To better understand chiropractic care it is helpful to know this treatment focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes a consultation, patient examination, diagnosis and care plans. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to do physical therapy modalities, rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Vertebrae in your spine can become misaligned for multiple reasons: traumatic events, repetitive motions, loss of natural spinal curves, poor posture, deconditioned/weak postural muscles, poor diet, organ related nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few. This misalignment causes your spinal joints to become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – also known as a subluxation. Subluxations cause nerve interference and decrease electrical nerve transmission from the brain to the body. In any case, subluxations can cause a variety of symptoms or degrees of dysfunction in the body. Subluxations can cause numbness or tingling. They can affect your muscles causing muscle weakness, muscle contraction and/or muscle spasm. Subluxations can also cause organ dysfunction. Unless there has been an acute injury or event, the last symptom to show up from a subluxation is pain. Your body can allow up to a 60% blockage of nerve transmissions before you will get you first symptoms or signs of discomfort. Which is why symptoms and pain are a very poor indicator of health. Health is not based on how you feel but instead on how you function. Manipulation, or a chiropractic adjustment of the affected joint, restores mobility, alleviates nerve interference and restores communication of the brain to the body. This brain body communication is essential for the body to be healthy.
Chiropractic adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following their first adjustment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours. Chiropractic care if recommended may be delivered by a variety of techniques that Dr. Giaquinto includes Diversified techniques.
Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through a detailed history, clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic care is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.
What Chiropractors Do
Practically speaking, chiropractors are primarily concerned with locating and treating vertebral subluxations.
Using a number of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities (vertebral subluxations). If subluxations or other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area.
Chiropractors use many specialized techniques to identify and treat these spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health. In addition to spinal adjustive techniques, soft tissue techniques such as myofascial release, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly employed.
The Benefits of Chiropractic
Regular chiropractic care has a number of benefits including:
- spinal and extremity pain relief
- headache relief
- sinus relief
- increased mobility and range of motion
- decreased stiffness and muscular spasms
- arthritic joint pain relief
- increased joint health
- increased performance and energy
- increased sense of well being and relaxation
- increased balance and coordination
- reduced degeneration and risk of injury
- enhanced tissue healing
- decreased tissue inflammation
- enhanced immune function