Was chiropractic care your first thought when you hurt your back? It should have been. They have virtually every modality and treatment option available to them. But what do they really do?
Chiropractic care is a specialty health field based on the idea that the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) controls all functions in the body. The role of the chiropractor is to find and remove any interference in the nervous system caused by spinal misalignment-scientifically termed "subluxation." By correcting subluxations, your chiropractor allows your body's natural healing ability to perform as it should.
Did you know that in some states chiropractors are even board certified to practice physical therapy? Since they have such impressive credentials, you can't fault yourself for thinking that they could have easily ended your suffering. After all, even if they employed even a small fraction of what they know, it should have been enough to bring you relief. Right?
Most, if not all, doctors of chiropractic will use one of the following modalities: hot and cold packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and all sorts of hand held mechanical devices for vibration and direct pressure. Then there are X-Rays and a variety of manual techniques. All of these are very good at preparing the body for the chiropractor's main goal: correcting spinal misalignment.
Cracking the back, neck, hips, or virtually any joint has been and always will be the bread and butter of the chiropractor - and for good reason. It takes a lot of education and a lot of skill to do it well. But is cracking the back the answer to the most people’s back problems?
It is true that spinal misalignment is most likely the primary cause of your pain and is, in fact, responsible for almost all forms of back pain. It is also true that correcting that misalignment is a critical step on the road to relief. But is correcting the misalignment through spinal manipulation (cracking the back) enough?
If you ask me, I would have to say no. One of our customers said it best: "Bones only go where our muscles put them." The main reason clients continue to see their chiropractors for so long is that cracking the back feels good. And it does bring temporarily relief. But when little or no effort is put into correcting the muscle imbalances that are causing the pain, it's a foregone conclusion that the misalignment will eventually return along with the discomfort.
Let's take a closer look at muscle imbalances. Our muscles hold our bones and joints in place. They provide stability and locomotion for us. Therefore, it is critical that the very delicate balance between all muscle groups be in balance and stay in balance in order for us to live pain-free, active lives. Even more so if you're an athlete - the more your muscles are in balance, the better the athlete you will be.
Our bodies adapt to the forces and stress we place on them. For example, a man who sits all day in front of a computer tends to have very tight hip flexor muscles (the muscle in the front of the upper leg) and weak glutes (that would be your butt muscles). His hip flexor muscles are tight because sitting puts them in a shortened position and keeps them there; the muscles on the back of his legs are weak because they are not being used.
Here's what can result from that single imbalance: Your hips can be pulled out of their proper position, and because our hips control our spine, the spine is going to go into abnormal curvature. That abnormal curvature can bring about the spinal misalignment we talked about earlier.
It takes months, if not years, to develop muscle imbalances that can cause spinal misalignment. You must understand that your conditios - whatever it may be - took time to develop. It probably was not due to a single event, even though you may have experienced pain after you think you "overdid it" - whatever the "it" might be.
As I noted, muscles hold joints and bones in their place and, over time, your muscles can get out of balance. Those imbalances can develop into postural dysfunctions and spinal misalignment, forcing the pelvis to shift into an abnormal position. When this happens, your spine will be forced into an abnormal curvature and held there for years.
I hope you are starting to see the big picture. Failure to address these imbalances as part of your recovery program will ensure continued suffering.
This leads me back to why I believe chiropractic care has failed so many of you. It's foolish to expect that simply cracking your back-one little "pop" - is going to correct the muscle imbalances, postural dysfunction, and spinal misalignment that I described above.
For chiropractic care to be at its best, the practitioner must draw on all his knowledge and skill when treating a patient, which can be tough to do in 15 minutes or less.
So if your chiropractor is not addressing your muscle imbalances along with the adjustments, do not expect to get lasting relief.
Muscle Imbalances are one of the biggest causes of back, neck and sciatic pain and they should be very high on your list of things to address as part of your treatment plan. You can learn how to quickly identify and correct your muscle imbalances with the "Lose the Back Pain System". Click here to learn more about this proven system.
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