What Makes A Good Chiropractor
Today we’re going to talk about going to a chiropractor and how to tell your out-of-town loved ones how to choose a good one on their own. Without your help even! We’re also going to talk about being the kind of chiropractor that your colleagues are happy to send their family to.
OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.
We’re the fun kind of research. We’re not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research oh no…. we’re talking about research over beers. If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do, like our facebook page, join our private facebook group and interact, and then go to chiropracticforward.com and check out the store link. Sign up for our weekly newsletter there too.
Now if you missed last week’s episode, we covered a lot of research. It was Episode 100 so make sure you don’t miss that info. I know there were some good solid knowledge nuggets found there within so make sure you’re up to date and not falling behind the rest. Keep up with the class, man!
On the personal end of things I cannot tell you what a trying and what an emotional week it’s been. These episodes are recorded a week or two ahead of time so you’ll note the time difference of when this happened and when it’s making its way live. On Saturday November 9th, my dad had a stroke. He got out of bed that morning and said he’s got a tall bed so he always has to sort of find his footing before he gets out and walks. He said on this day, he got out of bed and got out a bit awkward and fell.
ANTI-AGING TIPS FROM A CHIROPRACTOR
People have been obsessed with staying young for almost all of recorded history. As the medical profession finds ways to keep people living longer, the problems with aging are becoming more obvious. Back pains are a common ailment for adults, and age only makes the pain worse. In fact one of the images that first springs to mind about older people includes the person holding their back.
You may not be able to stop the passage of time, but you can slow the aging process through proper care of your back. All of the things that your mother and teachers tell you to do as a child are habits that you should adapt. By strengthening your back from an early age, you can reduce the likelihood of problems, or minimize the pain if you are injured. Even if you aren’t young anymore, there are things you can do to help your back feel younger.
START STRENGTHENING YOUR SPINE
If someone were to say that you are the backbone of a project or group, you know that means you are the main support. You are the spine of that project or group.
This shows just how the spine has come to be synonymous with support. Your spine is literally the support for your entire body. By strengthening it, you reduce the likelihood of suffering back pain. More importantly, you will ensure that your back can support you over the course of your life.
Here are some things you can do to focus on strengthening your spine and the muscles around it.
Do planks, not sit-ups or crunches. While these older exercises can help strengthen a back, doing them wrong will do far more damage. Planks are just as effective, and it helps build other muscles.
Work on your stomach muscles. One of the best ways to strengthen your spine is by not requiring it to be your only support. Strong muscles will provide support for your spine.
Avoid repetitive movements that put a strain on your back.
If you have to lift heavy objects, use a back brace to provide extra support.
Stand Up and stretch over the course of a workday. If you just stand and stretch your arms over your head once an hour, you are helping your entire body, including your eyes. The human body was not designed to sit for long periods of time, so give it some movement every hour.
Carry objects close to your body, including backpacks. This distributes the weight of the object over other body parts instead of straining the back and arms.
Wear comfortable, well-balanced shoes.
Avoid staring down at your phone or tablet. If you look around you now, there are probably people staring at their phones, their necks bending down. Over time, this will have an adverse effect, just like slouching.
Meditate to help you get accustomed to sitting properly and learning to think about your body more often.
THE THINGS YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD DO REGULARLY
Those things that you’ve been ignoring for years are exactly what you need to do to have a healthier back. Yes, it will be annoying. It will definitely take you a while to get accustomed to many of the things that you have been ignoring most of your life.
What’s the Difference Between a Physical Therapist and a Chiropractor?
Many patients coming to physical therapy have at some point considered going to, or have been to, a chiropractor. Physical therapists and chiropractors often treat similar conditions and areas of the body, leading patients to wonder, “What’s the difference between a physical therapist and a chiropractor?” While chiropractors and physical therapists treat and even co-treat many of the same conditions, they both offer unique perspectives on the focus and methods to reach a positive outcome for clients. Below is a quick examination of the differences in training, focus, and treatment offered by chiropractors and physical therapists. Understanding what your healthcare provider can offer makes you a much more informed advocate for your own health!
