FAQ Series--I've Never Had Back Pain, So Why Would I Need Chiropractic Care?
I’ve Never Had Back Pain, So Why Would I Need Chiropractic Care?
Like many of our frequently asked questions, I hear this one a lot and it brings up a deeper question: what is chiropractic care all about? Most people have heard of chiropractic and they know somebody who had pain and went to a chiropractor for help. The most common issues that lead people to seek chiropractic care include: neck pain, back pain, headaches, car accidents, sciatica, hip pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain. Some of the more savvy researchers seek out a chiropractor because they have nerve issues like pain tingling and numbness in their hand, arm, or leg. But what many people don’t hear about is that there’s many other things that chiropractic care can help with, that really aren’t associated with pain and here they are: insomnia, indigestion, depression, stress, infertility, high blood pressure, dizziness, asthma, longevity, fatigue, chronic illness, increased flexibility, and the list goes on….
So how the heck did those people who never had any pain know to seek chiropractic care? The most common answer is, they tried “everything else” and nothing else worked. But the question still remains for many—how can a chiropractor “cracking your back” fix those issues? Here’s the secret. The spine is just a tool—a set of circuit breakers—if you can imagine that. The spine wraps around and protects the central nervous system (spinal cord) and the peripheral nerves that exit from the sides of the spine traveling out to all of your organs, glands, tissues, and cells. They carry information back and forth to the brain about the state of these tissues and what is needed. When people have spinal misalignments, it puts pressure on the nervous system and the communication suffers—sometimes greatly—and results in pain, symptoms, and mild to severe dysfunction.
But sometimes there’s no pain at all. In fact, as a brand new chiropractic student, in one of my very first classes, we learned that a nerve had to lose 60% of its function before it would express pain. And then with chiropractic treatment, the pain was the first thing to disappear, but the nerve still needed more care to restore itself to 100% function. Chiropractors have a word for this; we call it a subluxation. It’s like the word cavity for a dentist. And sometimes you can feel your subluxations because they are causing pain, and sometimes you can’t feel anything at all…
Because pain can be one of the last symptoms to appear when there is nerve compromise, subluxations are often called silent killers. When left untreated, they lead to spinal degeneration, which is irreversible. Many people have heard from medical doctors that spinal degeneration is a natural part of aging, however this is untrue. If this were the case then all people would get degeneration in exactly the same places and it would happen at exactly the same rate. As a chiropractor, I have seen with my own eyes, spines that have tremendous amounts of degeneration and spines that have none (in both young and elderly people).
These figures below are a testament to some of the other health benefits that chiropractic patients enjoy:
· 60.2% decrease in hospital admissions
· 59% decrease in hospital stays
· 62% decrease in outpatient surgeries
· 85% decrease in pharmaceutical costs
These figures are for pregnant mamas:
· 25% shorter labor times (1st birth)
· 31% shorter labor times (2nd + births)
· Reduction in need for cesarean birth (chiropractors using Webster technique have an 82% success rate with turning breech babies (bottom presenting) to head down AKA vertex position)
All this is the result of caring for the spine and nervous system so that it functions normally and as close to 100% as possible. When the body enjoys full function, it will heal itself faster and more completely, regenerate new cells more efficiently, increase your resistance to all sources of stress including infectious diseases, and help you to fulfill your true potential. When the nervous system is under pressure from subluxations, no amount of drugs, lotions, or potions will change it. People that I know who are wonderfully proactive about their self-care often ask if stretching, yoga, or massage will do the same thing. The answer is that those things are good and important but they do not effectively break apart the scar tissue in the joint that is causing the subluxation. The only professionals who are trained to find and correct a subluxation are chiropractors.
Chiropractic is certainly not the only thing that increases health and longevity. Things like eating a healthful diet, exercising, reducing sources of stress, drinking lots of water, taking appropriate supplements, and seeking spiritual fulfillment are all important pieces of the health puzzle. Chiropractic is part of a healthy lifestyle and for those that want the most out of life, it is a great investment in yourself--and since there’s only one you, you are priceless.