- Aging & Longevity
A Chiropactor saved my life
Well what can you say to someone who saved your life, that's the dilemma I have. I have regular chiro appointments every two weeks I'm 44 now and in my life I have had heaps of fall's on my neck and back and have been involved in two car accidents resulting in a disc bulge in my lower back and whiplash in my neck but like most others in Australia you don't think about going to a chiropractor you go to the emergency dept or your local GP where you are given heaps of pain killers and mainly an operation on your back or neck without thinking of the consiquences.
Well anyway I made that choice to have surgery on my lower back and decided never again. Apart from the pain from the operation and all the side effects from it the operation didn't work so the doctors kept pushing heaps of drugs on me. I was living on pain killers strong ones like valium anti-inflamitory tables to anti-depressants making my weight balloon, I couldn't go for a walk I couldn't really do anything like play with my kids. My health deteriated, I felt tired all the time and people were telling me "omg your fat you're going to have a heart attack". I just laughed it off until a friend told me of a young guy they knew who had a heart attack which really shook me up. Then some of the anti-inflamitory tablets gave me gastritis so I couldn't eat I started to lose weight (because I was sick all the time). I told my doctor I wanted to go off of my tablets, they were horrified at first then I looked on the Internet about bad back disc problems and found out about chiropractor's and how they worked. My Chiropractor Dr Craig Armstrong was fantastic he explained all about my spine and about the adjustments so I decided to give it a go well I was amazed I felt better and I learnt from Craig about the importance of omega 3 for your health and proper nutrition in herbs and supplements super-foods and exercise like yoga I weight the right way and now I feel happier and I feel healthy I'm been going to my chiropractor for about 8 years now I'm off all my tablets and I now can play with my 3 kids I was told not to take any pain killers just fish oil and bee pollen and Rooibos tea. So as you can see I hate to think what would of happened to me if I didn't if I haven't gone to a chiropractic professional.
How does Chiropractic work?
The doctor of chiropractic is trained in a variety of specialized techniques to re-position the vertebrae to their proper alignment. Chiropractic treatment is very similar to orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist moves bony tissue (teeth) into a new position by gradually adjusting and tightening the braces, allowing the surrounding soft tissue (the gums) to gradually adjust to the new position of the teeth and hold them there. The chiropractor also moves bony tissue (vertebrae) to their correct position, repeating the treatment to allow the surrounding supporting soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) to gradually adjust to the new (and correct) position of the vertebrae, so that they remain in their proper position.
What is an "adjustment'?
The term "adjustment" describes a chiropractic treatment. The doctor of chiropractic, either manually or with a specialized instrument, moves the bony segment of the spine which protects the spinal cord (called a vertebra), back to its proper position, when it has moved out of place.
Why would a vertebra move out of place?
There are many ways in which a vertebra may move out of place. The pressures exerted on the body at birth can sometimes cause the vertebrae to move out of their proper position. A fall, an auto accident or other trauma very often causes the vertebrae to move out of position, causing irritation of the spinal nerve which, in turn, causes pain. Stress, emotional factors, nutritional factors, poor posture, repetitive motions, and many of the activities of daily life often cause the vertebrae of the spinal column to move out of their proper place.
What is a "Subluxation"?
The control center of the body is the brain and its extension, the spinal cord. Every organ of the body is controlled by the brain and the nerves which extend out of the spinal cord. Because the brain and spinal cord are so important to the functioning of the body, they are housed in special protective structures. The brain is protected by the skull, and the spinal cord is protected by the spinal column. The spinal column is composed of 26 movable segments, of which 24 are vertebrae (a single one is called a vertebra). These vertebrae are movable, so that we are able to bend and twist. Between each vertebra is (a gelatinous-filled fibrous cartilage) cushion, called a disc. The vertebrae are supported in position by means of muscles and ligaments. In addition, there are three normal curves in the spinal structure: at the neck, at the mid-back, and at the low back. These normal curves provide the body with extra support, and acts as a shock-absorber. When the body suffers a trauma or stress, either emotional or physical, the ligaments may stretch, or the muscles may tense up and go into spasm, pulling on the spinal cord segments, or vertebrae, and cause them to move out of place. When the vertebrae are moved out of place, they will exert pressure on that area of the spinal cord. Just as a garden hose will not allow a normal amount of water to flow through if it is being stepped on, a compressed or irritated nerve will not enervate the organ of the body which it controls with the same intensity as a nerve which is free from interference. A severely compromised spinal structure may also exert so much pressure on the disc that the disc ruptures or herniates. The condition of a vertebra which is compressed, either slightly or more severely in the manner described above, is called a "Subluxation".
