Part of our job at Mattingly Chiropractic is helping people understand the role that chiropractic care can play in their lives. And we are happy to do so. Chiropractic is an important service for the person who wants to stay pain-free into their senior years, and who wants to stay active and healthy at any age.
Here are the five questions we hear the most often and the answers to each.
How Does Chiropractic Care Relieve Pain?
When the spine is just a little bit out of alignment, this misalignment puts pressure on the nerves that emerge from the spinal column to connect your muscles and organs with your brain. It only takes the equivalent weight of a quarter on one of these nerves to start creating pain. The job of a chiropractor is restoring proper alignment to the spine so this pressure is eliminated.
When these nerves are irritated, they can throw muscles into spasm and that will hurt, too. Those spasming muscles could show up as a tension headache, shoulder or hip pain or pain in many other parts of the body.
When some nerves are irritated, they can impair the function of an organ. For example, you could end up with poor digestion that causes stomach aches.
By relieving nerve irritation and the causes of muscle spasms, we can provide relief for many kinds of pain.
How Often Do I Need an Adjustment?
That depends completely on what condition you want to improve. If you have just had a car accident or a fall, your spine is likely to be poorly aligned. You may be stiff and sore after this injury because of tiny tears and strains in muscles and ligaments. To get a lasting recovery from this injury, you may need a few adjustments each week for a few weeks.
As the tears heal and muscles loosen up, you will start to feel better and you may not need to be adjusted as frequently. Seeing your chiropractor twice a week for a few weeks will keep the healing going.
When you have fully recovered from your injury, you may just need to see your chiropractor once a week or once a month to stay in peak health. Your ideal frequency may depend on how much exercise you get, how good your diet and nutrition are and any chronic structural or physical conditions you might have.
Once the Pain Is Gone, Do I Still Need Chiropractic Care?
Many people start seeing a chiropractor when they are in pain. They receive treatment for a while and then the pain is gone. Should they stop visiting the chiropractor at that point? No. Here’s why.
When there is an injury or physical problem being treated, the first phase of care is pain relief. The second is rehabilitating the body until it is stable and balanced. This phase of treatment could take as long as the pain relief phase took.
The third phase of care is maintenance care. Life has a tendency to throw a spine out of alignment. Too much sitting, a fender bender, a poor diet, too much stress, lifting a heavy object improperly, even heavy housecleaning or furniture moving—they can all result in misalignment of the spine. Maintenance care is a healthy lifetime habit. You may find that a visit once a month or so after your rehabilitation is complete will help keep you in good shape.
Why Do I Need to Do Exercises at Home?
When your chiropractor recommends exercises to be done at home while you receive treatment in the office, it is to help you recover faster and more fully. Some of these exercises help strengthen the muscles that support your spine, such as the abdominal muscles. Most people do not get the right kind of exercise to keep their abdominals strong.
These exercises also stretch out and lengthen your muscles which improves flexibility. When you are flexible and your muscles are loose, it is easier to move your vertebrae into proper alignment and it is more likely they will stay in alignment.
How Does Nutrition Relate to Chiropractic Care?
Nutrition works with chiropractic in several ways, such as:
- After an injury. When an injury has occurred, a body has special nutritional needs to support healing. Your chiropractor may recommend specific nutritional supplements to improve healing.
- High stress. If a person unavoidably experiences high-stress levels, the right nutrition can help them better cope with the stress so it has less effect on their bones, muscles and organs.
- Long-term deficiencies. Some pain or health problems may have evolved due to a long-term deficiency. It may not resolve without extra support.
- Inflammation. Some nutritional supplements help relieve inflammation that can contribute to joint or muscle problems.
- Poor diets. While nutritional supplements are not a substitute for a good diet, they can help a person stay healthier and maintain a stronger immune system. A healthier person is likely to respond better to chiropractic adjustments.
If these answers didn’t give you enough information or if you have other questions that need answers, please feel free to give us a call at (314) 635-1008.