What is chiropractic? Many people think that they have a firm grasp on what chiropractic really is – unfortunately, they often miss the mark. The true philosophy behind chiropractic is to relieve stress on the nervous system and increase the overall expression of life. Fortunately, chiropractic also provides a number of other significant benefits such as the relief of back pain, neck pain, and joint pain.
When discussing joint pain relief and chiropractic, most times we focus primarily on the spine. However, chiropractic treatment can prove effective for pain relief in all joints of the body. A joint is simply the junction where one bone connects with another. There are multiple types of joints within the body that all serve a different purpose and are ultimately different anatomically. For example, the sutures within your skull move very little when comparing them to a synovial joint like the shoulder, knee, hip, or spine. A commonality between all joints is that proper muscle and ligament health allows the joint to function at an optimal level. Where problems typically arise, is when the biomechanics of the joint have been altered.
Loss of proper joint biomechanics leads to a number of problems. Improper joint function causes strain as stress to the ligaments and surrounding muscles. The muscles will shorten or elongate depending on the joint problem. Until this is resolved, it will continue to place added stress on these soft tissues. Another complicating and more serious component of joint problems is the added stress that it places on the joint itself. Just like a car that is out of alignment, increased wear and tear occurs on the involved structures, which results in accelerated aging and increased likelihood of degeneration and arthritis.
A joint that has lost its proper alignment is referred to as a subluxation. In the spine specifically, this would be when a vertebra has shifted out of place in relation to the vertebrae above and below. Not only does this result in problems locally, but it also serves to weaken the structure of the overall spine. This leads to added stress on the nervous system and a decreased level of performance in the body.
So what causes the joints to move out of alignment?
There are a number of things that can lead to joint pain within the body. More specifically, there is an infinite number of things that can lead to a subluxation. As a general rule, there are 3 basic categories that all causes of subluxation fall into; the first is mechanical trauma, the second is chemical trauma, and the third is emotional trauma. A mechanical trauma would be something such as a car accident, a sports injury, or a work injury, where there was an actual physical trauma that took place. Chemical traumas to the body consist of inflammatory foods in the diet, toxins or pesticides in our food, and other chemicals and poisons in our environment. And emotional trauma, though often overlooked, consists of things such as work stress, relationship stress, or any other mental stress that one may be under.
So where does chiropractic come into play in all of this? Chiropractors are specifically trained to assess the joints for proper alignment and function. Many times a chiropractor may utilize x-rays to see the underlying condition of the spine and search for any other conditions that may complicate your case. When misalignments are found, a chiropractic adjustment is applied to restore proper joint motion, relieving pressure from the nervous system, and allowing the tissues to properly heal.
If you have any questions, please contact our Maple Grove chiropractic office today!