Can the principles of exercise and fitness be applied to the health of your spine?
Most people recognize that a chiropractor is the health professional of choice when it comes to dealing with your back or the health of your spine and nervous system. What most people don’t realize is that not all chiropractors are the same. Similar to medical doctors, there are a variety of specializations, techniques, and practice styles in the profession. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types of chiropractors and what your goals are for care. After all, you wouldn’t seek the advice of a gastroenterologist if you tore the ACL in your knee - you’d obviously want to consult with an orthopaedic surgeon for that.
The same is true with chiropractic care. The first thing you must do is identify what your goals are for your care so that you can consult with the right type of chiropractor for your needs.
The following is a breakdown of the 2 most common specializations within the chiropractic profession:
Traditional Chiropractic has the following goals: Decrease muscle spasm, increase range of motion, and decrease pain. When you visit a “traditional chiropractic” office, you can expect to get adjusted in a few areas based on pain, probably get some massage, some stretches, and then modalities to reduce your pain like ice, heat, ultrasound or electric stim. This is what MOST chiropractors offer in the way of care, and I believe that most of these folks to a great job at what they do.
X-ray analysis is not usually done so this form of chiropractic does not take an underlying look at your spine or nerve system to make any form of long-term correction. However, if you’re looking for fast (although maybe short-term) pain relief then this approach may be right for you.
Structural Corrective Chiropractic:
Structural Corrective Chiropractic is focused on the underlying structure of your spine. Extensive analysis (including digital x-ray and nerve scans) is done to detect the underlying cause of your pain or other symptoms.
The spine is the foundation of our body, our posture, and our health. So for a moment, think of the foundation of a building. If the foundation were off, then we would expect the floors to creak, the walls to crack, and the windows would not close properly. You could repair and patch these problems, but you should understand that it would only be a temporary fix. Eventually these problems will return and you will be forced to repair them again and again.
As an office dedicated to corrective chiropractic, we detect and analyze any structural shifts in your spine. These shifts are the underlying cause of many symptoms (or what we call secondary conditions). By correcting these shifts we actually correct the cause of your secondary conditions, rather than manage them. We understand that our services aren’t for everyone, but if you are looking for long-term relief instead of a quick fix then we are the place for you.
Within both of these fields there can also be special focus or attention on pregnancy, paediatric, and sports-based chiropractic care and of course both will approach these situations differently. Again, identify your health goals BEFORE starting care so you can figure out which approach will work best for you.
So why do the principles of exercise apply to the health of my spine?
Correction of spinal structural issues takes time. Structural Correction is a process, no different from attempting to get into good shape. You don’t walk into a health club, workout once (or even a dozen times) and expect to declare yourself to be in shape. And along those same lines, working out may even result in some degree of muscle soreness. That’s the price you pay for doing something beneficial to your body.
It’s not reasonable to expect one or two adjustments to correct abnormal curvatures in the spine. It would be amazing if things could change that fast, but there are physical limits to matter and it’s simply not possible to correct the spine that quickly. It’s a process, not a quick fix. So with that being said, the health benefits you receive from structural spinal correction are long-lasting and actually help to prevent future issues from occurring in the first place!
Are you interested in learning more about structural corrective chiropractic? Would you like to see our office and decide if our unique approach is right for you? Simply give us a call, consultations are always complimentary and we’d be happy to chat with you about how we may be able to help.