Does a subluxation in one part of the spine affect another part of the spine?
Yes. The vertebrae of the spinal column function as a unit. When one section of the spinal column suffers a subluxation, the effect will usually be felt in other sections of the spinal column as well.
Does this happen all of a sudden, or does it take a long time to develop a Subluxation?
Under normal conditions, the body can withstand minor traumas, such as a fall, tripping, or even a minor auto accident. However, when there have been years of poor posture, wear-and-tear on the spinal structure, prolonged stress, or poor nutrition, even a seemingly minor incident will produce a Subluxation. In cases of severe trauma, where there is tearing of muscle fibers and stretching of the ligaments, more serious Subluxations will occur which cause muscle spasms and pain.
What conditions are treated with chiropractic?
Chiropractic treatment is effective for many conditions. Any condition related to the spine, such as neck pain, mid- or low-back pain respond very well to chiropractic treatment. Other musculo-skeletal conditions, such as shoulder pain or joint pain also respond very well to chiropractic care. Headaches and migraines are very effectively treated with chiropractic, since chiropractic treatment increases blood flow to the brain and releases tension, which typically cause many types of headaches and migraines. Other conditions which respond well to chiropractic treatment include bedwetting in children, ear infections in children, menstrual issues, asthma, digestive problems, and other systemic conditions. Your doctor of chiropractic will best be able to evaluate your condition to determine if your condition falls under the scope of chiropractic. If your condition does not fall under the scope of chiropractic, your chiropractor will be able to refer you to the appropriate health care provider.
How long does this take, and how soon will I feel better?
Although you may feel immediate improvement after a just a few chiropractic adjustments, a full correction of the Subluxation condition may not take effect until the supporting muscles and ligaments are fully adjusted to the new position of the vertebrae. This varies with each individual person, since we each respond differently to treatment.
Is it okay to come two days in a row?
Absolutely. Ideally, adjustments should be spaced out more if you can, but coming two days in a row during a week is far preferable to coming only once.
Why do I sometimes feel sore after an adjustment?
Since adjustments restore motion to previously locked joints, the muscles and ligaments need to re-adjust to their proper positions. This may cause slight muscle soreness, similar to the effect of rigorous exercise. If you experience these sensations, be assured that, in a very short time, you'll likely be enjoying the benefits of improved spinal movement with less pain that results from a healthier, well adjusted spine.
What can I do to help myself while undergoing chiropractic treatment?
While undergoing chiropractic treatment it is very helpful to do the following:
1. Use ice on painful areas of the spine, 15 minutes on and 1-1/2 hours off. Ice reduces swelling which typically occurs in spinal conditions. Dry heat, such as a heating pad, is not recommended for these conditions.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep at night. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or back, but sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
3. Make sure you get proper nutrition. Good nutrition helps the body rebuild damaged tissues.
4. Pay attention to your posture. Make sure you don't slouch, hunch over or strain your neck. In addition, avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long. It is best to walk around about once every half hour to prevent further injury by sitting or standing for too long.
5. It goes without saying that habits such as smoking, drinking in excess or partaking of other harmful substances is never good for your health in general, or for the healing of damaged tissues.
6. Try to release tension and stress by breathing deeply from the abdomen. In addition, if you are at the computer, try to exercise your neck and shoulders to release tension and stress from those areas.
7. Visit your chiropractor at the recommended treatment frequency. If you are diligent in keeping your appointments, before very long your recommended treatment schedule will be gradually reduced, as your vertebrae are better able to be maintained in their proper position by the muscles and ligaments supporting them. Above all, knowing that you are in the right place to receive effective treatment from a competent professional is reassuring, and will help you to maintain a positive mental attitude.