What is Chiropractic?
In more than a century of its development, Chiropractic science has grown to major stature in the field of the healing arts and has provided relief to literally millions of people. With the rate of growth steadily increasing, the Chiropractic profession has found a continuing need to acquaint new patients with the nature of Chiropractic care. The following information has been prepared to serve that purpose.
The modern Chiropractor works both directly and indirectly with the nervous system. Every function of the body is under the control of this system. Every organ, tissue and cell is controlled by nerve impulses traveling from the brain to all parts of the body and back. Nerves make possible all movement. Nerves transmit all sensations to the brain. Nerves make possible all sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Nerves maintain balance and keep the body temperature at 98.6 degrees. Nerves make it possible to swallow. Nerves make the bowels move. Nerves control the liver, lungs, spleen, pancreas, gall bladder and kidneys. In fact, the nervous system is the master system which controls all other systems of the body, including: the glandular, reproductive, digestive, eliminative, respiratory and circulatory.
Every science of healing has what is known as an “avenue of approach”. For example, in the field of medicine, a hypodermic needle injects drugs through the skin or a pill is swallowed and goes into the stomach. These are the “avenues” through which the drugs gain access to the body. The “avenue of approach” for the surgeon is to gain direct access to the impacted area of the body with a knife.
In the field of Chiropractic, the “avenue of approach” is the spine. The spine houses and protects the spinal cord, the “switchboard” of the nervous system through which nerve fibers pass from the brain to different parts of the body. The nerves leave the spinal cord through openings between movable spinal bones called vertebrae. When vertebrae become misaligned as a result of injury – an awkward slip and fall, a seemingly uneventful bump against a piece of furniture – or posture problems they interfere with the normal function of these nerves by pinching or infringing on the nerves. These misalignments cause pain and malfunction of the nervous system and is called a “subluxation.” The subluxation is therefore the cause of pain, even if the pain presents itself in some other part of the body, for example in the lower back, legs, or as a severe headache.
For every effect there has to be a cause. Typically, the human body uses the feeling of pain to announce that something is not healthy. And treating the symptom of pain by itself – for example, taking drugs to relieve the pain – does nothing to eliminate the actual cause of the pain, which in many cases is directly due to subluxations of the spine as described above. After all, the pain is not the cause; it is a message from the body that something is wrong.
The objective of Chiropractic care is to determine the exact degree of spinal misalignment that is producing the causal subluxation. Under the care of a professional, skilled Chiropractor such as Dr. Jacobi, proper, noninvasive “adjustments” are then given to remove these subluxations and thus remove the cause of pain and malfunction – as well as, of course, the pain itself. Chiropractic care will add life to years and years to life.
Understanding Subluxations – How They Affect Your Health
Acting as the body’s main communications channel, the spinal column is truly a work of art. The spine consists of 24 moveable bones, called vertebrae, which form the center of the back from the base of the skull to the pelvis. Stacked like building blocks, these vertebrae are each separated by a thick elastic pad known as a disc. The discs act as spacers that help absorb shock, reduce friction, and allow mobility. This combined structure of fat, muscles and bones also houses and protects the spinal cord through which all nerve impulses flow. Every vital organ and tissue in the body is connected to and controlled by nerves which travel back and forth through the spinal cord to the brain. These nerves exit through small openings in between the vertebrae called inter vertebral foramina. Any interference to the flow of nerve impulses can cause a disturbance in body functions and with it an increased susceptibility to disease.
The most common obstruction to the flow of nerve impulses through the nervous system is a misalignment of the spine. In chiropractic terms, this is called a subluxation. It is a condition in which one or more vertebrae of the spine are out of alignment causing the spine to cease to move correctly. Nerves which pass through the affected area can become impinged, as shown below, and normal transmission of the nerve impulses can be obstructed as a result. These subluxations, although not always painful, interfere with the proper function and healing process of other vital parts of the body.
An untreated subluxation can produce long term effects which may result in permanent damage to the organs controlled by the affected nerves or to the spine itself. When detected early, it will respond well to Chiropractic care with an excellent chance for a complete and painless recovery.
Everyone should have a spinal checkup periodically whether symptoms are present or not. Spinal subluxations that cause nerve irritation do not always cause pain and a person may be having a serious health problem without being aware of it. Although some subluxations and nerve irritation may be self limiting (healing itself) most are not. Most subluxations that cause nerve irritation will require professional care. Anyone with subluxations and nerve irritation needs a proper Chiropractic analysis and Chiropractic adjustment if necessary.
If your Chiropractor finds you have subluxations, specific manipulation techniques will be used to correct the subluxation and relieve the nerve irritation. This allows normal flow of nerve impulses that contributes to the restoration of normal function and health. This procedure is called a Chiropractic adjustment. The direct purpose of the Chiropractic spinal adjustment is to reduce nerve irritation. This allows the body to restore itself to a greater level of health and in the process relieves pain.