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What is Chiropractic?

Welcome to chiropractic! You are about to join many of your neighbors who already have recognized the power of chiropractic care. You may ask what is chiropractic and how can it help me? What people learn from chiropractic is that it offers a natural, drugless avenue for healthcare. The truth is that chiropractic has become the largest drugless health care profession in the world because it has helped millions of people recover from sickness and disability, minimizing the use of drugs and surgery. People who suffered from migraine headaches profess "Chiropractic is for headaches". People with low back pain may tell you "chiropractic is for low back pain" The same applies for those who suffer from digestive problems, asthma, back and neck pain, sciatica, colds and colic. People also visit the chiropractor to gain energy, improve sports performance, to resist disease and to live drug-free, a healthy way of life for them and their families. More specifically, chiropractic is a system of health care that releases a serious form of stress from your body. These are vertebral subluxations in your spine,which can affect nerves, muscles, internal organs, discs, bones and brain, weakening your overall health.

What do chiropractors do? Chiropractor's work to remove serious interference or stress in your life and spine called subluxations. A condition that puts pressure on nerves, unbalances your body, lowers your resistance to disease and weakens you. Subluxations prevent you from functioning at your best. Living free of vertebral subluxations allows your body to be balanced and absent of stress on your nervous system. By removing subluxations, you are better able to use your inner resources to achieve health and healing and above all "Life".Chiropractic is about bringing out the best in you!

What is a subluxation and what does it do to our health?

The simple version.............

A vertebral subluxation takes place when one or multiple bones of your spine or vertebra, move out of their position creating pressure and irritation on spinal nerves. Spinal nerves travel out between each vertebra in your entire spine. These nerves transmit various messages from your brain via your spinal cord to corresponding areas in your body. Pressure and irritation of the spinal nerves interferes with these signals creating abnormal functioning in the message delivery system.

This message delivery system is also known as the nervous system. It is the nervous system that controls and coordinates all the functions of the body. If there is interference in this network of signals which travels through the spinal nerves, parts of your body fail to receive the proper nerve signals to run your body. A body not functioning at 100% of its inner ability becomes a body that is not working properly.

Chiropractic adjustments specifically deal with the correction of the vertebral subluxation within the spine. The profession of chiropractic is the only profession trained to specifically correct subluxations and educate the public as to their serious effects.

The detailed version..........

Vertebral subluxations can be described as multiple changes. When a subluxation exists changes immediately take place within your spine and throughout the entire body. These changes have been grouped into 5 areas to help classify and identify the changes that take place when a vertebral subluxation exists in your spine.

Here are the 5 components of a Vertebral Subluxation Complex:

Firstly, subluxation involves "Joint Damage" also known as a Kinesiopathology. This means that a vertebra has moved out of proper alignment. This can increase the stress on joints, discs and ligaments. It can also cause jammed or locked joints. This is evident via a clicking sound, pain, reduced range of motion, loss of balance and posture. In addition, loss of energy and fatigue have been noted in those with subluxations.

Secondly, subluxation involves "Nerve Damage", also known as Neuropathology. When the vertebra move out of alignment they can compress and stretch nerves causing abnormal nerve function. Abnormal nerve function leads to altered internal organ function, pain and other conditions.

Thirdly, subluxation involves "Tissue Damage" also known as Histopathology. Abnormal positioning of the vertebra and the pressure they place on the nerves in the area of involvement damages nearby soft tissue. This creates swelling, pain and tenderness to touch the area. This unnatural process can further lead to arthritic changes to the joints and surrounding soft tissue.

Fourthly, subluxation involves "Muscle Damage" also known as Myopathology. Abnormal positioning of the vertebra and pressure on the nerves creates muscle tension, spasm, weakness and pain. If prolonged this can lead to ligament and tendon damage and serious postural alterations.

Lastly, subluxation invovles "Health Damage" also known as Pathophysiology. Abnormal positioning of the vertebra and pressure on the nerves through the above processes leads to a state of dis-ease. Dis-ease refers to a lack of health and wellness which leads to accelerated aging, chronic fatigue, joint degeneration, disc destruction, decreased ability to deal with physical and emotional stress, lowered resistance to disease and the inability to "hold" chiropractic adjustments for prolonged periods.

Misaligned spinal bones (vertebra) or subluxations that affect your nerves, are very common and very dangerous. They can affect your immune system, spinal health, posture and internal health/organs. Vertebral subluxations prevent the body from functioning at its best making it prone to physical, emotional and chemical stress which leads to sickness, weakness, fatigue and early aging.

For over 100 years Doctors of chiropractic have been correcting the dangerous, life-altering, silent and often painless "Subluxation". When corrected the body's natural healing ability (inner doctor) is more in touch with the rest of the body. Scientific evidence reveals that no disease is immune from the natural ability of your "inner doctor".

As more research unfolds in chiropractic, we continue to see a trend indicating the dangers of subluxations and the importance of their correction. True health comes from a nervous system that functions optimally, free from interference, functioning at 100% capacity, carrying out the functions it was design to do for your body. This means being free from subluxations. Needham Family Chiropractic focuses on the correction of subluxations so you can attain the highest level of health, known as optimal health. Only chiropractic deals with the detection, screening, education and correction of vertebral subluxations.

