Our bodies are our most steadfast partners in all our lives. More than money or things, which may come and go, our bodies stay with us forever. Maintaining them is a cornerstone of quality of life, and the people who you trust to help you in that endeavor are your partners in one of the most important missions that you have in life.
A chiropractor especially, must then be a steadfast and wise partner, who has your absolute trust. When you go to a chiropractor, do they just start adjusting you without asking what is wrong, or do they carefully target problem areas with precision? How do they know where to adjust? How can you be sure that the professional who is helping you is qualified?
This blog post will set out to put those questions at ease, and we will discuss what chiropractors learn in school, the tools they are given in the lecture halls, and how they continue to learn on the job after graduation. We will also discuss why chiropractic care is safe and trustworthy and why “cracking” your back at home can be dangerous without proper training.
How are Chiropractors Trained?
Chiropractics is a field of medicine that regards the body as a self-correcting machine. Generally, the belief is that if the body keeps coming to the same wrong outcomes, it’s because an input, nutrition, posture, mindset, and other factors, are not correct. The physicians in the field of chiropractics are trained to understand the human body and how it works. Time that amounts to over eight years of training in school, produces decorated Chiropractors with a sensitivity to the human body and a wealth of skills in specific areas related to your treatment.
This knowledge is important to diagnose problems and develop treatment plans. Chiropractors learn about the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, along with functional medicine. Functional medicine is a branch of medicine that looks at the whole person and how they are functioning rather than just treating symptoms. In essence, solving the underlying issue, and not playing catch up on new or iterant ailments. And these doctors are doing much more than using just their five senses to diagnose your pain. They’re also utilizing state-of-the-art x-ray technology to see into your muscles and joints to gain quantitative metrics in your diagnosis. With imaging, a chiropractor can see in and identify impingement and displacement and know the cause without a shadow of a doubt.
Chiropractors also learn about the different techniques used to adjust the spine and other body parts. Once x-rays imaging has taken all of the guesswork out of your diagnosis, physicians will use their hands, instruments, and even machines to make these adjustments and bring your body back into balance. This know-how, honed over years of study and over three-thousand hours in lecture settings, place your chiropractor amongst the classes of physicians with the most sensitivity and effectiveness in initial diagnosis and treatment.
But our understanding of the human body is ever changing, evolving with the advancement of Science. The International Chiropractic Association is attuned to this fact, which is why Chiropractors must also undergo continuing education (CE) to maintain their licenses. They must also take continuing education courses (CLEs) to keep up with the latest research and developments in the field. This helps you know that your chiropractor is not operating off a playbook that is 20 years old, but is rather on the cutting edge of medical knowledge, making sure that misconceptions of the past are not repeated on you.
Why is it Bad to Crack My Back?
“Cracking” your back is actually a misnomer. What people call “cracking” their back is just a noise made when the spine’s joints are moved, and gas bubbles between the disks pop. This noise is when gas bubbles escape suddenly from the joint fluid. When you “crack” your back, you are putting a lot of pressure on the joints in your spine, directly on the most fragile part of it. This stress can cause damage to the joint surfaces and the ligaments that hold the spine together, leading to pain and fragility. It can also lead to inflammation, which in its own way leads to discomfort and inflexibility.
So, why then is it safe to see a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are trained to nimbly adjust the spine without causing damage. They use their hands, instruments, and machines to apply gentle pressure to the joints in the spine, releasing the pressure in the disks without disturbing them. This pressure is carefully controlled and does not put undue stress on the joints. This is why sensitive, professional handling is critical to safely realigning the back.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor
There are many benefits to seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is safe, drug-free, and effective for many conditions, and relief begins in the doctor’s office. It can help with pain, improve range of motion, and even help improve overall health, from your nights’ rest to your breathing to your posture.
Opening a conversation up with your chiropractor and finding a physician who cares for you, is receptive to your concerns, and whom you trust, are the baby steps towards a pain-free life.
Five Things To Ask A Chiropractor
- What is your training and experience?
- What techniques do you use?
- Do you perform x-ray imaging in house?
- Do you see children in this office?
- Are you a member of the Amerifan Chiropractic Association (ACA) or the International Chiropractic Association (ICA)?
Asking these questions can help you choose a qualified and experienced chiropractor. If you are considering seeing a chiropractor, be sure to ask them these five questions beforehand.
WellSpine KC offers chiropractic care, nutritional and exercise consultation, and pediatric chiropractic care. Our team of experienced and qualified providers offers a wide range of services to help you achieve your health goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!