Chiropractic is one of the most misunderstood professions in all of healthcare. That's partly our fault as chiropractors for not educating the public. I'm going to make it my mission to educate you guys on what exactly chiropractors are, what we treat, and what exactly we do as chiropractors.
I'm going to do this by putting out the ABCs of Chiropractic over the course of the next year, so, 26 videos for each letter of the alphabet, starting at A all the way through to the letter Z, of different conditions that chiropractors treat, different things we see in our office, and all different things that are related to chiropractic.
Keep your eyes peeled on our instagram (https://www.instagram.com/suesschiropractic/) and facebook(https://www.facebook.com/suesschiropractic/) pages over the course of the next year for the ABCs of Chiropractic. Make sure you like our pages, send it to your friends, and, most importantly, stop into the office.
A for Arthritis
There are 2 types of arthritic conditions, degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) and inflammatory arthritis which are blood borne arthritides (Rheumatoid, Psoriatic, AS, etc.).
We treat degenerative arthritis on a daily basis in our office, and this is one of the most misunderstood diagnoses that we come across! In fact, osteoarthritis is a natural part of the aging process. It is estimated that nearly 80% of people over the age of 40 have some degree of arthritis in their spine, and it tends to hit the areas of our body that we have beat up the most over the years.
Joints are designed to move, and when they stop moving for a long period of time they tend to wear down. The cartilage tends to break down first, and when that happens the body reacts by lying down bone to protect the joint. This is where bone spurs are born, a very common presentation with degenerative arthritis!.
The bad news is that there is no cure for arthritis. The good news is that you can stop it from progressing! Think of a hard boiled egg, you can’t unboil a hard boil egg but you can take it out of the water and stop if from boiling further. So how do we stop your arthritis from boiling any further? Mobility! As chiropractors our job is to restore mobility to each and every segment of the spine. This increases the physiological function of the joints slowing the degenerative process. Motion is lotion!
B for Babies!
Let me let you in on a little industry secret, Babies have spines too!.
We all know how traumatic the birthing process is for Mom, but a lot of people don’t realize the level of trauma invoked on the baby during a vaginal delivery. Think of where the doctors are grasping to help deliver the baby. At the base of the skull! Then add vacuums and forceps to the mix . VERY commonly we see tension in the upper portion of the babies necks due to delivery related forces. This tension on the spine can place unwanted stress on the nervous system, cause torticollis in infants, and even place tension on Eustachian tube which shares fibers with the upper cervical spine! These types of conditions often lead to breastfeeding issues (latching), ear infections, and abnormal head shape (because they are favoring one side of their neck).
You’re probably thinking, “You shouldn’t be cracking a baby!”. Rest assured, there is absolutely no “cracking” involved in an infant’s adjustment. Because of the elasticity of the supportive structures of the spine at birth, we are able to use a very low-force adjustment technique that requires about as much force as you would use to apply to a bleeding paper cut!
In fact, when the proper contact is achieved the baby usually enters a visibly relaxed state. It’s quite amazing to watch! .
C for Coordination
Coordination is defined as “the ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.”. Let’s take a look at how this occurs; the body communicates its environment to the brain and deploys an accurate action response in an efficient manner that begins a complex cascade of mechanical movements. All of this information is transferred from nerve endings at the specific body part, through the spinal cord, up to the brain, and finally back down the same path it came. This is neurology in a nut shell!
Not many people realize that the primary job of the spine is to protect the spinal cord, which is an integral part of the nervous system. When there is tension or trauma in the spine it adds tension to that area of the nervous system. Think of your spine as an interstate highway. Each exit on the highway are like nerve roots heading out to different body parts. What happens when there is traffic on your exit of the highway? You’re still getting to where you need to go, but you’re getting there a heck of a lot less efficiently!
Let’s take a deeper look at track athletes to see how coordination works. His eyes see the height of the hurdle, the sensors in the feet are registering information on the running surface, the hamstrings are gauging how much more tension they can take and all of this information is sent back to the brain where it decides the perfect amount of force required to propel the plant foot in the air, the perfect position to place his opposite arm to counterbalance his weight and finally how much laxity to leave in his land leg to avoid excess tension on his ligaments. All of this occurs in just milliseconds, that is what coordination looks like!
But what happens if there’s tension on the spine that feeds the lower body, and the brain never receives the message from the plant foot that’s saying “Hey dude, be careful this track is pretty slippery!”. Do you see how minor changes in efficiency can have such a disastrous outcome? Freeing tension from the spine allows the body to Communicate a heck of a lot more efficiently, which in turn, improves Coordiantion!
D FOR DISC INJURY
If all the potential causes of low back pain were entered into a popularity contest, this little jelly-filled shock absorber would blow everyone else out of the water. In fact, disc injuries are among the most misunderstood diagnoses that we treat.
The disc is much like a Jelly donut, a hard outer casing surrounding a jelly filled center. There are 23 jelly donuts in your spine, and the jobs of each of of these is to protect your spine against compressive forces (running, jumping, dancing, falling on your butt when you’ve had one too many, etc.).
Not many people realize that the disc (aka Intervetebral Disc) is actually a joint complex that exists in the spine. If the Intervetebral disc joint remains dysfunctional for a prolonged period of time there are 3 major injuries that we see, from least to most severe:
1. Disc Bulge: Excessive and repetitive unevenly distributed compressive forces (I’m looking at you sitters!) may cause the jelly to shift out of the center of the donut, causing the donut to become oblong which may or may not cause irritation of the neighboring spinal nerves.
2. Disc Herniation: A prolonged bulge may cause the Jelly to begin to break through the donut, causing the jelly to leak out into the spinal canal. That jelly doesn’t get along with the spinal fluid very much, causing a chemical storm in your spinal canal usually resulting in you being bedridden for several days. NOT FUN!.
3. Disc Rupture aka Prolapse: Uh oh, theres no more Jelly in that donut! The body usually quickly follows with pretty significant degenerative changes.
Joints are designed to move! And just like everything else in the body if it stops doing what it is designed to do, the body will shut it down. Through the adjustment, the job of your chiropractor is to make sure that all the joints in your spine, including the disc joint, maintain their optimal range of motion. This restores proper biomechanics to the disc, takes pressure off of the nervous system, and helps slow the event of the degenerative process! SO GO GET ADJUSTED!!!