relieved but the referred pain and discomfort of nerve compression and system stress will resolve, resulting in a true feeling of wellness and vitality.
The Benefits of Going to a Chiropractor Regularly
With regular visits as part of a wellness program, chiropractic therapy moves beyond short-term pain relief and opens up a new world of optimal functioning and life balance. Some of the documented advantages seen with long-term therapy include2:
- Stimulating the Immune System
Obstructions in the communication pathways prevent messages from reaching the immune system. By removing the compression and opening up the joint gaps the hormonal and nerve impulses flow smoothly.
- Promoting Wellness and Restful Sleep
Spinal decompression and other therapy methods are shown to improve sleeping patterns without the side effects of medication. Getting adequate rest supports overall health and resistance to disease.
- Reducing Asthma and Allergy Symptoms
People undergoing chiropractic treatment tend to need less medication for these conditions and report fewer attacks and reduced symptoms. These results may stem from the boost to the immune system function.
- Balancing Blood Pressure
Adjustments typically produce lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. Patients who pursue regular chiropractic care need less medication to reduce blood pressure, likely due to adjustments in the neck having a positive effect on blood flow to the brain stem.
- Controlling Frequent Headaches
Pressure within the vertebrae of the neck can increase the severity and frequency of headaches. Relieving this pressure and allowing the full range of motion and nerve function will relieve some of the common causes of recurring headaches and lessen their intensity when they occur.
- Making Pregnancy More Comfortable
Changing weight distribution during pregnancy can change the angle of the pelvis and spine. Balancing the muscles, pelvis, and ligaments which support the growing child is the focus of chiropractic treatments during pregnancy. Muscle spasms and chronic back pain can be reduced and the body’s alignment brought to the best possible state for labor and delivery.
- Reducing Chronic Pain and the Need for Medication
Not only does chiropractic therapy directly reduce back, neck, and nerve pain, it enhances the body’s ability to heal and provides a viable alternative to opioid pain medications. By treating the cause and bringing the body back to a healthy balance long-term medication use and possible addiction can be avoided.
- Improving Physical Performance and Promoting Exercise
Athletes and those who want to stay physically fit will benefit from chiropractic attention to their injuries. By manipulating the soft tissues and joints your chiropractor can help improve recovery time from the strains and sprains an active lifestyle can bring with it.
- Improving Behavior Related to Developmental Disabilities
There is evidence to suggest that chiropractic treatment reduces hyperactivity and problem behaviors associated with ADHD and autism by improving the ability to concentrate, reducing agitation, and enhancing learning.
Experience Your Perfect Balance
Chiropractic and related therapies continue to advance, and research is confirming the long-term health benefits of regular adjustments. Rather than waiting for pain to alert you to stuck joints, pinched nerves, and reduced immune system function, scheduling regular therapy sessions will keep your body in the best possible alignment.
Plan on developing a relationship with a trusted professional who can guide you to a full wellness program which includes chiropractic functional medicine as its main focus. Supporting the three basic functions of the body—digestion, hormone balance, and immunity/inflammation—functional medicine focuses on healthy balance and whole-body wellness.
Create Your Individualized Wellness Program
- At Pollack Wellness Institute, safe and gentle chiropractic care is supported by therapies like myofascial release, spinal decompression, and massage therapy techniques. Combined with nutritional guidance and the best of ancient and modern wellness practices, Dr. Pollack’s healing chiropractic therapy provides the balanced structure for optimal function of all the body’s systems.Why wait to experience the free movement and optimal balance for which your body is designed? Defining wellness by optimal function, rather than just the absence of disease, opens the door to new possibilities for living with full vitality. Call us now to schedule a consultation and start developing your individualized wellness plan for the future.Sources:
Functional Medicine is All About You.
Wellness is not just the absence of disease, but a daily feeling of health and well-being. Functional medicine provides the body with balance and strength from the inside out by healing the root causes of disease to foster your true vitality.