Chiropractic care is a health profession that supports the human body’s ability to regulate, heal and preserve itself in order to stay healthy (homeostasis). To do so, our bodies use an internal communication system called the nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves. Because those structures are crucial to maintaining good health, it is very important to protect them. Your body is designed to protect itself. As such, the skull protects the brain and the vertebrae protect the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. There is a close relation between the good functioning of the spine and the nervous system.
Generally, each vertebra should be able to move freely with the one above and the one below. However, after an accident, bad posture, bad habits (ex: sleeping on your stomach, the way you sit at the computer, etc.) or repetitive micro-traumas, a vertebra can lose its ability to move properly. This phenomenon is called a subluxation.
There are many consequences can arise from a subluxated vertebra:
Loss of mobility: It is possible to notice a decreased range of motion in the affected region. For exemple, if you have subluxated vertebrae in your neck, you could have more difficulties to turn your neck fully to one side.
Muscular imbalances: Because the muscles are attached to the vertebrae, a subluxation could make the muscles work more on one side than the other, thus causing an asymetry in the muscle activity.
Neurological involvement: Since the spinal nerves travel between the vertebrae, it is possible that the normal functioning of those nerves could be affected by an abnormal movement of the vertebrae located above and below.
Inflammation: When the movement of a vertebra is abnormal (subluxated), inflammation could develop in the area and sometimes be accompanied by pain.
Joint degeneration: When a vertebra is subluxated for a long period of time, wear and tear can develop faster than anywhere else in the spine. This is why it is important to correct the movement of the vertebra as fast as possible before damage could be created.
Therefore, the goal of chiropractic care is to correct and maintain the normal functioning of the spine in order to assure an optimal function of the nervous system.
There are different types of chiropractic care:
Symptomatic care: This type of care is oriented towards people suffering from pain or discomfort. The goal is to decrease the symptoms as fast as possible so the patient can get back to their normal activities.
Corrective care: The goal is to strengthen the weaknesses of the body to prevent the reoccurrence of the health condition.
Preventive care: This type of care consists of regular checkups to assure an optimal function of the spine and prevent health conditions before they become severe.
It is also important to mention that chiropractor are not only working on joints of the spine, but on all the joints of the body. Therefore, chiropractic care could help you with a knee injury or elbow pain.