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What is Chiropractic?
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
What Do Chiropractors Do?
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care
Is Chiropractic Care For You?

What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). "Chiropractic" comes form the Greek word Chiropraktios, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.

The conditions which doctors of Chiropractic address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Doctors of Chiropractic use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful Chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.

The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes Chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.

Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.

Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of Chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapist and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation practices.

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a gentle and specific force delivered by a chiropractor to spinal vertebrae to correct misalignments and relieve nerve interference. Chiropractors use a variety of adjusting techniques. Most commonly, the chiropractor uses his/her hands to deliver a quick pressure. Other times the chiropractor may use a low constant pressure, while some use a specially designed instrument or table. Dr. Gibbs and Dr. Harrison evaluate each patient's unique spinal problem and determine the best chiropractic adjustment technique. Our chiropractic clinic includes state-of-the-art tables and adjusting tools allowing the chiropractors to provide the best care for each of our chiropractic patients. We focus on caring for the spine by analyzing the spine for misalignments and correcting them with spinal adjustments. The success with our patients is due to a combined effect of adjustments by our chiropractors and each person's ability to heal.

What Do Chiropractors Do?
First and foremost, your Decatur chiropractor evaluates an individual, they seek to diagnose any possible problems and, of course, seek out causes for the problems that brought the patient in. This evaluation begins with a thorough health history for the patient and then continues with a complete physical evaluation, possibly including x- rays for a more complete picture of any abnormalities. Assuming that this step has been completed and it has been ascertained that the patient will benefit from chiropractic care then the real work begins.

Chiropractors crack backs. This is not all there is to it, but it is a good starting point. Chiropractors actually perform spinal manipulation on patients. This manipulation seeks to restore proper alignment of the spine and, with it, the patient's health. By health, this primarily means an improvement in the condition that caused the patient to seek treatment in the first place although this act of spinal manipulation can be used as a preventative measure and a way to improve overall health.

It is good to mention now that if a chiropractor does not feel that chiropractic treatment is the appropriate method of treatment then the chiropractor will refer the patient to an expert in another, more appropriate field. Chiropractic care can be helpful in many instances but not necessarily all. When chiropractic care is not the method of choice then the patient will be referred to another specialist. Chiropractic care is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.

If chiropractic care is the appropriate method of treatment then the chiropractor uses techniques of spinal manipulation. The process of restoring proper spinal alignment may seem rather simple and even a bit simplistic, but the effects are far reaching.

The process of spinal realignment is sought out through adjustments. During an adjustment, a chiropractor applies sufficient pressure to joints to give them back their mobility and to give them a chance to properly heal. This application of pressure is the common method of affecting changes in spinal alignment.

What chiropractors do is try to seek out the root cause of the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. They do not content themselves with the simplest method of pain management, such as medication, although other avenues including medication may be used as adjuncts to chiropractic treatment. Instead, they seek the problem at its source so that the weed may be pulled out at the root and balance may be restored. The restoration of balance is the key. Medication may be used to help manage symptoms, but it is viewed as a temporary measure. The end goal is to correct the problem so that the patient may function without medicinal aid. Every case is different so this may not always be possible or advisable.

The chiropractor does not just look for the source of the immediate problems; however they will also make an appraisal of the spine as a whole to discover any and all problems that could benefit from chiropractic care. Today's spinal misalignment could lead to tomorrow's health issues. By catching them early, these problems of tomorrow have a chance to be corrected before they become fully realized. Pain may be averted and treatment is often simpler in all fields of medicine when problems are caught early.

Ideally the action of spinal manipulation will serve on an immediate level to restore mobility to the joint. When they have reached a state of restricted range of motion, joints may produce discomfort. Restoring the range of motion and releasing the tension that builds up form pain and disuse can provide relief. On a larger scale level, this process of spinal manipulation will also hopefully allow the damage to heal even as pain is lessened and mobility is restored.

This damage or pain may be the result of a tissue injury. This tissue injury may have been caused by a single event, an acute trauma, or it may be the result of repetitive actions that have stressed the body. This precipitating situation may have included a person remaining in a stationary position with poor posture for extended periods of time or some form of awkward repetitive hand movements that were also paired with poor posture.

The result of such an injury is pain and inflammation along with an often decreased range of motion in the effected joints. The purpose of chiropractic care is returning these joints to their natural state of functioning, restoring range of motion, decreasing pain, and permitting the affected tissues to heal.

Benefits Of Chiropractic Care
Your Decatur chiropractor wants you to feel better. There are many benefits that have been linked to chiropractic care. The most obvious are pain relief from acute or repetitive injuries, usually manifesting as pain in the back or as headaches, but the list does not end there.

Chiropractic care seeks to treat the cause of a problem and not just the symptoms. The benefit of this is that you really get to the root of the problem. By treating the condition that causes the symptoms instead of the symptoms themselves, chiropractors can eliminate all the symptoms that the condition produces. The benefits of such an approach are extensive. It would be best to begin an understanding of the results of chiropractic care with a basic exploration of the common problems that cause patients to seek out chiropractic care and how these problems may benefit form such care.


The topic of pain relief covers many areas of the body. It may begin with headaches and extend to a discussion of back pain, neck pain, and joint pain. Every case is unique so only a cursory explanation can be given, but this will help you to understand the general concept and principles at work.

