This article was written by Dr. Cally Parks of Chiropractic Health and Wellness Center. They have a team of top-rated chiropractors in Richmond, VA, that includes Dr. Carmen Johanning, Dr. Kimberly McCutchen.
What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you feel sick or in pain? Medicine or medication? What if there was another option that could free you from the pain without either of the above? Truth be told, there is! Chiropractic is here to help you! When most people think of chiropractic, they automatically think of back pain, neck pain, or the infamous “crack,” but there is so much more to Chiropractic than what meets the eye.
In today’s society, the mentality of “if I feel fine, then I am healthy” is all too common, and any potential issues are often treated with drugs or medication. However, many people fail to realize that rather than successfully treating these symptoms, many of these drugs and medications simply mask the issue at hand or provide temporary relief rather than a long-term solution. It’s effectively the same as covering the check engine light in your car with duct tape and hoping for the best; you wouldn’t do that with your car, so why do it with your body? We always say that health is best achieved naturally through your body’s innate wellness-centered intelligence when possible.
When you were in the womb, the first two things that were formed were your spinal cord and your brain, the two most integral parts of your nervous system. Your brain rests in your skull and sends signals down through your spinal cord. Your spinal cord runs through and is protected by your spinal column, made up of 24 moveable bones known as vertebrae. Spinal nerves branch off of the spinal cord exit out openings between the bones. These nerves go to every muscle, tendon, tissue, cell, and organ; in other words, your brain sends messages out to the rest of your body that are crucial to your health and everyday life.
When two or more bones are misaligned in your body, a subluxation occurs. These subluxations can negatively impact the nervous system and its communication with the body. This can not only cause pain and general discomfort but also weaken your immune system, opening you up to numerous possible health issues.
There are three different ways one can get a subluxation, known as the “Three T’s” - thoughts, traumas, and toxins. Thoughts can be social, financial and/or situational stresses that can negatively impact one’s health. Traumas can be as big as a car accident or as small as repetitive motions - such as looking down at your phone - that impact your bodily health. Toxins can result from the environment you are in, smoking, etc., or from the food and drink you consume on a daily basis.
As chiropractors, we analyze and correct these subluxations by making specific “adjustments,” either by hand or by using chiropractic instruments. These adjustments gently put bones back into their proper alignment, allowing the body to heal from the inside-out naturally without drugs or surgery. One of the great “side effects” of chiropractic care and adjustments is that you often see immediate results, usually in the form of pain relief from back and neck pain, but it can also improve digestion, reduce headaches, help with sinus and allergy afflictions and much more. Some common conditions that come into our office with young children who are subluxated are ear infections, colic, sleeping difficulties, difficulty nursing and balance concerns. Sometimes it only takes a few treatments to resolve the issue but if the underlying problem is chronic, repeated treatments for these subluxations over time may be the key to ensuring long-term health benefits.
One tool we may use to visualize the subluxations in older children and adults is digital x-ray. When looking at x-rays, we can see subluxations, fractures, the alignment of your spine, signs of conditions like arthritis and scoliosis, and so much more. Essentially, x-rays provide a deeper understanding of your body’s internal layout and provide a roadmap to the most optimal, personalized treatment for you.
There is a strong correlation between the curves in the spine and potential health concerns - or lack thereof, given a corrected spinal curve - down the road. As such, alongside x-rays, our office also employs the Pettibon System, a comprehensive rehabilitation program for the spine's hard and soft tissues. The Pettibon System uses specific developed weights and exercises, referred to as therapies, to directly affect lasting spinal correction as it relates to the strengthening of targeted muscles and tissues. Therapies in our office consist of wobbling, thoracic rolling, cervical wall traction, fulcra-spinal molding, fulcra exercises, head and body weighting and muscle stimulation. All of the aforementioned exercises help strengthen these muscles and help correct improper spinal curvature that would have a negative impact on your health.
If you want a specific, scientific approach to health, then chiropractic is for you, and we’re more than happy to help you along every step of your journey to wellness!