How Chiropractic works. For this article we will focus on just a few aspects of chiropractic. In it’s simplest form Chiropractic examines the area of complaint, testing the joint and it’s soft tissues-muscle, ligament, nerves and tendons for function. Posture is important to observe the way a patient holds a particular body part- high shoulder, a shorter leg, anterior body tilt, etc. An example of this is a patient walks in with a elevated shoulder, head forward posture and lower back fatigue. Because muscles are the only contractile tissue that moves joints, a elevated shoulder is due to either scoliosis or increased muscle tone on that side between the neck and the shoulder. Head forward posture is when a persons head is in front of their shoulders. When this happens the posterior neck muscles have to contract a small amount in order to hold their head posture. This places the ears in front of the shoulders. This is a common cause of neck muscle hypertonicity, tenderness and sometimes headaches. A elevated shoulder is when the muscles on one side of the spine is tighter than the other side. This can be due to physical stress or emotional stress. Anterior body tilting causes the muscles on the back of the legs and spine to contract in order to hold that posture.
Repetitive activities can lead to the body acclimating to a certain posture or position. A good example of this is a new mother. I have found that mothers typically hold their children on the side of their hip opposite of their dominate hand so they have the strong hand available to do what they need to do. As their children gain weight they are more difficult to hold on the mothers hips, so she tends to stick a little more hip outward to set the child on. Over time this same hip stays a little stuck out there. This is altered biomechanics due to a repetitive activity and can affect our back with pain.
Headaches are a common symptom that we see in our office. There are many types of headaches with numerous causes and symptoms. We will discuss one of these in this article. The Cervicogenic headache. These headaches can be caused by the Cervical spine and it’s associated soft tissues. These respond very well to chiropractic treatments. Headaches are the largest idiopathic condition there is, meaning: there is no know reason for it. Sometimes the tension, compression of the Cervical spine triggers these types of headaches. Often there is a significant amount of hypertonic soft tissue in this area. I find that making the patient aware that they shrug their shoulders when they really don’t have to is a major contributor to over tight neck muscles. Chiropractors make the patient aware of their posture in order to help prevent stress and future symptoms. I have seen many patients that have to look to one side a lot more than the other side, such as working at a desk and the computer screen is setup to one side. So after holding that position for long periods the muscles and joint tend to stay rotated a little that direction even when the person is holding their head straight. The same is true for people that have to look down for long periods of time they tend to have less Cervical curvature. So making the patient aware of this and making small life style changes can have a huge impact on how well they function.
Chiropractors identify these malpositions and correct them. It’s important that we correct any muscle imbalance and align the spine or body structure.
Symptoms associated with pregnancy respond well to Chiropractic care. The joints that make up the birth canal are only slightly flexible and respond well to passive mobilization of the S.I. joints and the Pubic joint. This helps the mother be more flexible and pain free. It is very safe to treat a pregnant and we do it everyday with good results.
Neck and back pain are one of the more common symptoms chiropractors treat. It could be from a auto accident, rolling over in bed or trauma are common areas that respond great with chiropractic treatments. These symptoms are normally due to spinal compression and/or joint restrictions. Having the vertebra in alignment and improved pain free function is our goal.
Manual stretching, active strengthening, spinal /shoulders/knees or hips is to improve joint mobility and function. Some patient only require a short treatment plan with home stretches while others require a more extensive treatment plan with physiotherapies.
Chiropractic works by taking into consideration the entire body, how it’s been used the past few weeks/years, past medical history and current physical condition. The musculoskeletal system works together as one, with nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and disc. Chiropractic help make changes to under performing tissues that results in greater function, performance and without pain. I’m always enjoy explaining how someone’s condition and symptoms are related to a injury or a job/habit. We will discuss in more detail about other conditions in the next few articles. For more information please contact: Grace Chiropractic Center in Cabot Arkansas or read more at: https://www.facebook.com/Gracechiropracticcenter/