When is a good time to see my Chiropractor?
"Our bodies are at the effect of gravitational forces whether we like it or not."
The way our bodies function and tolerate this force vary throughout the day. For instance, sitting in a chair is a good way to dissipate forces from your feet into a larger surface area that includes your hamstrings, seat, and lower back. But over time, sitting produces fatigue and other forms of dysfunction if not balanced with standing and other movement activities.
-The Chiropractic process-
The Chiropractic process (as practiced by Dr. Adrian and Dr. Christine) involves the care of both the muscular and skeletal systems in the context of movement, function, and exercise. Here is an example of how this process works in the acute (painful state) and non-acute (maintenance or wellness) situations.
When a person has a complaint, usually while in some degree of acute state, there is usually a specific area of pain caused by movement or activity. In assessing that specific region for heat, tissue tone, pain and color, we also look above and below that area of complaint to identify other regions of associated dysfunction or compensation. Treating acute areas can be in the form of various techniques such as Massage Therapy, focused Myofascial Release Techniques that involve stretching and releasing tension and adhesion, Movement therapies like corrective exercises to initiate and correct muscle control, and Manipulative Therapies to the joints and soft tissues. At the same time, we may employ the use of various tools and modalities such as Therapeutic Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation, Heat and Ice therapies, Vibration therapies to stimulate local circulatory or sensory systems, and Computerized Decompression therapies to increase the space between hard to reach joints of the spine. Pain relief is commonly the immediate goal, but prolonged relief through correction or interrupting the pain/dysfunction cycle is the ideal goal of acute treatment. This ideal goal is not always lengthy in duration of treatment, and depends on other variables such as activity vs. recovery potential, prior injuries or significant medical history, and whether the person re-enters the "threat" situations while in their daily living routines.
-The non-acute scenario-
As healthcare practitioners, we prefer to see our patients on a non-acute basis. Why? This is a scenario when someone has no detectable pain patterns, has controllable movement dysfunction that is actively being addressed, balancing their strength with flexibility and continues a lifestyle that in engaged with physical activities and recreation. Perhaps this person is also in an ideal setting to involve their nutritional intake as a form of wellness.
We often care for the non-acute patient by detecting early onset of dysfunction (overuse or under utilization) of the muscular and skeletal systems, and address nutrient supplementation as it relates to athletic performance, body and organ function, or prevention of flare-ups or illness.
In a setting where gravitational forces are constantly active, where physical and mental stress is in abundance, and where nutrient density is lacking from our ordinary eating patterns, the Chiropractic process becomes more essential in the caring of our bodies in the acute and non-acute dispositions.
-Under the influence-
Our bodies are subject to various forces throughout the day, depending on posture, weight bearing stance, and velocity. Here's an example...
A person weighs 200 pounds on a scale, meaning there is 200 pounds of force distributed between 2 feet, or about 100 pounds of force per foot. While walking, each foot would bear the full 200 pounds of force as the other is lifted off the ground. Walking faster or running increases this weight relative to the amount of speed and direction of the push-off. In a sports or exercise context, this could be a significant change from our ordinary standing position, and can therefore amplify the risk for injury, overuse, or movement dysfunction because of how the body functions in space, while under the influence of gravity and time. Remember that prolonged time under stress increases the cumulative effect of gravitational forces, potentially increasing wear and tear leading to injurious scenarios.
-Under the care of-
Living in our own bodies involves a certain level of responsibility. Every mechanical and physiological system living under the forces of gravity, stress, and daily threat to it's existence require a proactive effort in many areas in order for it to continue to thrive. It is not enough to raise our tolerance to pain, as this leads to irreversible damages to our bodies. It is not enough to block our sensation of pain in order to continue with our lives, as this leads to greater pain in the future. Treat the body we were given with the dignity and care that it deserves, as this is the only body we have. I'm grateful for medicine and medical intervention as it has saved my life (literally), and I am also grateful for natural and non-invasive options for the care of my bodily functions.