What Causes Subluxations?

Usually stress. During infancy stress can result from a difficult birth or in childhood from difficult or numerous falls. As an adult emotional stress/strain can eventually damage the spine. Furthermore, any form of physical trauma: slips, falls and motor vehicle accidents can suddenly put your spine of out alignment.
Almost everyone gets vertebral subluxations at some point in their life. It's a silent epidemic and this is the reason why it's so important to have your spine and your familiy's spine checked by a doctor of chiropractic. Just as you would your eyes or your teeth.

Causes of Subluxation:

1. Any difficulty with childbirth or delivery
2. Motor vehicle accidents
3. Slips and falls (Even those dating back to childhood)
4. Poor posture
5. Eating junk food
6. Repetitive activities (strain and sprain injuries)
7. Physical and emotional stress
8. Drugs and medications
9. Working in awkward places and positions
10. Prolonged car rides

The Danger Signs

If you suffer from headaches, stiffness of the neck or back, backaches, pain in the arms, legs, numbness in the hands, feet, general nervousness, you are suffering from one of the eight danger signs of possible nerve pressure caused by subluxations. Constant headaches are a warning sign that nerves are being affected near the base of your skull. This is a method for the body to warn you something is wrong. It is not normal to have to deal with headaches throughout your life. The eight signs are the ways your body's signal something is wrong. If left uncorrected, signs and symptoms continue to increase and even produce more severe conditions.

How do chiropractors help?

The chiropractor analyzes your body for vertebral subluxations by using his/her hands or other analysis tools. Then they correct or remove any vertebral subluxations using spinal adjustments. Adjustments involve a hand or instrument contact on an area of your spine and vertebra. A small and comfortable thrust follows this contact of the vertebra allowing the chiropractor to move it back to it's normal position. This takes pressure off of nerves, tension out muscles and allows damaged joints and ligaments the opportunity to heal properly.

It Takes Time

When your sick, pain and discomfort can make three hours seem like 3 days. The road to recovery might seem endless. Remember, just as the cause of sickness doesn't usually strike overnight, healing does not happen in a day. It takes time.

How Much Time?

This depends on a number of important areas:

1. How serious are your vertebral subluxations?

The longer they've been there the longer it will take. Through x-ray, examiniation and EMG we can tell you just how serious things are.

2. How long you've had a subluxation for?

With a problem, the longer it exist the more difficult it becomes to correct. Also, with the initial problem in place, secondary problems will develop.

For example, when a vertebra moves out of position, the body as a result attempts to balance itself. It eventually adapts so that one or more vertebra are forced out of place in other areas of the spine and pelvis. These are called compensatory subluxation.

The muscles and ligaments are used to hold vertebra in both normal and abnormal position, it is likely they have built a strong resistance to change. This strong resistance means that the body and spine has accepted the abnormal positioning as normal via adaptation. This is why it takes time and regular chiropractic care to re-educate and rehabilitate your spine until the vertebra hold in a normal position.

How fast can the body react to chiropractic?

This depends on each individual body. In some people a scratch or cut can take several days to heal. In others it may take only one night. A lot of factors are involved: physical condition, age, mental attitude, condition of ligaments and muscle. Healing is very individual.

Some people have symptoms disappear shortly after they begin chiropractic care. However, that doesn't mean that healing and rehabilitation have taken place. Damaged tissues and ligaments holding those vertebra need time to heal and eventually they will. This happens when the vertebra are trained to hold in position. Sure, relief of symptoms is good but the correction of the cause of these signs and symptoms is even better. It is a grave mistake to assume you are healthy just because pain or symptoms of the illness are gone. At Needham Family Chiropractic we care about your health and well-being, not just your current symptoms. We will do our best to serve you and make sure "Complete" healing takes place. But it also takes time.

Give it Time

If you follow the instructions of your chiropractor, usually it can be estimated how long and how many treatments it will take to help your condition. At Needham Family Chiropractic, we design specific programs of corrective care with the use of follow-up examiniations, x-ray and EMG to help determine your rate of improvement. So give yourself time, it may take longer than you would like, but remember with the cooperation of your doctors plan you will shorten the time it takes to regain that state of good health in which you were happy and free of pain.

If my symptoms are gone, do I still need to see the chiropractor?

When symptoms appear they usually indicate the last phase of a health condition. They are also the first to disappear when you begin chiropractic care. But spinal misalignments or subluxation which cause symptoms does not go away that quickly. Chiropractors are trained to treat the cause of the problem, not the symptoms. Before you received chiropractic care your body underwent some serious adapting due to poor spinal alignment. The nervous system running through your spine could not function properly and this eventually contributed to your current health problems. It's too easy for the spine to fall into old patterns of misalignment and malfunction. This is Needham Family Chiropractic wants to see you periodically to re-evaluate your progress and to prevent future problems even when signs and symptoms do not exist.

Do I need to see a Chiropractor for life?

This depends on your health outlook. Many people have already made chiropractic a part of their lifestyle. Typically, a healthy lifestyle choice involves adequate nutrition, regular exercise and a positive attitude. With chiropractic as part of yours, you'll achieve optimal health and avoid future recurrences and problems. Periodic spinal checkups allow you to prevent serious problems by having them corrected early.