Back pain of instance, is more complicated than whether you have it or not. It may be located in different parts of the back. The pain may also be a dull feeling of discomfort or a sharp pain. You must also take into consideration if the pain is a constant presence or if it only appears when certain positions are assumed.

The severity of the pain is another factor. It may be a mild feeling of discomfort, or it may be agony. The pain may exist independently or it may coexist with numbness or tingling sensations.

Pain without tingling or numbness may be caused by spinal joint inflammation, muscle tears, poor posture, or improper lumbar curve. This is not an exhaustive list, but it allows you to see how what may seem to be a simple problem could be caused by a number of different conditions. Excess weight, especially around the midsection, can contribute to postural problems and may cause or worsen back pain.

Pain with tingling may be caused by disc bulges, disc degeneration, or a herniated disc. These are only a few possible causes. Numbness or a tingling sensation is not natural in the body especially if said numbness is prolonged.

The treatment of back pain may include adjustments that seek to stretch the muscles and increase the range of motion of joints. These actions can diminish pain and any tension in the muscles while increasing a patient's mobility. The patient may also require additional therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, but chiropractic care alone can often reduce the patient's suffering and increase mobility.

Headaches are often thought of as a problem requiring some over the counter medication and then continuing with your day. They may, however, be caused by poor spinal alignment and can often be improved with the help of chiropractic care. They, too, can have a myriad of causes and can range from mild headaches to migraines.

The use of chiropractic care to ameliorate symptoms is often effective for patients who suffer from headaches. In some cases, muscles at the base of the neck clench and tighten which can create tension in the neck and may be contributing factors to headaches. Chiropractic care can intervene and often provide relief form the pain and tension associated with headaches.

Neck pain can be caused by poor posture, acute trauma, or degeneration. The lack of proper posture in the work place is an increasingly seen cause of neck problems and pain problems in general. Computer screens especially cause people to put their heads into awkward positions. A computer screen that is not properly placed forces an individual to tilt their head at an awkward angle and often forces them to do so for a prolonged period of time on a daily basis. Over time, this poor positioning is bound to create problems. The weight of the head is significant and can easily strain the muscles of the neck if the weight is not distributed equally as it when an individual's posture is correct.

Chiropractic care can help to relieve pain and restore lost range of motion in the neck, allowing the patient to return to a natural position where the head is resting upon the neck and not leaning forward placing further undue strain on the neck. To maintain these results, the faulty ergonomics of the workplace will have to be fixed.

Shoulder pain is another injury centered on a joint that may very well benefit from chiropractic intervention. These injuries are made all the more important by the fact that people use their arms constantly in daily life. Shoulder pain may be cause by tendonitis, muscle tears, ligament tears, and any other of a number of conditions.

Injuries to the shoulder tend to be caused by a clearly identifiable traumatic experience although this is not always the case. Some shoulder injuries occur without a clear precipitating event. Chiropractic treatments for shoulder injuries can prove helpful and are often used in conjunction with other healing modalities such as massage therapy. The joint and muscles must also undergo rehabilitation as the limited use experienced after the injury will necessitate it. To work towards healing the injury and then to return as much of the former joint mobility and strength as possible will probably require a combination of differing treatment modalities.

Is Chiropractic Care For You?
Your Decatur chiropractor wants you to answer this question after knowing all the facts. Chiropractic care seeks to help your body to heal itself. This perspective has been present since the beginning of recorded history. It has evolved into a science that requires thorough training for all those who wish to be licensed to practice.

Chiropractic science is based on the fact that the spine is a conduit for messages to travel to and from the brain. This is the vehicle through which the brain affects the body and through which signals are relayed back to the brain. The state of the spine can affect the entire body's ability to function.

In chiropractic care, a qualified professional first evaluates a patient and that patient's spinal alignment to see if chiropractic care is a viable method of treatment for the issues at hand. If other methods of healing might be beneficial in conjunction with chiropractic treatment then those too can be employed to help the patient.

Your Decatur chiropractor applies pressure to retrain the spine to assume its proper alignment. This is the common image of this modality, and it is heart of the physical practice of chiropractic care.

Because chiropractic care seeks to fix the circumstances that created the problems in the first place, it seeks out a lasting solution. A pill may make you feel better, but it may not fix the underlying issue. It is only by rectifying the underlying issue that a patient finds true lasting relief. This is the philosophy that underlies the practice of chiropractic treatment.

This may seem to be an alternative approach for a society that prefers instant cures, but true healing must deal with the underlying issues. True healing takes time.

Chiropractic care is not about avoiding other avenues of healing. It is about finding the most effective, natural, and least intrusive method for a patient to heal.

Chiropractic care helps your body to heal itself the natural way. You can ignore the pain or you can take a pill to make it go away, but in many cases this only avoids the matter at hand. These actions or a state of inaction will not necessarily heal the problem and may even allow your condition to get worse.

Would you want to have surgery when your body may be able to heal itself with a little help? Would you want to take a pill knowing that the problem may still be there even if you no longer feel it? Do you want a body that has the ability to heal itself?

Chiropractic care is all about natural healing. It is meant to restore the natural order that your body needs to function at its best. Because the nature of chiropractic care leads it to restore order to a system that impacts so much of your health, you may not just heal the problems that you have. You might avoid future problems and improve your overall health, and you can do it in a natural way. These are the benefits of chiropractic care!

Still have questions? Allow your Decatur chiropractor to answer them all. Contact us today.

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