The modern Chiropractor is an independent physical/manual therapy practitioner who works both directly and indirectly with the nervous system.
Your nervous system controls and regulates every cell of your body. When your nervous system doesn’t work correctly, you don’t work correctly. Ideally, our bones stack up one upon the other: the head rests directly on top of the spine, which sits directly over the pelvis, which sits directly over the knees and ankles. But if you spend hours every day sitting in a chair in front of an office P.C., if you hunch forward on a phone or stand all day, if you drive long distances, lift excessively, or play dynamic sports you will stress your spine and it may become misaligned.
The recurrent soft tissue damage will eventually cause pain and you will feel as if you have a physical problem as the root muscles of your posterior neck and or your low back are affected by the resulting nerve tension and increased joint pressure.
That is where chiropractic really shines. Chiropractors provide the physical solutions: adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, but there is a deeper understanding that the learned patterns of this injury process actually reside in your nervous system. Hence the need for gentle, specific adjustments (the Chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve the coordinated efficiency of your spine and joints, bones, muscles that all rely on these intimate nerve tissues that are the key to recovery.
The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra or a limb for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving.
Many chiropractors also use far gentler mobilising and stretching techniques that re-activate the balance of muscle tone and restore the function of nerve tone around an injury site that includes the large prime mover muscle groups but also take account of synergists, the smaller muscle groups that support the main trunk or the overall balance of a limb.
Chiropractic has a purposeful analytical approach aimed at more fully understanding the mechanism of injury, in order to direct a physical therapy to where it is needed most with the correct level of intensity. Respect for the healing art that can so easily be overlooked if we notice only the obvious physical injury and not the evidence that the body’s own inner regulator is at work.
This was what the original first chiropractors referred to as the innate, inner healer, a premise at the heart of chiropractic philosophy that set their emerging profession apart from the very beginning in the mid-western United States one hundred years ago.