What is Chiropractic Therapy?
Chiropractic is a health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between STRUCTURE (primarily the spine, although fixations in the extremities are often involved) and FUNCTION (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic will work to detect and correct the spinal / extremity articulations which are not functioning properly, restore the flow of nerve impulses throughout the body, thereby improving the function of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system.
A lesson in joint anatomy and physiology:
All the joints of the body have many of the same characteristics. They are bound by ligaments and soft tissue, moved by muscles, and separated by cartilage. Most important are the nerves that monitor and control the position and motion of each joint.
Usually, joints move freely. Either they move voluntarily due to deliberate muscle control, or involuntarily, without our control. Under unrestricted conditions, the nerves in and around the joints sense motion and relay important information to the spinal cord and brain.
How the body protects itself:
If motion is altered or reduced, nerves can relay inaccurate or insufficient information about a joint’s motion. When this happens, as is often the case in sudden injury or overuse of the spine, pain occurs. This is called joint dysfunction.
As the pain increases, the nerves create reflexes that cause the muscles in the area surrounding the joint to tighten, or spasm. This “guarding reflex” helps reduce movement in the area.
Properly performed manipulation:
Manipulation should be performed with only as little force as is required. Unlike martial arts, manipulation does not involve sudden twisting of the neck or any other joint. It is a subtle, gentle and controlled procedure that can be performed on nearly every injured joint in the body.
Motion blocks pain signals:
In order to function properly, joints must move freely. Motion produced by the joints actually serves to “block” continued pain signals (much like when you rub your knee after bumping it into the corner of a coffee table, the stimulus of rubbing the injured area temporary blocks the pain).
Why Chiropractic Adjustments/Manipulation works:
Chiropractic Adjustments slightly open the joint and restore joint motion thereby normalizing its motion-sensitive nerves, blocking pain and reducing muscle spasm.
Chiropractic Techniques commonly used:
Since patients are not all the same, the Chiropractic technique used should never be the same. The techniques used for each patient vary depending on the musculoskeletal needs and comfort level of that individual. Here is a list of Chiropractic techniques Dr. George commonly uses in his practice:
- Thompson Drop
- Sacro-Occipital Technique
- Lower Extremity Adjusting
- Upper Extremity Adjusting