When someone’s neck and/or back hurts, what doctor do most people call? Many people would say a chiropractor, where others may say an MD. Many people don’t know this, but just like medical doctors, chiropractors are doctors too, and believe it or not, they treat similar conditions. In today’s blog, we will be discussing what chiropractic is and how it can help you.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a German term meaning “Done By Hand.” The profession was founded by DD Palmer in September 1895 in Davenport, Iowa. It was discovered after Dr. Palmer performed a spinal adjustment to a partially deaf man whose hearing was almost fully restored after just one adjustment.
Over the last 127 years, chiropractic has been developed, tested and perfected, and with over 200 different techniques, chiropractic is becoming even more recognized than ever before. In fact, chiropractic is becoming so recognized, that people are turning to them versus their PCP.
The biggest difference between a chiropractor and MD is that an MD will prescribe medicine, physical therapy or refer out for an injection to remove pain. What most people don’t realize is that medicine and injections are only numbing the pain and not fixing the problem. The same goes for surgery. Low back/neck surgery has a fairly low success rate.
Chiropractic takes a completely different approach than other traditional western medicine treatments by treating the body with a natural, holistic approach. We need to address one big misconception of chiropractic. When you hear the term “chiropractic,” what is your first thought?
You probably said, “That’s a back and neck doctor,” right? Even though you are not technically wrong, your answer is not accurate enough. Yes, chiropractors do adjust the neck and back, but what we are truly adjusting lies deeper than the spine and that is the nervous system. The spine is the protective case for the spinal cord and the nervous system signals are sent out to the body and return to the spinal cord to allow body movement, feeling, senses and bodily functions such as digestion, breathing, and hormone regulation.
Now that we discussed why chiropractors adjust the spine, we can now explain what chiropractors do. Whenever a vertebra is out of alignment, it creates pressure on an underlying nerve root creating pain and overtime, potentially causing pain down the legs, in the hands, or numbness and tingling. Another thing that patients may begin to notice is improper organ function such as difficulty breathing, digestive distress, irregular bladder/bowel movements, etc.
Most importantly, we want patients to understand that the brain and the nervous system are absolutely vital for survival. They control body systems, movement, sensation, senses, and organ function.
This is why chiropractic is extremely important for overall patient health. Patients may think they’re just getting their necks/backs fixed, but chiropractors are making sure the body is working at optimal levels and preventing disease from entering the body.
What Do We Do?
As previously stated, there are over 200 different chiropractic techniques. Although the chiropractic philosophy values, they all have one thing in common and that is getting the patient well and keeping them pain free.
At our office, we utilize the Pierce Results System that was developed by Dr. Vernon Pierce of Dravosburg, PA in the 1960s. The technique requires a specific and precise set of x-rays in the region of complaint to help the doctor determine current rotation of the spine, thereby identifying the appropriate adjustment to realign the spine and restore the nervous system. Our technique is performed using drop piece mechanisms on the adjusting table that provides a successful high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustment. There is no cracking, no popping, and no twisting or rotating to the spine, joints, or discs.
In order to determine exactly what is needed to get a patient better, we perform a thorough neurological exam after sitting with the patient and consulting about the issues they present to us. At this time, we’re not going to go into detail about the examination process and x-rays as they both will be presented into their own blogs very soon.
The last thing we will leave you with today is that as healthcare providers, it is our duty to serve and to give you the best care possible. At the end of the consultation, we will tell you whether we can help you or not. If we can, we will be glad to serve you. If we cannot, we will get you to someone who can.
For more information about chiropractic care and future blog content, please check out our website at www.drlarrywilkinsspinalcare.com. Don’t forget to give us a like on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Yours in Health,
Larry E. Wilkins, DC
Brian M. Steinert, DC