You may have heard a friend or coworker talk about going to the chiropractor for spinal adjustments. Some go once a week! Most of the time, they’re going because they have back or neck pain that needs treatment.
Many people don’t realize that regular chiropractic care can help avoid many of these very same aches and pains. And, chiropractic care can help with more than just back pain and neck pain. It can also help when experiencing specific problems such as knee, hip, and shoulder pain or even headaches.
Chiropractic care is a holistic health approach that focuses on the musculoskeletal system with a specific focus on the spinal cord. Chiropractors are specially trained doctors who evaluate patients’ musculoskeletal structures and any pain they’re experiencing. From there, they can help create a plan using chiropractic techniques that reduce pain and help you avoid it from starting.
What is a Preventive Chiropractic Approach?
Preventive chiropractic care is meant to keep the spinal cord in alignment. Because all of the body’s nerves attach to the spinal cord, the whole body will function more optimally when the spine is aligned correctly.
Most conventional health approaches involve treating pain after it’s started. A preventive chiropractic approach means that your chiropractor is helping to enhance your health to prevent chronic conditions from occurring. While there’s no guarantee you won’t develop pain from a condition such as osteoarthritis or a herniated disc, your body will be better prepared to heal if it’s already functioning well.
As part of a preventive care treatment plan, your chiropractor will thoroughly review your medical and family history and ask some questions about your current lifestyle. Individuals who work in office settings for 40 hours a week have significantly different needs than those who work in jobs where routine manual labor is part of their work. Both career paths significantly impact the body, but understanding your lifestyle will help the chiropractor identify specific joints and techniques they should use to help keep your body in excellent condition.
Once your chiropractor has reviewed your information, they can develop a treatment plan for you that will include the frequency of treatments, the type of treatments, and what you should expect.
How Does Chiropractic Care Work as a Preventative Therapy?
Some people seek out a chiropractor to help them find a treatment for a condition or specific pain they’re experiencing, whether chronic or acute. Chiropractors can also be seen regularly as a type of preventive treatment, meaning they help you maintain your health, which can prevent injuries from occurring.
As we mentioned, preventive chiropractic care can help not only with spinal alignment and enhanced nervous system function but also with improving balance and muscle flexibility, as well as stress reduction and mental well-being.
Spinal Alignment and Posture
One of the main goals of chiropractic care is to help keep the spine aligned properly. This helps to improve posture. Having a good posture can benefit the body in several ways. Poor posture decreases your range of motion, limits flexibility, and even reduces muscle strength. When you use correct posture, it helps to keep your core muscles strong, avoiding overuse of muscles, tendons, and joints and many of the issues associated with overuse.
Regular spinal adjustments allow your chiropractor to evaluate the effectiveness of your current treatment plan, lifestyle, and response to stress to adjust your treatment as needed. This approach is recommended to help prevent injuries based on your everyday activities.
When you get a spinal adjustment, it helps to improve the entire body’s nervous system function. This is because all of the peripheral nerves connect to the spinal column. When these nerves are functioning well, your body works well–and when they don’t, it can cause dysfunction all over the body. A spinal adjustment can help with various issues that impact nerve function throughout your body. This ensures the nerves can send messages directly to other parts of the body without interference or blockages. Additionally, pinched or constrained nerves often signal that there is an issue by triggering a pain response. Simply aligning the nerves can allow for pain reduction and improved muscle function.
Preventing Musculoskeletal Imbalances and Restrictions
Chiropractic adjustments help to improve balance and coordination as well. When the nervous and musculoskeletal systems are not functioning at their best, it can interfere with your ability to move throughout the day. You can make sure these systems are working optimally by coming in for regular adjustments. And, if you’re noticing a new pain or problem, talk to the chiropractor about it at your appointment so they can help you.
What if You’re Already Experiencing Pain?
Many people see a chiropractor to help with back and neck pain, but these are far from the only conditions that chiropractors treat. Other conditions that chiropractors can address include:
What Treatments are Part of Preventive Chiropractic Care?
Regular spinal adjustments are one great way chiropractors can provide their patients with preventive care. However, they are only one of the tools that may be used to keep you feeling great.
Some other examples of preventive strategies used by chiropractors include:
Recommendations for exercises and stretching
Nutritional and dietary guidance
Help with stress management
Assistance with sleep habits and strategies
There is minimal time associated with each appointment, recovery time is often unnecessary, and many patients walk out of the door after an adjustment feeling better than they did just a few minutes earlier.