Research & Results
Beginners Guide to Chiropractic
The word chiropractic derives from the Greek words “cheir,” meaning hand, and “practices,” meaning skilled in or concerned with. The origin of the word chiropractic can be traced back to D.D. Palmer who coined it in 1895 when he founded chiropractic.
Chiropractic care is really about total health and wellbeing
What does a Chiropractor do?
A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who specializes in the health and function of the spine and nervous system. Because of this focus on the spine, many think chiropractors can only help with back pain, neck pain, and headaches. They can often help with these issues, but there is much more to chiropractic than just pain.
This is the first video in our animated series, “Introduction to Chiropractic.” It is perfect for anyone curious about chiropractic care and how it can help their family. In this video, we outline what a chiropractor does and briefly explore the effects of care.
Your healthcare provider should know the best available evidence is relevant to you and they should share it with you when you see them. However, everything still needs to be studied, so they must rely on their clinical experience when caring for you.
Chiropractic has a tremendous scientific basis that is growing every day
Health and Function
We know from the science that chiropractic care improves your brain’s ability to see what is happening in and around your body. This means you can have all sorts of improvements in your health and function besides just the reason you went to see a chiropractor.
Adjustments Improve Strength
Do you work out at the gym, pumping iron to get stronger? If you do, you may be fascinated to know about this recent study conducted in New Zealand, because how your spine works influences your strength.
The way your spine works influences how strong you are.
The student found that those who received chiropractic care could produce 16% more force in their leg muscles after the chiropractor had gently checked and adjusted any dysfunctional spinal segments.
Symptoms Are the Tip of the Iceberg
A symptom may only be the tip of the iceberg – with a much bigger problem lying under the surface. A symptom is just a symptom – it isn’t the cause. Signs are a bit like the fire alarm going off; to warn you of a problem. The fire alarm is not the problem; the fire is!
It is also essential to understand that symptoms may be due to dysfunction in a part of the spine that seems unrelated to the problem area.
Poor movement sustained over time often creates an imbalance in your body and may cause pain. For example, you have pain in your left knee. It’s hard to imagine that this pain could have anything to do with your spine. But, if your spine is not moving correctly, it may interrupt the flow of information from your leg to your brain and back again.
Mild Spinal Dysfunction
We know that once you are feeling pain, it changes how your brain functions. The research on subclinical pain shows us that even mild recurring spinal problems, even when you feel no pain, can alter how your brain functions.
The function of your spine impacts the way your brain works.
Poor Neck Function
A research study in Canada found that individuals with poorly functioning necks could be worse at processing sensory information from their different sensory organs, like their eyes and ears, than those with healthy channels.
Keep Your Spine Moving
Movement has been shown to help people with dementia, depression, and ADHD. It’s even been shown to change the structure of your brain and improve your concentration and how fast you can think and react.
How your spine moves is significant for keeping your brain healthy
Why a healthy spine is so important
A healthy spine is essential for your brain because when one of your spinal segments doesn’t move properly, it changes how your brain perceives and responds to all other sensory information entering your nervous system.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain needed to carry out all goal-directed tasks, decision-making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional responses to it, autonomic function, movement control, eye movements, and spatial awareness.
The way your spine works changes the way your brain works!
Accurately perceiving where you are and where your arms and legs are is very important. You need to know where you are to be able to move without having accidents. And it’s also essential to perceive the world around you accurately! This is a vital skill we need all day, every day.
Prefrontal Cortex: Pain Processing
The prefrontal cortex also plays a crucial role in pain processing or the feeling of pain itself in the brain. So it’s vitally involved in how you feel and interact with others. And your spine can impact this! It is also essential for emotional control and our mental health.
The prefrontal cortex is said to be the seat of our intelligence
Stress affects your health
By shutting down your normal prefrontal cortex functions, stress negatively impacts your emotional state and mental health. Stress shuts down the prefrontal cortex’s natural control over your autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, and even your immune system, which can result in chronically high levels of inflammation in your body.
The cerebellum is essential for everyday movements and tasks such as walking, reading, and writing. It is also crucial to being able to stay balanced and upright.
The cerebellum is known as the ‘little brain’ within your brain
Movement and Skills
The cerebellum is not just crucial for balance and accurately coordinated movements. Still, it’s also essential for other cognitive tasks, such as paying attention to a job or for language and the way we relate to fear and pleasure responses. And we know that the cerebellum is crucial for learning new movements and skills.
