Chiropractic

DrKertz2Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. It is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and on general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments, including spinal manipulation. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition , chiropractic physicians recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when it is in the best interest of the patient.

In the human body, the spine supports the weight applied to it by gravity, and protects the nerves that carry messages between the brain and body. The spine is flexible so that you may stretch, twist and bend. A healthy spine supports your weight and protects your nerves while letting you move easily throughout the day.

The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae. These bones stack one on top of the other, and protect your spinal cord and nerves and allow you to move.

Discs hold and cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock as you move, allowing for motion and spacing between the vertebrae so that nerves may pass freely from the spinal cord to the muscles and organs of the body.
muscles-of-the-backMuscles allow you to move, and hold up and attach to your spine. If muscles are strong and flexible, they can better keep your vertebrae and discs in line. If they are tight and restricted they can pull on the vertebrae, causing them to become misaligned and press on discs and interfere with proper nerve flow, causing pain stiffness and weakness. Ligaments are strong cable like tissues that connect and support the vertebrae.

Years of stress and too much use and abuse can cause your spine to degenerate, or simply, wear out. Joint inflammation known as arthritis may result. Joints may lose alignment and discs can wear down, and you may start to feel pain and stiffness.

A spinal joint is where two vertebrae meet. Poor posture, strain, and injury can push a joint out of line, and vertebrae become restricted, and don’t move as they should. Discs and muscles can become stressed, and nerves may be pinched and irritated.

With repeated stress, and with aging, a disc wears down. A disc begins to dehydrate and degenerate when one reaches their 30’s, and continues to degenerate with repetitive motions and age, makin
g it weaker and more susceptible to injury and/or displacement. Bone spurs may develop, and muscles and other soft tissues may stretch unevenly. Nerves may become irritated and painful.

spineIf the disc thins further, or if muscles attaching to the vertebrae become tight and pull them out of alignment, nerves may become pinched. Pain may become severe, and your ability to move may be greatly reduced.

Another syndrome that may affect spinal health is facet syndrome, whereby a facet, i.e. a joint where two vertebrae meet, may become misaligned or locked out of place. This can be due to an injury, often while lifting, bad posture, or other causes. Symptoms may include soreness and stiffness in your back or neck. The pain may feel worse when you twist, rotate, or bend backward.

The sacroiliac joints are where your hipbones join your low back at your pelvis. These joints may commonly become strained and lock out of alignment, causing strain to the many muscles which attach to the pelvis and forcing them to tighten up, this affecting your low back or lower extremities, sometimes causing a condition known as sciatica, commonly presenting as a discomfort that travels from your low back down into your buttocks, legs, and occasionally past your knees and into your feet. Other times the sacroiliac may cause a sharp pain in either hip.

Common treatment for these and other conditions include the use of physical therapy modalities to loosen up and relax musculature that is associated with the restrictions or misalignment of the joints of the spine or other areas, followed in many cases by an adjustment in which these joints are carefully manipulated to move them back into proper alignment. This is more often than not a gentle and painless procedure, and usually a patient will notice some degree of improvement immediately or later that day.

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