While most people visit chiropractors due to some type of pain, chiropractic care is not just about getting people out of pain. Pain is actually one of the last indicators that there is a problem. Many times, pain comes from a traumatic event and we know exactly why it hurts. Rolling an ankle, falling down stairs, and scraping a knee can damage tissue leading to pain. Oftentimes, however, pain just occurs for apparently no reason at all. That is when we as doctors have to figure out not only where the pain is stemming from, but also why it started in the first place. That is what makes our jobs as chiropractors so interesting and enjoyable.While the tendency in healthcare is to chase pain, chiropractors (and other healthcare professionals as well) aim to not only help alleviate the pain, but to figure out why the pain started and what needs to be done to prevent the pain from returning. The main form of treatment in chiropractic is the adjustment. In general, chiropractic adjustments aim to mobilize joints that are not moving properly. In addition, there may be places where the joint is unstable and moves more than it should. That is where strengthening comes into play. A rule of thumb is as follows: If a joint doesn’t move, mobilize it. If a joint moves too much, stabilize it. With pain being set aside, the ultimate goal we as chiropractors have is to optimize a patient’s potential for health. A few ways in which this can be done are with nutritional counseling, ideas for stress reduction, postural corrections, exercise programs, and of course, adjustments. The spinal cord is a central part of the nervous system. It controls almost all actions of the body. The vertebral column (the spine) is what encompasses and protects the spinal cord. From the spinal cord stems peripheral nerves that innervate all the tissues of the body including the skin, muscles, organs, etc. When the spine is either not moving properly or has what chiropractors call subluxations, irritation of those joints cause inflammation and ultimately can alter function of the nerves that pass through it. This malfunction can affect any of the types of tissue that that particular nerve innervates. Whether we as chiropractors like to admit it or not, most patients come to us not because they want to be healthier, but simply because they are in pain. Then when the pain is gone, many patients will not return for care until the pain returns. With that being said, the ultimate goals of chiropractors are to optimize health, alleviate pain, and education people on how to improve their health and life.
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