A popular but little-studied method of easing neck pain may be more effective than other treatments.
Chiropractic is a science, art, and philosophy which is concerned with the relationship between structure, primarily the spine, and function, primarily the nervous system, of the human body and how that relationship affects the restoration and preservation of health.
Every aspect of the body is controlled by the nervous system. The spine has both a direct and an indirect relationship to the nervous system, and as such can influence body functions. Because muscles and bones are directly linked, muscles being attached to bones, the interrelationship between the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems plays a critical role in the optimal health of every organ system and tissue in the body. The interrelationship between these three systems is known as the "neuromusculoskeletal system", or N.M.S. Abnormal joint movement or Joint Dysfunction has a profound affect on the nerves, muscles and blood flow associated with the joint itself. Most joints cannot compensate for lack of movement, thus making the joint above and below work harder and become irritated and painful. Muscles in the affected area fatigue quickly, tighten up and eventually go into spasm. Blood supply to both the muscles and the joints is also adversely affected. Spinal joints are richly innervated by nerves that have direct connections to the spinal cord and the major nerve pathways supplying every tissue and organ in the body, thus the effect of even a minor joint dysfunction, or what is also called vertebral subluxation, may have a considerable impact on one's health. Chiropractic physicians affect the N.M.S. system by making "adjustments" to the spine, or other articulations of the body, to improve joint, muscle and nerve function.
A chiropractic adjustment is specific to a particular joint, and is delivered at a precise angle, with precise force and depth, using a specific method to have a desired result. The adjustment is directed to only those joints, which, upon careful and skilled examination, are found to have impaired movement of function (ie: hypomobile or do not move correctly). A chiropractic physician is expertly trained to diagnose exactly how a joint is restricted, and how the joint dysfunction is best corrected. Chiropractic physicians may also use therapeutic modalities used in physical medicine as well as therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises to aid in correction of joint dysfunction and to alleviate associated symptoms.
In most cases, pain symptoms of common neuromusculoskeletal conditions can be relieved quite quickly through chiropractic care. However, there is a fundamental difference between the traditional medical approach to treating such conditions and the approach used by chiropractic, and it is because of this difference that chiropractic has proved to be so effective. While medicine typically tries to control the pain through drugs and modalities, the chiropractic physician's goal is to first alleviate the symptoms, and then correct the cause of the problem or underlying dysfunction of the joint. The great majority of back and neck related problems are of a mechanical nature in which joint dysfunctions are the key causative factor. If you do not correct the dysfunction the problem continues and symptoms return. Medications can make symptoms feel better but it will only be temporary if structural corrections are not made.
How long it will take to get better, then, is not a question of how long will it take to get out of pain, but rather how long will it take for the underlying problem to be corrected. This is a crucial distinction to understand, for patients often mistake feeling better for actually being better. Being out of pain does not mean your body is healthy. As extreme examples, cancer, unfortunately, is usually discovered in its advanced stages, long after it began, and having shown no symptoms for years. Similarly, heart attack victims frequently have no previous warning that they are ill. So how long will it take to properly correct your spinal problem? This will depend upon many factors, such as your age, weight, lifestyle, occupation, length of time you have had the spinal problem, family predisposition, and your cooperation and commitment.
Chiropractic one of the fastest growing health care professions in the world due to the growing realization of its effectiveness as a natural, non-invasive and drugless approach to health and life. Chiropractic is America's third largest primary health care profession, exceeded in numbers only by dentists and medical doctors.
To learn more about chiropractic, visit the web site for:
The American Chiropractic Association: www.amerchiro.org
The Illinois Chiropractic Society: www.ilchiro.org