Spinal adjustment is almost synonymous with chiropractic care. Modern chiropractors typically offer several types of treatment to their patients, including spinal decompression therapy, laser therapy, and massage, but spinal adjustment is the mainstay. Here are your questions about this versatile treatment answered.
Is Spinal Adjustment a New Treatment?
There’s nothing new about spinal adjustment. Ancient Greeks and Buddhist monks left behind descriptions and depictions of spinal manipulation thousands of years ago. The practice of spinal manipulation was not always called “chiropractic,” but different versions of spinal adjustment have been used worldwide for centuries. The first spinal adjustment that we know of that resembled modern chiropractic technique happened in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer performed a precise adjustment on a vertebra he could see was out of alignment. His patient was a janitor who had lost his hearing after “moving wrong.” Mr. Palmer was not the first to perform an adjustment, but he did invent precise adjustment techniques. The janitor’s hearing returned, and Palmer was inspired to investigate the medical uses of spinal manipulation further.
Is There Evidence that Spinal Manipulation Works?
Ever since Palmer adjusted his first patient, the legitimacy of spinal manipulation has been debated. In recent decades sufficient scientific evidence has come to light to convince the larger medical community. After reviewing the positive findings of multiple studies, The American Medical Association, long skeptical of spinal manipulation, has now issued a statement recommending it for low back pain. Their studies concluded that spinal manipulation was a safe and effective alternative to painkillers and surgery. The American Pregnancy Association recommends spinal adjustment as a safe treatment for common pregnancy concerns such as nausea and back pain. They also state that spinal manipulation can reduce the chance of cesarean section and breech birth.
Spinal adjustment is no longer “fringe” or controversial. Many doctors now recommend their patients to chiropractic care.
Why Does Spinal Adjustment Work?
Many people think of chiropractors as “bone doctors,” but they actually treat the nervous system. The vertebrae in the spine house and protect the spinal cord–the highway of your nervous system. Nerves branch out from your spinal cord through spaces in the vertebrae to your organs and limbs. When the vertebrae become misaligned, they can disrupt nervous system function. Correcting the vertebrae frees the nervous system to function optimally. This is why chiropractic care works for so many things, including pain, asthma, earaches, and digestive complaints.
When Should I Receive an Adjustment?
Many people first see a chiropractor after a back injury. Musculoskeletal pain is a good reason to pay your chiropractor a visit, but it’s not the only one. Children struggling with frequent ear infections can benefit from an adjustment to the vertebrae in the neck where the nerves to the Eustachian tubes are located. An adjustment in this area allows the body to open the Eustachian tubes so they can drain. New or worsening asthma, allergies, and other immune problems also respond to chiropractic care. Impaired nerves in the mid-back can cause breathing problems, and subluxations are also linked to poor immunity.
The best time to see your chiropractor is when you are feeling well. Regular visits keep the spine and nervous system in tip-top shape and prevent problems before they start. Spinal manipulation improves balance, range of motion and makes you less prone to injury.
Is Spinal Manipulation Safe for Everyone?
The short answer is yes. There are, of course, certain conditions that contraindicate chiropractic care. Patients with tumors on or near the spine and those with severe osteoporosis may not be good candidates for spinal manipulation. Most people, including children, pregnant women, and older adults, can receive it safely. Even people with mild to moderate osteoporosis can be adjusted. Chiropractors are trained in dozens of adjustment methods, including gentle methods for infants, young children, and the elderly. Chiropractors also take courses specifically about treating pregnant women.
Spinal manipulation treats many stage-of-life issues. For infants, it can fix subluxations that interfere with latching and breastfeeding. Young children and infants who get adjusted regularly have fewer ear infections. Growing kids benefit from having their spines “tuned up” so that subluxations don’t cause problems as they develop. Older adults will experience increased balance, range of motion, and less pain. Athletes know that getting adjusted regularly decreases their risk of injury and improves their performance.
What does Spinal Adjustment Feel Like?
Spinal adjustment is a comfortable treatment to receive. It’s completely non-invasive, quick, and typically painless. If you are dealing with a severely painful injury, you may experience some discomfort, but you will also feel relief after treatment.
How Long Does It Take to Work?
This depends on the condition treated. You may need multiple adjustments per week for several weeks to heal an acute injury, followed by less frequent maintenance adjustments. For other concerns like ear infections, one adjustment may be all that’s needed. Once monthly preventative adjustments are recommended to patients who wish to improve their overall wellness.
Your chiropractor may combine adjustment with other treatments like laser therapy or exercises to correct postural problems.
Spinal Adjustment in Michigan
At Burkhart Chiropractic, we use spinal adjustments to treat pain, sleep problems, and a variety of other health complaints. Our licensed professionals provide safe and effective treatments for every life stage. Come in for a consultation today and get a healthy start to your New Year.