Tucked neatly within the spinal column lie 31 pairs of nerves. The nerves exit the brain, travel down the back and throughout the body in a complex network that continually transmits information to and from the brain. The brain receives and evaluates the messages received from the nerves and in turn, transmits a response to the designated body cells, system or region, which helps maintain normal body function. For a variety of reasons, signal transmissions may undergo alteration, inhibition or over excitation, which often causes an array of unwanted symptoms.
Discomfort or illness generally influences patients to seek medical intervention. While considering a patient’s symptoms, a chiropractor who takes a holistic approach delves into the possible reasons or root causes of a condition or disease. Chiropractors recognize that organ systems perform various functions based on signals received from and transmitted to the brain. Neurological health and transmission pathways greatly influence overall health. When neurological signals become disrupted, symptoms occur because of a malfunction. By using non-invasive procedures, chiropractors determine the origin of nerve signal disruption and perform or prescribe treatments that correct the problem. Treatment largely involves manual manipulation of structures and tissues without the use of medications or surgery.
Diagnostics and Treatment
This specialized chiropractor often uses imaging studies that illustrate the spine and other skeletal structures. Practitioners also may evaluate blood chemistry. The patient usually undergoes a physical examination for the purpose of assessing many different factors that include spinal alignment, muscle strength and neurological function. Based on the findings, the practitioner then recommends lifestyle changes, massage, physical exercise or other rehabilitative treatments.
The many injury or stress related musculoskeletal disorders that holistic chiropractors treat include:
* Back, neck or joint pain
* Carpal tunnel syndrome
* Disc abnormalities
* Tennis elbow
Massage and Manipulation
Neural pathways often experience disruption because musculoskeletal structures become displaced. Pain, stiffness or swelling often occurs because of pinched nerves. Chiropractors commonly use massage and various therapies that encourage muscle relaxation. Once muscles relax, a holistic chiropractor performs manipulations that bring the spine or other structures back to normal alignment. Maintaining alignment may require multiple visits, or that the patient performs specific therapies or physical exercises as prescribed. Depending on the education and experience of the practitioner, treatments offered vary greatly and may also include:
* Herbal or nutritional supplements
* Ice packs
* Moist heat
* Electrical stimulation
After realigning the spine and other structures, patients also commonly experience symptomatic relief of a number of different maladies that include:
* Allergies and asthma
* Chronic infections
* Migraine headaches
* Menstrual disorders
As with locating any health care provider, prospective patients must choose a practitioner wisely. Evaluate education, experience and patient success rate. Obtain referrals from reputable health care providers. Gain understanding of the treatments or recommendations offered and the expected outcomes.