In chiropractic college students are bombarded daily with the philosophy of spinal wellness. They are taught that there is a direct relationship between a properly aligned spinal column and good health. These ideas are all true. Spinal adjustments are part of every treatment we perform whether correcting migraines, food allergies, colitis, a hiatal hernia or anything else.
A spinal adjustment is designed to eliminate what chiropractors call, a subluxation. This is a fancy name for an improperly positioned spinal bone (vertebra). Subluxations are often areas of pain, discomfort and swelling. They require attention because their presence in the spine usually means that something else is wrong with the body.
There are a number of ways to correct subluxated bones. I use a variety of techniques, from traditional to very low force. Low force means that you will typically not hear “popping” or “cracking” with an adjustment. All forms of adjustments are effective at restoring normal function to the spine or other bony structures, which is critical for your entire body. How?
Each segment of the spine is directly related to different organs by the nerves that connect them. There are many indirect connections through the muscular and electrical systems as well. Chemical toxicity, tissue strain or sprain, muscle imbalances from excess work, poor posture, and even emotional stress may eventually produce a subluxation in the related area of the spine. In fact, any stress is capable of creating a subluxation.
Correcting subluxations often has a profound effect on the tissues under stress. That is why it is not uncommon for a chiropractor to correct a seemingly unrelated problem like asthma or menstrual cramps simply by performing spinal adjustments.
A patient came into the office for a recurring problem in the middle of his back. Three or four times over the course of six weeks, he would need to be “put back in place.” After further investigation however, it was discovered that because his adrenal glands were under significant stress, he was sensitive to the hormone insulin. After treating him for this problem alone, he no longer needed to be adjusted in his mid-back.
In this case, a subluxation resulted from an insulin imbalance. What's more, most insulin imbalances result from ingesting too many carbohydrates. In other words, it is quite possible that eating spaghetti and bread sticks – one of his favorites - caused the pain in his back!
Chiropractic adjustments are one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, but they are not a cure-all. As stated previously, subluxations are often secondary to organ or tissue stress. If the primary issue is not addressed, subluxations will have a tendency to recur. As you will discover, we use a number of techniques to evaluate and correct the primary cause of a subluxation – not just the subluxation itself. Because of the potential benefits, it is important to regularly seek care for your spine and all other tissues. This often means a short visit every month or so. Consider this: Dentists rightly suggest our need for regular check-ups. If regular check-ups are good for teeth (which have one function) how important are they for a multi-purpose spine that carries the lifeline of the body?