More and more people are seeking chiropractic care as a treatment for pain rather than relying on prescription drugs that can lead to addiction.
Chiropractic physicians are being integrated into healthcare systems, such as Oregon Health and Science University, while many patients go to private chiropractic clinics. It is now common for health insurance policies to include coverage of chiropractic care.
Whether is it for neck pain chiropractic physical therapy treatment, lower back pain care or even help treat headaches, it’s clear that chiropractic treatment provides many health benefits. But many people still ask, “Do chiropractic treatments work? What is the medical science behind chiropractic care?”
Your Spine and Nervous System
Your nervous system controls everything that happens in your body. Your brain constantly sends signals to your body to tell it what to do, while your body sends reports back to your brain, through your spinal cord and along your nerves to every part of your body. Those nerves must pass through small openings in the bones of your spine.
Illness, injury or stress can move the bones of your spine out of place. The misalignment is called a “subluxation.” When the bones in your spine – the vertebrae – are out of place, they can put pressure on your nerves. The pressure can slow down, scramble or entirely stop your nerve impulses from traveling to and from your brain, which can cause the part of your body connected to those nerves to malfunction.
If the pressure on a nerve is not removed, over time you may find that you have increasing problems and pain. A chiropractor’s job is to find the bones that are out of place and gently return them to their proper position, removing the pressure from your nerves. Spinal adjustment involves applying controlled pressure to a specific vertebra. This will help increase your range of motion, reduce nerve interference, and decrease muscle spasm and pain.
Visiting a chiropractor, alongside taking medication or pain relief, could help to significantly reduce any muscle spasms or painful symptoms from occurring. Over the counter medication may be the most popular choice, but some people may decide to weigh up the medical cannabis options that can be found at places like herbal dispatch or Green Society. Both have a wide array of choices that you could find beneficial to your pain, but making the decision to see a chiropractor should be one of the things that is at the top of your list, especially if your spine is misaligned.
When you have a misalignment/subluxation, it will usually take a number of adjustments for your spine to stabilize in the correct position. One of the many benefits of chiropractic care is that minor injuries often resolve in just a few visits. However, more significant injuries or chronic conditions will obviously take longer to correct. Over time, chiropractic care will help your body heal itself so you can live without pain and do the things you want to do.
Recommendations From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Much of the research into the science of chiropractic care has focused on lower back pain. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), chiropractic care is the most commonly used “complementary” therapy for back pain. Among those who used chiropractic care for back pain, 66 percent perceived “great benefit” from their treatment. HHS highlights research that recommends doctors refer patients with lower back pain that does not improve on its own after four weeks to nondrug therapies such as chiropractic treatment. This research stresses that long term opioid use does not improve patient’s physical functioning.
The Chiropractic Physician
In Oregon, chiropractic physicians must graduate from an accredited college. It takes four to five years to complete a chiropractic medicine degree, which includes anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, nutrition, gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, differential diagnosis, radiology, spinal analysis, chiropractic manipulation and physiotherapy. In order to practice in Oregon, chiropractors must pass the National Board Examinations and the Oregon State Board Examinations. Yearly continued education is required to maintain an active license to practice.
If you have questions about the medical science behind chiropractic, Graffeo Chiropractic Clinic is happy to provide you more information.