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What You Need to Know About Chiropractic

By Genevieve Cunningham

Knowledge is power. This isn't a new concept -- it dates back to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597 -- but as we get older, it takes on new meaning and context. It's no longer just about education. More knowledge at work means more money. More knowledge in the kitchen means tastier food. And more knowledge in health means absolutely everything: It means safety and comfort, and it can make the literal difference between seeking treatment or suffering in silence. 

When it comes to chiropractic care, lack of knowledge often prevents people from getting the care they need. Armed with the right knowledge, you'll learn that chiropractic care can be one of the most powerful additions to your healthcare routine whether you're dealing with chronic pain, a temporary malady, or just want to always be at your best to fight off disease. 

Here's the knowledge you need to succeed to achieve your best possible health; it's why you need chiropractic care.

What Is Chiropractic Care? 

According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Chiropractic addresses the cause of these disorders on general health, and strives to restore the body to optimal health. Whereas a general practitioner might prescribe medicine to address the symptoms, a chiropractor works to eliminate the root cause of these symptoms.

What Do Chiropractors Look For?

The chiropractor searches for problem areas in the spine known as joint restrictions, which can cause a wide array of unwanted symptoms throughout the body. You may hear the term "misalignment" used, but don't let that confuse you; the vertebrae aren't actually misaligned, but rather restricted and functioning poorly, impeding range of motion and nerve function (which can impact any part of the body). Chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic will locate these joint restrictions and help restore their function and efficiency.

What Does Treatment Look (and Feel) Like?

Chiropractors use their hands (and occasionally tools) to gently manipulate the 24 vertebrae of the non-infant spine. As well, they may adjust the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, and ribs. This rarely hurts (though a popping sound may occur), and usually brings a feeling of relief for many. This is called a chiropractic adjustment.

What Symptoms Suggest Care Is Needed?

It's easy to get confused about whether or not chiropractic care is really necessary. Although some symptoms are obvious -- back and neck pain, joint discomfort -- others are more subtle. Frequent headaches, a lack of focus and energy, insomnia, and a general decline in health may all suggest that care would be beneficial. It's generally believed that anyone and everyone -- from infants suffering colic to seniors suffering arthritis -- can benefit from care in one way or another.

What Are the Safety Concerns and Potential Benefits?

Everyone rightfully wants the benefits of care to outweigh the risks. The risk of major injury related to chiropractic neck manipulation is slim -- only one in several million; if you haven't won the lottery, you're unlikely to get hurt by a chiropractor. The benefits are broad and growing. Regular care may initiate pain relief, promote mobility, improve the function of the immune system, reduce headaches and joint pain, enhance sleep, and help you regain focus. The benefits of chiropractic care are as individual as the patients, so going in with an open mind brings the best results.

Can the Chiropractor Be Trusted?

This concern frequently comes up with new patients: "Is the chiropractor a real doctor? Do they have real medical credentials?" Yes, chiropractors are real doctors but use the DC designation in their title; they're not designated medical doctors (MD). Chiropractors go through years of chiropractic education, graduate with a doctorate of chiropractic, and must be licensed to practice in most states. Their expertise is in the spine, joints, the nervous system, and how the body works as a whole. The nervous system impacts everything you do, from blinking and breathing to reaching for a painkiller -- except chiropractors don't prescribe medicine and their care can reduce the need for addictive drugs. Medicine masks pain, but chiropractors work to eliminate the cause of pain.

What's the Takeaway?

Regular chiropractic care -- natural, noninvasive, healing from the inside out -- ensures the body is always in an optimal condition; this is the true power of adding regular chiropractic care to your life. 

Don't let a lack of information keep you from improving your health. Ask questions, get answers, and take charge of your health and wellness. Chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic will be happy to help you do it. And to make it easier, they also offer walk-in visits and affordable pricing -- including plans and packages to suit any need. 

Gathering information, making decisions, and taking control of your healthcare routine is an important step along the path to better health. Visit The Joint Chiropractic and you'll be well on your way to the health you deserve.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn.

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