Neck pain and sciatica obviously fall into the same category: disorders related to the spine. But how is, for instance, high blood pressure linked to back problems? This is the sort of question that requires thinking outside the box, and the box we have to think outside is what complementary therapists call allopathy, and most of us call conventional or traditional medicine.
One of the best alternatives that can boost your chances of recovery from many ailments is chiropractic. But what exactly is it?
Well, it’s not the most beautiful word in the world, but no intelligent person is going to let that put them off. Like many medical terms it is based on Greek and in its own language it makes perfect sense. And it’s not to be confused with chiropody, which is all about feet. All the two words have in common is those first five letters, which mean nothing more complex than “hand”. It means whoever is treating you is using their hands.
Chiropractic has been around for more than 100 years and yet it is still a mystery to many. It was invented by a man with an interest in alternative treatments who noticed how correcting the alignment of someone’s spine had far-reaching effects. His first patient wasn’t really a patient at all. He was a janitor doing some repairs in the therapist’s office, working with his shirt off because of the heat. But when the therapist noticed the janitor’s spine was out of alignment and promptly corrected it, he also cured the man’s deafness. Strange but true.
Chiropractic is the manipulative (in other words using the hands) treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are believed to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.
Chiropractors undergo extensive training until they master the art of returning the body to its natural state of balance and cohesion. All the sloppy sitting positions we adopt, all the slouching and the pushing and pulling, lifting and moving things: they all impose stress on the spine, and just as a mechanical device will be adjusted by an engineer, in a process known as routine maintenance, so a chiropractor will keep things in order in the human frame.
As ever, there are technical terms for this which just add to the mystery: the chiropractor’s adjustments aim to fix “vertical subluxations”, which means minor or major misalignments. When we say “I’ve put my back out” we could be saying “I’ve sustained a vertical subluxation”.
Now, diagnosing the problem is one thing, but fixing it is another, and here is where the chiropractor’s hands-on approach is perfect for the job.
1. It’s natural and non-invasive
Non-invasive means they’re not going to cut you open or insert any kind of tool in your precious body. With the greatest respect for the surgeons of the world, if a problem can be resolved without recourse to a scalpel, so much the better. In addition to the trauma of undergoing surgery, it also brings with it the issue of recovery time, as the body licks its wounds and seals itself again after the intrusion. A Los Angeles chiropractor is going to use skills that are part scientific along with what might be called an engineer’s understanding of the way the body is laid out and linked together. He is going to apply pressure to a particular area to return any errant parts to their natural position.
Once the adjustments are made, that’s it. There may be a little soreness for a few hours, but once that’s gone, you’re back in business.
2. It can be used in combination with other treatments
If inflammation is aggravating the problem, you can continue to take the medication that is helping with that – but remember that such medications are treating the symptoms, not the problem itself. Even in those cases when a drug may be used to tackle the actual disorder, it introduces chemicals into the body which nature did not intend to be there. Medical research scientists have discovered some wonderful things, but as with surgery, if you can be helped without the use of artificial substances, surely that makes sense.
3. It treats more than you think
As we saw with the chiropractic pioneer and the janitor, it’s not just structural improvements that can be made with chiropractic. The body is a complex mechanism and what makes it vastly superior to any machine or computer is that it can heal itself. In common with his peers around the world, a Los Angeles chiropractor aims to create the conditions for that healing to take place.
Just as chiropractic itself is relatively little-known, so is the presence of its practitioners, but if you look in the phone book in virtually any country in the world you will find one. And in Rowland Heights, California there is a great Chiropractor you should visit.
By the way, if you are one of the countless people who have been helped by chiropractic, feel free to tell us about your experience. You just might convince someone else to give it a try, and contribute to their recovery.