People often have a standard idea of chiropractic care, and they usually think that it is for adults who have back pain or neck pain. Pain is one of the major things that chiropractors can help with, but if this is your view of chiropractic care, there’s so much you don’t know.
Did You Know: Body Benefits
Chiropractors adjust a patient’s neck and spine to treat what we call subluxations, or spots where the joints don’t have proper movement. I like to compare the spine to a tree with strong roots, a strong trunk, and branches with leaves. The roots gather nutrients and move them up the trunk into the branches and leaves, and then the leaves gather sunlight and move the benefits down through the rest of the tree. That is the way our nervous system works. It needs to be able to transfer information through the entire system. Subluxations can prevent that.
Because our nervous system is housed in the spine, chiropractic adjustments can make people function better.
Dr. Heidi Haavik studies the effects of chiropractic care, and she is interested in the effects on people who are not in pain. She has found many body benefits, like:
- Increased strength
- Increased fine motor control
- Less clumsiness
- More accuracy
- Better performance in sports
- Improved processing of objects in space
- Better thinking
As Dr. Haavik explains, a chiropractic adjustment helps your brain to see what is going on in your body. Imagine you are laying in bed with your eyes closed, how do you know where your left arm is? Your brain uses your nervous system to “see” where your left arm is. A chiropractic adjustment can improve this signal and allow your brain to see where your arms and legs are with more accuracy. When the information can get to your brain quickly and easily, your brain can control your body better and respond more appropriately to your environment.
Athletes are turning to chiropractic care because they have found that it can improve their performance at their chosen sport. This is not only because it might be easier to catch the baseball if you know exactly where your hand is, but it is also because of the increased strength, increased accuracy, and improved processing of objects in space.
The elderly are also turning to chiropractic care because of these benefits. As we begin to age, one of the great dangers to our health and independence is falling. In his book, Being Mortal, Atul Gawande explains the result of falling by recounting the stories of many patients. Our brain being able to “see” exactly where our legs and feet are will help us to be more steady and stable. The increased strength and improved accuracy that can come from a chiropractic adjustment can also help keep us safe.
Did you know: Different Specialties
Just like a surgeon could choose to train to be a general surgeon, able to operate on patients with a variety of problems, or train in a specific field of surgery, chiropractors can choose from a variety of specialities.
Dr. Robert E. Dubro, president of the American Board of Chiropractic Specialities, explains why chiropractors choose to specialize, “After graduating from chiropractic college, you have the basic skill set to treat patients presenting with average, everyday complaints and injuries. In general, you do not yet have the expertise to treat highly chronic illnesses and injuries or specific, complex, occupational, sports or traumatic injuries. Specialty training is an important path to that kind of expertise.”
Chiropractors can specialize in many different fields, combining their chiropractic knowledge with other medical fields, like:
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Internal Medicine
- Occupational Health
- Physical Therapy
- Sports Medicine
The training in a speciality can take 1-3 years, in addition to the years already spent training as a chiropractor. After completing the training, a chiropractor must take a board exam to be certified.
As chiropractors specialize in their fields, they can better help their clients live a healthy life. As Dr. Melanie Overley, a chiropractic pediatrician specialist, explained, she can adjust an infant with just the pressure of a fingertip. But she can also help parents with healthy living practices as they adjust to life with a new baby.
Did You Know?
Chiropractic care can be a great tool to help you live your healthiest life. It can fix current problems and help prevent future problems. It can be a small change that can lead to a big shift in your well-being.