Spinal Function Impacts Brain Function
Scientists call the changes that happen in our brain’s: ‘neural plastic changes’. Neural plastic changes are constantly happening because our brain adapts to our ever-changing environment. When your spine is not moving correctly, this leads to changes in how the small muscles closest to your spine and skull send proprioceptive information to your brain.
Scientists call changes that happen in our brain’s neural plastic changes
What is Proprioception?
Proprioception means your brain’s awareness of the position of your body, so your brain can know where all the parts of your body are in space. The proprioceptive information from the muscles closest to your spine and skull helps your brain know what is going on in your spine, representing your body’s core.
Spinal Care Improves Clumsiness
Research studies show that improving the function of your spine can help your brain see what’s going on in your spine but can also help improve how your brain can see what’s happening in your arms.
Improved visual acuity and visual field size are benefits of chiropractic care
Arm. The research revealed that patients with low-level neck pain were given chiropractic adjustments. After the chiropractor adjusted, their brains could better see where their arm was. After this, they were better at re-positioning their arm. After the chiropractor adjusted, their brains could better see where their arm was.
How the Brain Perceives the World
Your brain receives constant messages about your body and the external environment from the sensory organs. That’s your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, etc. With this information, your brain maintains a 3D map of your body and keeps a tab on what’s happening outside your body.
How your brain sees a situation may not be entirely accurate
Perception of Reality
Sometimes your brain even ‘fills in the blanks on your behalf, and your experience isn’t 100% based on reality but is instead a perception of reality. An exciting way to demonstrate how the brain’s inner reality is a perception is using the classic checker shadow illusion created by Edward H Adelson from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Safety of Chiropractic
If you are worried about seeing a chiropractor because you think that chiropractic adjustments might be harmful or dangerous, read on as we look at the research literature on this topic to see what the science says.
Chiropractic care has an enviable safety record
Chiropractic care has an enviable safety record compared to other healthcare options. Based on the best systematic reviews of all the scientific literature, being hurt from seeing your chiropractor is extremely rare.
Chiropractic Affects your Brain
When you think of muscles, you probably think of your biceps and triceps. You won’t necessarily think of the small muscles near your spine and skull. These small muscles play a vital role – they tell your brain what your spine is doing, representing what your body’s core is doing.
Chiropractic adjustments help restore healthy movement.
If your spinal segments aren’t moving correctly, it may cause background noise for your brain, or your brain might not get adequate information about what’s happening in your body and will therefore have to fill in the blanks. When your brain can accurately perceive what is happening inside and out, it can better control your body for the situation.
Science Behind Chiropractic
If you have been adjusted before by a chiropractor, you may have noticed a popping sound that may seem strange. Many people think weird things about this popping sound, so let’s set the record straight.
Chiropractic adjustments help improve spinal function.
The popping sound is only the formation of gas within a joint – otherwise knowns as joint cavitation. It is no more significant than any other gas released from the body.
How Stress Affects Your Health
Have you ever experienced a traumatic event? If you have, you are not alone. A recent survey of Americans found that 9 out of every ten people have experienced at least one traumatic event. If you have encountered a traumatic event, the experience could have affected your health and well-being, as stress impacts your brain in a particular way.
90% of Americans have experienced a least one traumatic event in their life
Sympathetic Nervous System
Your brain would have activated your sympathetic nervous system, releasing hormones that flood your brain and body with adrenaline and cortisol. The brain’s alarm system – the emotional limbic part of your brain – is responsible for this, and it also turns off the logical, rational thinking part of your brain – the prefrontal cortex.
One reason for seeing a chiropractor regularly is that it usually takes years for the problem to develop, which motivates someone first to see a chiropractor. It can take many visits to the chiropractor to correct that problem.
The idea with maintenance care is that regular adjustments will help maintain your spine and nervous system function at its optimal level, help you be your best, and prevent new episodes of pain from developing.
Maintenance care makes perfect sense if you want to function at your best.
Lower Back Injuries
If your brain doesn’t send appropriate protective messages to your core trunk muscles, you will have a higher risk of developing low back injuries. A lack of core stability means you’re creating mini whiplash injuries to your spine each time you move around or lift your arm or leg.
Chiropractic and Posture
High Blood Pressure
How Your Spine Effects Your Jaw
Relative Cost of Chiropractic in the Case of Lower Back Pain
The Relationship Between Your Spine and Your Brain