Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation with a particular focus on subluxations. (World Health Organization, Guidelines on Chiropractic, 2005).
The spinal column has 2 basic functions – to give us (vertebrates) a body shape and a better motion control, and -most importantly- to protect our spinal cord. The spinal cord is a delicate part of the central nervous system that controls and coordinates the body.
When two or more vertebrae aren’t properly moving, a spinal dysfunction is created. Spinal dysfunctions often go unnoticed and can cause miscommunication between your brain and body. The early stage of many spinal dysfunctions (acute stage) can be silent, so you might not perceive the dysfunction in the beginning. When the symptoms are perceived (usually discomfort/pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness, burning, etc.) the spinal dysfunction is usually in a more advanced phase, meaning the patient entered the chronic stage.
Spinal dysfunctions may eventually cause symptoms in other parts of the body as well (called referred pain). These symptoms are your body’s only way of letting you know something is wrong. Chiropractic care aims to treat not only the symptoms, but treats the cause as well. Unfortunately, the absence of pain is not an indication of health. By the time pain and symptoms appear the problem may have been present for months, or even years. That’s why I emphasize the importance of preventative care with routine chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care can provide numerous benefits for a variety of conditions, such as neck/mid-back/low back pain, headaches, sciatica, joint stiffness, muscle tension, foot/knee/hip/shoulder/wrist/elbow pain, just to name a few.
Essentially anyone can benefit from chiropractic care, whichever a person is looking for a wellness/preventative care or coming by looking for relief of symptoms. No matter what the reason is, receiving chiropractic treatment is your big step to take control over your health!
The NMSK in a nutshell
The neuromusculoskeletal (NMSK) system is made up of the bones of the skeleton, muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, cartilages, and the nerves serving them. Its main role is to provide structure, support, stability, and movement to the body.
The spine (formed by 33 vertebrae that interlock with each other) houses and protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and its function is to make a neurological connection between the brain and the rest of the body (like arms and legs), carrying information from the brain to the body parts and back to the brain again through the peripheral nerves (which exit the spinal cord through a space in between the vertebrae). Dysfunctions of the spine (eg. disc herniation, poor posture, trauma) often interfere with those nerves’ ability to transmit information.
Regular chiropractic checkups can identify NMSK dysfunctions and impairments, start the proper treatment (hopefully early enough to avoid major problems), and help to prevent many chronic conditions.
Dr. D. Muller, BSc, DC, Webster Certified, ICPA Member