Chiropractic means “to be done by hand,” which is an accurate representation of this field’s focus. Chiropractic care emphasizes diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the spine and joints, with a particular focus on how the joints can influence the nervous system and overall body alignment. The chiropractic field was first established in the 1890s with a focus on using spinal manipulation and joint adjustment to avoid reliance on other forms of medical intervention. This emphasis on use of more conservative methods of treatment rather than reliance on medication or more invasive procedures continues to be a primary focus of the chiropractic field and is one of the reasons it’s attractive to many patients! To become a chiropractor, a student must complete a Bachelor’s degree, attend an accredited chiropractic program and receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and then pass a certification exam to be able to receive licensure. Depending on how recently they were licensed and their status, chiropractors in Oregon are required to complete anywhere from 6 to 20 hours of continuing education annually. The mission statement of the American Chiropractic Association is: “To inspire and empower our members to elevate the health and wellness of their communities,” and their vision statement is: “The American Chiropractic Association is leading a modern movement of chiropractic care based on higher standards and a focus on patient outcomes.”
Physical therapy can mean something different to each patient because, similar to MDs, the field is split into many different medical specialties. In general, physical therapists embrace the description of “the movement specialists,” paying close attention to how the body moves and functions as a whole. Because of this, physical therapists perform both hands-on, “manual” therapy (which ranges from soft tissue work to adjustments or manipulations that you might receive from a chiropractor), as well as prescribe exercises and neuromuscular education to encourage independent healing and empowerment to self-manage symptoms. This field grew out of the many nurses who helped rehabilitate soldiers following World War I. This filled a gap in the medical field that gave individuals who would have been unable to walk or function independently a chance to lead a fulfilling life with the maximum amount of function. Currently, to become a physical therapist one must complete a Bachelor’s degree, attend an accredited physical therapy program and receive their Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and pass a licensing exam. Additionally, many physical therapists choose to specialize in a specific field, often going through residency programs or participating in fellowships to receive several years of additional training in a particular field. physical therapists are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years. The mission statement of the American Physical Therapy Association is: “Building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society,” and the vision statement is: “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”
Being familiar with your health care providers and what they are able to offer is a great way to advocate for your own health! While both physical therapists and chiropractors offer an alternative to more invasive procedures, they also offer a wide variety of other healthcare options and interventions. Feel free to ask more about what your healthcare provider can do for you. You might be surprised!
HOW CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS IMPROVE BODY FUNCTION
Everything that takes place in the body is regulated by the information contained in the brain and the nervous system. The brain is the control center of all bodily functions. The spinal cord and branching nerves send signals from the brain to control and coordinate the function of all the organs, tissues and systems. Nerves also send signals from the body back to the brain.
This relaying of electrical and chemical signals to and from the brain allows the body to function and adapt to everything that we do and experience.
All organ systems and processes in the body connect to the brain, including the:
Heart and blood vessels
Production of hormones
Skin and sensory perception
Muscular and skeletal systems
Detoxification and elimination of waste
Regulation of body chemistry
The brain controls all that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and feel. It is also the center for our thoughts, emotions, and behavioral responses, both conscious and subconscious. The delicate brain and spinal cord are protected by bone. Pound for pound, bone is harder than cast iron or steel. In order for the body to be healthy, it must be able to adapt to internal and external forces.
The body can be subjected to experiences that may overwhelm its ability to fully adapt. These stressors impact the body and may create vertebral subluxations. Vertebral subluxations are disruptions in the motion and/or alignment of spinal bones with related irritation or obstruction of proper nerve function. Vertebral subluxations alter the ability of the brain and nervous system to properly control and coordinate the body, which results in decreased body function, adaptability, and vitality.
Back Pain: Can a Chiropractor Help?
Back pain is one of the most common-and debilitating-ailments people face. And finding the right pain relief is no easy feat: A paper in The Spine Journal likened choosing a treatment to relieve back pain to supermarket shopping, comparing the wide array of treatment choices to the vast inventory on grocery store shelves.
Getting your back on track
Modern chiropractic treatment is based on the assumption that back pain is caused by misalignment of the spine. Spinal manipulation involves physical pushing, pulling, and methodical repositioning of the head, shoulders, neck, back, or hips to help alleviate back pain.
Caveats to consider
Other treatments can also relieve back pain, from over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), to physical therapy, massage, or a combination of therapies. Research has found that spinal manipulation works about as well as anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications and other traditional interventions
Why consider chiropractic treatment?
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), chiropractors treat not only back pain, but several other health conditions, including neck pain, headaches, and muscle, ligament, and joint injuries and disorders. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) undergo extensive training to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal problems.
Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation by using their hands or a device to apply a small amount of force-or a more forceful thrust-to readjust the bones in the spine and neck. Spinal manipulation is typically most effective when combined with more traditional therapies to treat back pain, such as:
Heat and cold therapies
Electrical stimulation or ultrasound
Exercise and stretching