A Brief History Of Chiropractic

The first recorded chiropractic adjustment was performed on September 18, 1895, by Dr. Daniel David Palmer, a Canadian-born teacher and helter. Dr. Palmer was, at the time, studying the cause and effect of disease. His patient was Harvey Lillard, a janitor working in the same building as Dr. Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Lillard, who had complained of hearing problems for over 17 years, allowed Dr. Palmer to examine his spine. Dr. Palmer discovered a “lump” on Mr. Lillard’s back and suspected that a vertebra might be out of place, which he then repositioned the vertebra with a gentle thrust. After several such treatments, much of Mr. Lillard’s hearing was restored.

Since Dr. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment, the art and science of chiropractic has progressed significantly. Today, advanced diagnostic procedures, sophisticated equipment, scientific research, and the growing acceptance among other health care professionals makes chiropractic a popular health care choice.

What is Chiropractic ?

Chiropractic is a unique form of health care which stresses an overall body wellness. The focus of chiropractic is to locate and help correct spinal problems that are disrupting the controlling nerve impulses between the brain and every cell, tissue, organ, and system of your body. Spinal bones which have lost their normal motion are restored by a series of carefully directed spinal adjustments. Because the adjustments help restore the function of the nervous system, they can have a profound effect to your overall health without drugs or surgery.

What type of education do Doctors of Chiropractic receive?

Chiropractors must receive a Doctorate degree as most medical doctors. The basic science and clinical coursework includes anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, physical and laboratory diagnostics, radiology, physiology, pathology, nutrition, biomechanics, and spinal manipulation techniques. Chiropractic education is similar to medical education except the focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of muscular-skeletal and nervous system disorders rather than use of prescribed medicine or surgery. Licensed Chiropractors have legally earned the right to be called doctors and use Dr. or D.C. with their name.

What is an adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the art of applying a precise force in a specific direction to a joint that is fixated and not moving properly, which may be irritating your nervous system. This restores motion to the joint, helping it gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The result of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.

Can I adjust myself?

Definitely not. Chiropractic adjustments are applied to a specific spinal segment with a specific force in a specific direction. “Self-adjusting” yourself can be detrimental, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unstable or hyper mobile. Chiropractic training takes many years to complete; adjusting the spine is not for the inexperienced.

Is chiropractic care safe?

Chiropractic manipulation may cause some soreness or stiffness which will subside in a few days. An aggravation of your condition is always possible but rare. Dr. Tracey will always be sympathetic to your pain and suffering.

How old do I have to be to see a chiropractor?

Chiropractic is safe for all ages. Many childhood activities have a significant impact on the spine. Learning to walk or ride a bicycle, playing sports and even the birth process can cause spinal problems. Regular spinal check ups can help identify these problems and help avoid any more problems seen later in adults. As we age and reach the later years of life the spine can go through degenerative changes. The benefits of chiropractic care can also be seen as many patients have reported relief of arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting techniques are modified depending on the age of the patient in order to give maximum comfort and results.

How many chiropractors are there?

There are over a 100,000 chiropractors in the U.S., serving tens of millions of patients, and their use is growing rapidly as new research revalidates the effectiveness of chiropractic.

Do all chiropractors use the same techniques?

As with all professions, everybody has there own technique or method.   There are various methods and specialities for chriropractic care.

How long will it take?

The length of time it takes to get better varies from patient to patient.  Dr. Tracey will set up a treatment plan and review with the patient on the appropriate care for each patients needs. Length of treatment varies based on severity of the problems coupled with each person’s individual response and healing.   Most problems didn’t occur over night so don’t expect it to go away overnight.

What is a subluxation?

A subluxation is a vertebrae in the spine which is out of alignment putting pressure on a nerve affecting health in the body. Furthermore, a vertebral subluxation is a serious spinal condition that interferes with the health of the nervous system, the vertebral column (spinal column) and the general health of the entire body as a whole.

In order for a vertebrae to be subluxated it has to have four qualities:

1.The vertebrae is out of alignment with the other vertebrae in the spinal column, the skull or the pelvis.

2. There is a narrowing of a canal through which the nerve lies.

3. There is impingement of nerve tissue as result of the above canal narrowing.

4. There is interference with nerve messages between the brain and the body.

What causes subluxations?

  1. Emotional Stress – According to research, the #1 cause of subluxation in America today is emotional stress. Emotional stress is often due to our lifestyle and also from pressure created from society. Emotional stress can result from family problems, financial difficulties and work or school related problems. It is important to understand that emotional stress can cause tension in your muscles which in time can pull vertebrae(s) out of alignment.
  2. Physical Stress – Physical stress can be caused by accidents, sports injuries, falls, other trauma, bad posture, repeated movements that gradually wear down your body parts and difficult birth. Although vertebral subluxations are the most common forms of interference with nerve messages, they are by no means the only ones. broken bones, arthritis, tumors, direct pressure (when your legs or arms ‘go to sleep’), neurological diseases such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, polio and cerebral palsy can also damage nerves.
  3. Chemical Stress – Chemical stress can be caused by chemical addiction (drug intake) or from being over medicated or being exposed repeatedly to industrial chemicals.

How should I feel after an adjustment?

Different people have different reactions depending on their condition (i.e. presence of swelling and inflammation), the amount of time the condition has existed and the person’s degree of sensitivity. Many people however will feel the following:

Peace and relaxation:
After an adjustment you may experience a feeling of deepening peace and relaxation. This relaxed feeling may last for the rest of the day or the week and may lead to deep refreshing sleep. Others have at times felt a warm feeling flowing to various parts of their bodies which is very soothing. Some feel very energetic and do all their chores or business that day with a light, happy feeling.

Relief of symptoms:
Others may find that their symptoms have begun to disappear, that the problems that they came to the chiropractor for have begun to lessen after the first visit. And, there are some people who feel no difference after an adjustment. That does not necessarily mean that they are not benefiting from their adjustments, it just means that they’re not feeling any external reaction.

Overall improvement:
As you continue your chiropractic care and your spine and nervous system continue to release deep seated stress, you may begin to notice better balance, smoother movement, and as a result, more energy. Increased awareness of your spine, its movements, areas of tightness and/or restrictions. Awareness of your body stress. More emotional relaxation. You may spontaneously change your eating habits, feel an increased desire to exercise, go for walks or become more sensitive to your work and leisure.

The most important benefits

However, with all the interest in what is consciously perceived, please remember that the true benefits of the adjustment are usually found below the level of consciousness. It is when the nerve communication to the heart, lungs, joints, skin, eyes, ears and the brain itself are improved that the true benefits of chiropractic are experienced. The true benefits of chiropractic care are the preventive benefits: better night sleep, more energy and better nerve system function.

Does chiropractic hurt?

Anytime you are in pain and somebody touches the area, It is likely to cause discomfort. As a general rule, spinal manipulation may may feel slightly uncomfortable the first couple of visits, but should quickly feel pleasant thereafter. Dr. Tracey uses a variety of gentle techniques to help you feel better.

What else can you do to become healthy once your spinal problems are corrected?

In our office, we recommend that you do the following once you have corrected your spinal misalignments.

  • Exercise
  • Follow proper nutrition
  • Reduce your stress
  • Maintain proper posture
  • Get a good amount of rest and sleep
  • Keep a positive mental attitude

We understand that you can not change your lifestyle overnight. However, if you incorporate these ideas slowly, you will most definitely enjoy better health. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your health. Take charge.