Fall is a special time of year for chiropractic care. Last month, we celebrated chiropractic’s birthday. But the party isn’t over yet, because October is National Chiropractic Awareness Month!
The American Chiropractors Association (ACA) started National Chiropractic Awareness Month to spread the news about chiropractic. This event has gained recognition from state and local governments, including an official proclamation by the Governor of Colorado! But what’s all the hype about? Let’s take a step back and learn more about chiropractic and see why National Chiropractor Awareness Month is especially important this year.
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a medical profession that treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system in order to promote the health of the entire body. The musculoskeletal system includes our bones, joints, nerves, and muscles. The most common problem addressed by chiropractors is spinal misalignments or subluxations. The back is crucial to our health because our spinal cord runs right through it. The spinal cord can be thought of as our nervous system’s main highway. It carries signals from our brain to every part of our body. If a vertebra is misaligned, it can pinch a nerve and block these signals. Thus, subluxations have the potential to not only cause pain in the back and neck but also inhibit movement.
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic uses non-invasive physical manipulations to correct these problems by bringing the body back into alignment. It gets its name from two Greek words – cheir, meaning “hand” – and praktos, meaning “done” – because it is entirely “done by hand.” No drugs or surgery are employed. Chiropractic rejects the notion of using invasive treatments to “fix” defective parts of the body but instead acknowledges the body’s ability to heal itself. It addresses the underlying causes of pain and weakness in the body and corrects these problems to eliminate pain and get the body working properly again. This is the work that Dr. Andrea has dedicated her life to.
Over time, chiropractic has evolved to include more than just simple adjustments. Other treatment methods now widely offered by chiropractors include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, infrared, cupping, acupuncture, dry needling, and shockwave therapy. All of these work toward the common goal of releasing tension and helping your body to heal.
When to see a chiropractor
If you’ve been suffering from neck or back pain that you can’t explain, a subluxation may be to blame, and a chiropractic adjustment may provide the relief you’re looking for. These misalignments can cause chain reactions and lead to all sorts of problems throughout the entire body. Pinched nerves can cause numbness and tingling; misaligned muscles may become tense and fatigued. Some surprising problems have also been linked to spinal misalignments, including headaches and digestive issues. If you’re dealing with any of these, chiropractic may be the solution. In fact, the very first modern chiropractic patient was cured of deafness after an adjustment!
Studies have shown that patients who regularly visit a chiropractor see reductions in hospital admissions, required surgeries, and money spent on medications. Chiropractic has been proven to help patients who are suffering whiplash after a car accident. Athletes who have been injured in play also seek out chiropractic care. It’s even safe and effective for children and pregnant women!
Physical activity and chiropractic
In spite of all the good that chiropractic can do, it is not a cure-all. That is why this year’s theme for National Chiropractic Awareness Month is Move4Life. Physical activity is important because spinal adjustments on their own can only do so much. Because of this, all chiropractic treatments should be combined with regular physical activity.
Staying active reduces the chances of certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. It burns fat to reduce weight gain and prevent obesity, which has other consequences such as diabetes. It keeps the bones strong and less likely to give out or become misaligned. It keeps the body limber and increases your range of movement. Most importantly in the context of chiropractic, staying active reduces back pain. Sitting for too long, especially in the same position, puts excessive pressure on the lower back and spinal disks. Exercise also has benefits for mental health. It promotes neural growth in the brain and releases endorphins, both of which help to bring about a sense of calm and fight depression and anxiety.
National Chiropractic Awareness Month is especially important in the COVID-19 era because the pandemic has broken normal routines and added new stressors into life, making existing health problems even worse. The prolonged closure of gyms and suspension of recreational activities made it harder to exercise. Combined with distance work, it became easier to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. These longer periods of sitting have also increased the potential for lower back problems. Additionally, mental health stresses have only been compounded by social and economic strife, as well as extended periods of isolation.
The good news is that you can take steps to greatly reduce the risk of these problems. If you find yourself sitting for extended periods, challenge yourself to get up and move!
Here at Dr. Andrea’s, we understand that chiropractic is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. We will combine your chiropractic treatment with exercise plans and dietary suggestions. In cases where surgery is necessary, we will refer you to the proper practitioner. No matter your age, we can help you celebrate National Chiropractic Awareness Month by working with you to build a holistic plan for your health. Visit our website to learn more about us and the treatments we offer and call us at 918-364-2225 to schedule an appointment.