Every year, over 4.5 million Canadians (including half a million Albertans) find relief from pain and discomfort and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives because of chiropractic care. With over 6,000 chiropractors in Canada (including over 800 in Alberta ), chiropractic ranks behind only medicine and dentistry as the third largest primary care health care profession. It’s a proven solution to a range of health problems.
The main goal of chiropractic is to restore proper alignment and motion to the 24 bones that protect the spinal cord. Why is this important? Our brains communicate with our bodies by sending signals down our spinal cord and out to the rest of the body through our many nerve roots. These nerves are protected by the spinal column. Improper joint motion or alignment in the spine therefore affects this communication and can cause an improperly functioning nervous system. As nerves get irritated and nerve signals get obstructed, our bodies’ natural ability to heal itself is reduced.
The result? Pain, muscle spasms, inflammation, soft tissue damage, degenerative changes and decreased range of motion – to name a few. Rather than just creating back problems, symptoms of an improperly aligned spine can show up throughout the body.
By restoring proper spinal alignment and motion, a chiropractor can often get to the root cause of these symptoms through the use of chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractors use manual adjustments to properly reposition the protective bones in the spine, allowing muscles and the nerves around them to work at their optimum. There are many different adjusting techniques, but whatever the technique, an adjustment involves using controlled and directed pressure to gently move spinal bones. These painless adjustments restore alignment and motion in the spine, get the nervous system back to proper operation and ultimately reduce painful symptoms throughout the body.
The amount of chiropractic adjustments needed varies with each patient and their individual health goals. While getting rid of the pain is an important first step, ensuring that the body is functioning effectively and maintaining this function are important elements of chiropractic care. Many patients choose to continue with some type of periodic care to maintain good spinal health, much like they would see a dentist to maintain their teeth. Nevertheless, how much a patient wants to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to them.