WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic procedures target the diagnosis and treatment of the neuromusculosketal system—the causative factors in the body’s bio-mechanical system and structural misalignments of the spine. Misalignments of the neck and back can cause improper spinal joint movement that impact the nervous system, cause pain, or reflect the onset of osteoarthritis. As a branch of the healing arts, Chiropractic is science-based and focuses on restoring proper movement and function to injured spinal joints. In the spinal cord, there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves that exit from the spinal column (backbone). The skull and spinal vertebrae make up a hard bony covering that protects the most delicate and important organs of the nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Improper movement of any of these spinal joints can cause the pain of what many people call a pinched nerve. Due to the marvelous adaptation of the spine, protection, mobility and weight bearing support for upright position is provided. Protection is offered particularly from the spine to the delicate spinal cord and spinal nerves, which exits from the spinal column. When the nervous system is not functioning properly and when the spinal bio-mechanics are compromised, irritation can occur and pain can result in the spine and the arms and legs. Chiropractic is currently the second largest healthcare profession after primary care medicine. Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions so the patient may delay or avoid spinal surgery.
WHAT DOES A DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC DO?
In order to arrive at a plan of treatment, all doctors use a basic procedure of examination. Chiropractic uses the same time honored methods of consultation, x-ray, examination, case history, physical examination, and laboratory analysis. A chiropractic structural spinal evaluation/examination is provided by the chiropractor with emphasis on the spine.
What makes chiropractic care different from other health care procedures is the examination of your spine to evaluate its structure and function. The spine functions as one dynamic organ in which the structure is dependent for support and movement, even though it is composed of 24 individual vertebrae. There are five lumbar (low-back) vertebrae, twelve dorsal (mid-back) vertebrae, and seven cervical vertebrae (neck). These vertebrae are stacked on each other like building blocks; between the vertebrae are fibro cartilages (discs). The discs help reduce friction, cushion shock and allow movement. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves that extend throughout the spine going downward from the brain, exiting through a series of openings between the vertebrae.Trauma from falls, heavy lifting, work injuries or auto accidents can often cause the spinal joints to be misaligned or twisted, causing the pain of a pinched nerve, a torn ligament or a torn muscle.
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE?
Typically, chiropractors diagnose a patient utilizing:
- Physical examination of the injured area
- X ray analysis
- Review of the patient’s medical history that is related to the trauma
- Posture analysis
- Range of motion tests of joints of the neck and back
- Palpation of neck and back spasms, swelling and atrophy
- Muscle tension and reflex evaluation
If after evaluating your problem, we feel we cannot help you, we will refer you to the correct medical specialist that could better help you.
If needed, a thorough spinal examination and a review of any recent injuries and conditions are also conducted. X rays analysis provides the “blueprint” of your spinal column. X-rays in conjunction with dynamic spinal motion examination provide a more complete picture of the spine’s bio-mechanics and the spine’s stress areas.
HOW DO DOCTORS OF CHIROPRACTIC LOCATE THE PROBLEM?
We will discuss your problem with you during the patient history. To help determine the nature of your illness, you may be asked for your family history, previous treatments (chiropractor, osteopathic, medical and other). In accordance with your doctor’s clinical judgment. A physical examination including X-ray examination, consultation and case history, will be performed. In order to detect any structural abnormalities that may affect your condition, a spinal examination and analysis will be performed. Spinal x-rays may be needed in many cases. X-rays are a specific outline of your spinal column. X-rays are the only manner in which spinal function can be seen. The spine will be evaluated while weight bearing and while in motion. The X-ray evaluation can confirm findings from your case history and physical examination.
When the spinal x-rays are studied by your doctor, they take on a new meaning. They are not just for viewing fracture or pathology (disease); they are also viewed for normal and abnormal structural alignment and function of the spinal joints during weight bearing and movement. The dynamic spinal motion gives a better understanding of the spinal bio-mechanics and the resultant spinal stress areas. The X-ray examination is a blue print of the injury so the doctor treating you can prescribe proper management of your problem.