Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Understanding the benefits of chiropractic treatment is a complicated endeavor.  First, one must understand that there are many types and variations of chiropractic and there are as many different ways to practice chiropractic as there are chiropractors.  There are those that use x-rays and look for findings that will dictate the manipulation or “adjustments” you will receive as your treatment.  There are those that do not use spinal or extremity manipulation at all and instead use ‘energy treatments’ or balancing techniques to treat the dysfunctions they find.  And, there are those in between.  The doctors at Spectrum are not just chiropractors; they all have additional graduate level training in neurology, Professional Applied Kinesiology, functional medicine, and the use of herbs, vitamins, and minerals for treatment of a myriad of human problems.


Generally, the Spectrum doctor first takes a medical history, performs a physical examination, and may order lab tests or diagnostic imaging to determine if treatment is appropriate for your pain or other problems.  The treatment plan may involve one or more manual adjustments in which the doctor manipulates the joints, using a controlled, sudden force to improve range and quality of motion.  The doctors at Spectrum also incorporate extensive nutritional counseling and exercise/rehabilitation into the treatment plan.  The goals of chiropractic care include the restoration of function and prevention of injury in addition to pain relief.


Many of those coming for their first visit are looking for one goal: relief of pain.  Others are seeking alternatives to medications or relief of medical problems that have not responded well to traditional medical care.  At Spectrum, we see many patients that have digestive, endocrine (thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, etc.), autoimmune (lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc), and other problems that are not treated to their satisfaction by the currently available medical approach.  We encourage patients presenting for pain treatment to continue care after the initial pain is gone because the problem that caused the pain in the first place must be corrected to prevent the return of pain.


Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care is considered a safe, effective treatment for acute low back pain, the type of sudden injury that results from moving furniture or having a slip and fall.  Acute back pain, which is more common than chronic pain, usually lasts no more than six weeks and typically gets slowly better on its own.  Research has shown chiropractic to be helpful in treating neck pain, headaches, and back pain both chronic and acute.  In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may respond to the moderate pressure used by chiropractors and practitioners of deep tissue massage.


All treatment is based on an accurate diagnosis of your problem.  The Spectrum doctor should be well informed regarding your medical history, including ongoing medical conditions, current medications, traumatic/surgical history, and lifestyle factors.


The overall benefit of regular chiropractic treatments include maintaining proper movement of the spinal and extremity joints to provide the flexibility required for exercise and enjoyment of physical activities.  This also provides the input to your nervous system to give you better balance for your chosen activities and to prevent falls.


Proper joint movement and good balance contribute to good posture.  Poor posture distorts the alignment of bones, chronically tenses muscles, and contributes to stressful conditions such as loss of vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, reduced blood and oxygen to the brain, limited range of motion, stiffness of joints, pain syndromes, reduced mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work.  Strong muscles keep your body upright and allow you to move.  Good muscle strength and balance are critical to maintain proper posture and minimize muscle tension.  Your muscles function much like the cables and ropes that hold up the mast of a sailing ship.  If the wires are equally strong on all sides, the mast will stand up straight.  If one of the wires becomes weak or breaks, the mast will lean either to the side or to collapse.  The same is true with your body.  If the muscles on all sides of your spine are balanced and strong, your body will stand up straight and strong.  Unfortunately, most people do not have balanced and strong muscles, once again, due to lack of exercise and to misalignments of the spine.


As with any medical treatment, there are risks that accompany treatment.  Although rare, there have been cases in which treatment worsened a herniated or slipped disc, or neck manipulation resulted in stroke or spinal cord injury.  The Spectrum doctors will discuss the risks versus the benefits of the proposed manipulative treatment.  To be safe, always inform your primary health care provider whenever you use chiropractic or other pain relief alternatives.