Wellness Articles

Is Chiropractic Care Good For Painful Problems?

Many people first visit a chiropractor because they are suffering some kind of pain – back pain, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, leg pain, or some other kind of discomfort. They are mainly seeking relief, often having tried other approaches like medications, pain-killers, bed rest, and heat.

In fact, many people do get relief from visiting their chiropractor. The reason, though, may be somewhat different from what you might think!

When you’re hurting, the pain seems like the problem, but this is usually not the case. Your body uses pain as an alarm system to alert you to the fact that something inside isn’t working right. So, the pain isn’t the problem, it’s your body’s way of telling you there is a problem.

If you just shut off the alarm, and the fire continues to burn, then the purpose of the alarm was ignored and the house burns down, even though the alarm rang. It’s the same in your body – if you just shut off the pain without finding out why it was happening, the fire in your body continues to burn, and the effect can be a more serious health condition. For example, stomach pain may mean a developing ulcer, but shutting off the stomach pain with antacids or drugs does not address the underlying cause of the ulcer, like stress or poor diet, and eventually the stomach wears out.

So, the pain usually isn’t the problem, it’s the evidence that there is a problem!

That’s why chiropractic care doesn’t really try to shut off the pain, but to find the underlying cause, and deal with that. Often, the cause of the pain is some malfunction in the body, and chiropractors are experts at finding such malfunctions.

Here’s the way it works. The body is designed with a wiring system that connects the brain, which runs the show, with all the body parts. This wiring system is called the nerve system, and nerves are the wires that go from the brain to the body parts, so the brain can direct their function and tell them what to do.

The brain and nerve system are protected by bone, the brain by the skull and the nerve wires by the spinal bones. That’s why chiropractors are trained to examine and correct misalignments in your spine – when those bones go out of position, they can interfere with nerve function, which may either cause pain, or cause some other body malfunction that leads to pain.

When someone decides to begin chiropractic care, the decision frequently stems from a desire to experience relief, and it would be inaccurate to say that this doesn’t happen – most of the time, the pain subsides fairly quickly, and if this is all the individual wants, there’s a tendency to discontinue chiropractic care prematurely, before the underlying problem is adjusted properly so it can heal.

That’s why many chiropractors recommend periodic check-ups, for early detection and the correction of structural problems before they progress.

Many families decide to come in for their adjustments together, as a health and wellness practice, whether or not anyone has a painful problem. They have found that their quality of life improves with regular chiropractic care, among other good lifestyle choices, like healthy diet, sufficient exercise, sleeping on a good mattress, drinking enough water, and practicing stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga.

So, doctors of chiropractic do help people with painful problems by finding the cause of the problem, and they also help people who don’t have painful problems by coaching them on better lifestyle decisions and keeping their structure healthy. Chiropractic care has something to offer just about everybody.

Understanding Chiropractic

Being a practicing chiropractor for many years, I have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people everyday.  When patients enter my office on their initial visit, they enter with certain symptoms as well as very specific expectations of what it is they want to accomplish.  Most commonly, they present with back pain, neck pain, headaches and other symptoms of disease and have a simple understanding, or should I say misunderstanding, that chiropractors “fix backs.”  And, their expectations are that they want to feel better “NOW.”

For these reasons, it is my belief that it is absolutely critical to take time to educate and empower every one of my patients so that they have a complete understanding of the following 4 things:

  1. What exactly has caused their problem.
  2. What it is going to take to correct their problem.
  3. How long is it going to take to correct their problem.
  4. Exactly how chiropractic can help.

You see, what I want every patient to understand is that as unique as each individual is when they enter my office, they ALL have certain things in common.  For me, the very best part about being a chiropractor is knowing that every patient that walks through the door walks in with a problem and the solution inside of them.  Remember, healing always comes from within each of us.  It is my responsibility as the Doctor of Chiropractic to help facilitate that healing by removing vertebral subluxations from the nerve system.  When interference is removed, the body can adapt and heal on its own.  How long that will take is unique for each individual. 

It is absolutely critical to empower patients to live a healthier lifestyle … a chiropractic lifestyle.  This includes proper diet, exercise, stress reduction and adding love to their lives.  I find that patients who own a greater understanding of exactly what it means to be “healthy” can make the best health decisions for themselves and their families.  I am truly proud that my chiropractic practice is comprised of families who choose to be lifetime chiropractic patients because they are empowered to live long, healthy and vital lives.