How Chiropractic Works
People that are familiar with chiropractic care know that chiropractic ‘works.’ In other words, they know that chiropractic care can get great clinical results. What they might not know however is HOW chiropractic works. How does chiropractic affect the body’s function? What ongoing benefit am I receiving from continuous care? Why should I have the courage to tell my friends and family about it?
Knowing that chiropractic works is one thing, but knowing HOW chiropractic works from a scientific standpoint does several things:
Gives you confidence in your own investment in care.
This is crucial because it’s important to keep sight of WHY you’re investing time and money into care. Otherwise you can lose sight of the benefits of chiropractic and stop mid-careplan.
Gives you the confidence to recommend chiropractic to others.
It’s easy to recommend something like teeth whitening to a friend because the outcomes are easy to explain. For example- “Getting your teeth bleached makes them whiter.” With chiropractic it’s not always as simple to explain. Understanding the science and the effect that chiropractic care has on the body makes it easier.
Allows you to stand up to chiropractic skeptics.
A lot of ignorance exists about chiropractic care. Many people aren’t even aware it’s called chiropractic! (I hear the word ‘chiropractory a lot.’) The mainstream medical community is no exception. While some MD’s are better informed, I sometimes shake my head when a patient receives negative or conflicting advice about chiropractic from their medical doctor. This is a shame, because with better information and awareness about the validity of care this wouldn’t happen. Because of this, it’s important that you have a firm foundation of knowledge to stand on. Knowing how chiropractic works when someone challenges your decision to use chiropractic is one example.This is even more important when you are confronted by someone with cultural authority like a medical doctor or a family member.
So in Simple Terms…
How chiropractic works is through two words: Spinal Motion.
Spinal motion is what creates all the wonderful changes chiropractic produces. Our newsletter this week goes into greater detail on this point. This is because proper spinal motion has both local AND global health effects on the body.
When a spinal joint stops moving properly:
- Scar tissue and inflammation builds up in the muscles and ligaments between spinal joints
- The lack of motion alters joint position signals to the brain (garbage in)
- The output of the brain to the muscles surrounding the joint is altered and distorted (garbage out) creating pain and muscle tension around the joint
- The body interprets this lack of motion as a stressor and eventually sets off the body’s stress response creating more complex issues
When a ‘locked up’ joint is released and begins to move properly through the chiropractic adjustment:
- Scar tissue is broken up between spinal joints and movement is restored and inflammation decreases
- Joint position signals to the brain is restored (no more garbage in)
- Proper communication from the brain to the surrounding soft tissue is restored (no more garbage out) and muscle tension and pain often decreases
- As this physical stressor is removed, the body gets out of the stress response and returns to balance (homeostasis)
“It’s Motion, not Magic”
This is one of my favorite sayings from a chiropractic teacher of mine. It nicely sums up the fact that chiropractic is not as mysterious as it may appear. As unfamiliar as it is to some people, a clear and scientifically valid explanation explains its effectiveness. The spine’s need for motion comes down to the fact that we are genetically designed for spinal motion. At times this motion may be lacking and cause health issues, and a chiropractor helps restore it, helping restore overall health.