Chiropractic medicine has been recognized as a branch of healthcare in the U.S. for over a century and practiced for thousands of years. Its roots can be traced back to the ancient Greek civilization. The etymology of the word “chiropractic” came from the Greek words “cheir” which means “hand,” and “praktos” which means “done.”
This holistic approach to ailments generally does not involve surgery or prescription medications, although it can complement conventional medicine. It can be part of your protocol if your patient suffers from back pain, joints problems, sore muscles, and similar physical complaints.
What is Chiropractic Medicine?
Chiropractic medicine is a holistic approach to healing via spinal manipulation. While the brain is the command center, the spine is the foundation of the body’s musculoskeletal structure. It protects the delicate spinal cord, which is the nerve center of the complex neurological system that carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body and receives signals from all parts.
If the spine is misaligned or injured, it can negatively impact nerves, leading to pain and dysfunction of the body’s regular movements. The doctor lays hands on your patient in chiropractic care and uses spinal manipulation to realign it.
The chiropractor does not only address the area that is painful with traditional chiropractic tools, but he will look at other factors that affect your health, such as his diet, physical activity, environmental issues, heredity issues, and other aspects which might also contribute to the pain. Acknowledging the symptom is not enough. t identifies the root of the problem and addresses the cause so natural healing can occur.
Chiropractors can help with acute pain caused by a recent trauma or chronic pain. Commonly, some people do not seek options for their pain right away and choose to endure it instead of thinking that the pain can resolve itself in the future.
The fact is that pain cannot fix itself if caused by a health condition. For instance, if the spine is misaligned, there will be back pain, and if it continues to be misaligned, the pain will persist. The pain might worsen over the years as it goes more and more out of alignment.
Benefits and Advantages
Chiropractic medicine can help with pain in the musculoskeletal system. One disadvantage of conventional medicine is that it places too much emphasis on prescription drugs. If your patient suffers from severe back pain, he might have received a prescription for strong pain medications, most likely an opioid, from his conventional doctor.
The problem with that is opioids are addictive. The more often your patient takes them, the more likely he might develop a dependency on them.
It can break the dependency on drugs by providing an effective, non-pharmacological pain management strategy. Several drugs have side effects. If your patient is taking prescription drugs for pain, you might consider including a referral as an alternative.
Many studies had reported that when patients turned to a doctor of chiropractic medicine for pain, the use of opioids went down.
What Kinds of Conditions Can It Help?
Neck Pain – A common problem is neck pain. If your patient has a job that requires him to sit all day at a desk in front of a computer, there is a good chance that he might have developed poor posture and not even realize it. Bending the neck when talking on the phone or staring at a computer screen not positioned at the ideal height can pressure the neck.
The human head weighs about 11 pounds on average. If their head is not balanced well, he can develop tension in his neck muscles, leading to pain. Poor posture at the desk also throws his spine out of alignment. Other causes of neck pain can be whiplash, arthritis, or trauma.
Back Pain – Back pain can be caused by a pinched nerve when the vertebrae are not aligned. The peripheral nerves go from the spinal cord, the central nerve, through the spaces in the vertebrae, and out to the various parts. If any vertebrae are out of alignment, the nerve can pinch, leading to back pain.
A thorough evaluation that includes radiographic images can determine the root of the problem. Chiropractic medicine can be the first course because it is not invasive like injections or surgery, and it does not require prescription drugs. The chiropractor might combine spinal manipulation with other natural forms such as specific exercises that strengthen the back muscles, such as yoga, relaxation exercises, therapeutic massages, etc.
Headaches – Cervicogenic headaches, not to be confused with tension headaches, originating in the neck, can benefit from chiropractic medicine. If your patient experiences neck pain and headache, he might have a cervicogenic headache, a secondary form of headache caused by another underlying condition.
If your patient complains of pain when he moves his neck a certain way, this is a sign of a cervicogenic headache. If a neck injury is ruled out, the chiropractor can manipulate the neck to relieve pressure on the neck joints and improve the function of the nerves in the neck area, thus easing the headache.
A recent study was done on people with chronic headaches. After six to eight sessions of chiropractic care in the upper area, this group reported more pain relief than people who did not receive a chiropractic adjustment. Three months later, this group still reported more pain relief during a follow-up.
Scoliosis – Scoliosis is a condition where the spine has an abnormal sideways curvature. This condition often appears in children and adolescents. Chiropractic manipulation can reduce this curvature over a few sessions.
Reducing Osteoarthritis Symptoms – Arthritis is a common complaint among the older population because the cartilage around the joints degenerates as a person ages. There is some evidence that when joints are realigned, it can reduce the tendency of the joint bones to rub together, which can cause the cartilage to wear down.
Chiropractors can correct your posture. If your patient complains of back pain and a stiff neck, and his employment requires sitting at his desk all day long, he might have developed a hunchback posture.
The good news is that chiropractic care can correct his poor posture by gradually straightening out the backbone over several sessions. When posture improves, his back pain, neck pain, and headache will have relief.
Chiropractic sports medicine can also reduce an athletes dependence on strong prescription pain medications. When natural methods can manage pain, there is no longer a need to take pain medication.
Chiropractic Medicine Is Complementary
Internal or external conditions can cause pain. Chiropractic medicine can complement other methods of pain management. Holistic approaches like deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation can be used with chiropractic modalities.
It can also complement conventional medicine. There may be times when traditional approaches are required to address certain severe medical conditions. For example, it cannot do anything about cancer, but it can be used by cancer patients who need pain relief from back pain.
What Is BioScan?
BioScan is a high-tech system that you can use to assess your health. It scans the functions of all major systems and reports the findings on a chart. You can determine the root cause of ailments from this data.
The test is non-invasive and only takes about 15 minutes to complete. The BioScan system produces a report that presents the data in an easy-to-read, color-coded chart. The color-coded chart can help you evaluate the results quickly and share them with your patient, so he can also see and understand his health care.
The BioScan system allows you to create a protocol that addresses the whole body. The report can show you nutrient deficiencies that you can use to suggest supplements and changes to diet.
The Whole Patient
When the body is in pain, it responds by directing blood circulation from the outer tissues, like your hands, to the internal organs like the brain, heart, muscles, and lungs as they signal to either fight or run away.
Chiropractic medicine can help your patient achieve a better quality of life by providing pain relief without drugs and invasive surgery. The data from the BioScan system can help you customize a plan that addresses their needs.
You can include a protocol of supplements that fill in the nutrient deficiencies to bring his health back into balance. Combine that with a regular exercise program and techniques for reducing stress and anxiety; your patient will have the tools to put him on the road to a healthier and happier life.