Why Do Chiropractors Adjust/Manipulate/Crack the Spine?

Why Do Chiropractors Adjust/Manipulate/Crack the Spine?

I spend a large portion of my day explaining to patients what is causing their pain. That is usually followed with recommendations for treatment. Since I am a chiropractor, it should come as no surprise that chiropractic adjustments are often a main part of the treatment plan. I have become so accustomed to explaining why an adjustment would help that I have omitted explaining how it can help. In the heat of a painful injury, most people don’t care how anything helps, they just want relief.

Hopefully all my patients know, and agree, that a chiropractic adjustment results in a relieving crack or pop. That sound that is made is from the pressure that is released from our joints during that quick movement. The movement of our joints through its full range of motion helps spread this slippery stuff called synovial fluid. When we suffer trauma or subject our body to repeated movement, we experience a buildup of pressure in our joints. Without the mobilization that comes from adjustments, that pressure will continue to build. Our joints will ache, the neighboring joints will have to compensate, and we start to have increased pain and restriction. The adjustment is a treatment that restores proper movement in the joint, reduces the pressure that causes pain and stiffness, and helps improve quality of life.

Research continues to show that adjustments are beneficial. I thought about quoting studies here, but I don’t want to reward those that have read this far with boring stats. The most effective study is to experience it yourself. If you know you want adjusted, but are curious what it looks like, check out this clip to get an idea. Notice the smile on the patient’s face when she feels the relief!

–Dr. Aaron England

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Weekend Warrior Syndrome

Weekend Warrior Syndrome

I have seen a lot of weird things at the gym, but I would like to think that none of us would walk in off the street and start throwing around 100 pounds. Performing some sort of a warm up seems like common sense. Most people also know not to lift more than they are able.

This might come as a surprise to many of you, especially those approaching middle age, but the same rules apply at home. Too many people wake up on Saturday morning, throw on their comfy jeans, and walk straight out to their garage. Once inside they look around and find the most awkward, heavy item in there and lift it as quickly as they can. Many insist on using only their back. Once they have hurt their back they move on to raking, shoveling, or weeding to ensure that they have properly wrecked themselves.

Even those that know their limits and avoid heavy lifting can fall victim to Weekend Warrior Syndrome. Seemingly menial tasks like weeding can create a pain in the back that burns deep and stabs like an ice pick. The two enemies to our lumbar health are overloading the spine through heavy lifting and fatiguing the tissues through repetitive movement. Being bent over and pulling those darn sprouts falls under the latter. These injuries do not just happen in the backyard, but also on the pick-up basketball court and behind the ski boat. Perhaps it happened because the kids goaded you into going on that hike or your friend who called you grandpa when hesitated to jump into the lake from the high cliff. In the end the result is pain, aches, and an emphatic “I told you so” from your wife.

That all sounds so scary. Few things are as bad as a finger wag and a head bob from the spouse while you are already hurting.  It seems best to avoid the situation entirely, so our natural inclination is to avoid the thing that hurt us. We stop waterskiing and avoid kayaking. Power walks become slow walks and then shuffles. Eventually we consider the walk to the mailbox to be our exercise for the day. But the answer is not to avoid physical exertion; we must do a better job of preparing ourselves to move. Regular and meaningful exercise, proper stretching, a nutritious diet and chiropractic care are all essential to staying active, being healthy, and living well as we age.

Did you notice that I included chiropractic care? It is a key component of overall health. It helps us avoid the injuries that come with being a weekend warrior or the vacation viking. Adjustments help the joints in our back and extremities to work correctly. They help keep us remain balanced and moving as we were designed. Whether you come in before you need it or after you told someone to hold your root beer, chiropractic care can help prevent injury or help your recovery. Give us a call today and let us keep your weekends full of warrior activities.

-Dr. Aaron England

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The High Cost Of Pain

Dr. England’s Healthy Lifestyle Advice

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Pain is a mechanism that our body uses to tell us that something is wrong. It is an alarm that warns us to change or avoid doing something harmful. Unfortunately, too many of us have learned to ignore that warning and we keep pressing on. We try to minimize the meaning of pain with cliché sayings like “No pain, no gain” or “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Unfortunately pain rarely brings gains and it is definitely not weakness leaving the body. Pain is different than the soreness, achiness or fatigue that accompanies exercise. Pain is “ouch” and swear words. Ultimately pain is suffering and misery. The true cost of pain is how it changes us from a happy person to a grump that hates life and all the people in it.

The cost of pain was made perfectly clear to my lovely wife after we opened the office. She worked as a massage therapist in a day spa while I was attending Palmer College of Chiropractic. The people she would work on were typically looking for a little relaxation after stopping at Starbucks and before their kids were done with school. Before their massage, they would have their nails done and rub some skin off their face with sandpaper. It was a luxury and a pleasure. After graduation, my beautiful wife worked as a massage therapist in our office. After a few days, she told me she hated working for me and wanted to quit. I took it personal and asked what was wrong. She said that everyone she worked on was grumpy. No one was happy and relaxed, instead she was dealing with cranky sourpusses. It was then that I realized that she had never actually dealt with people in pain. These were people that needed relief, not people killing time between yoga and play dates. I convinced her to stick with it, mostly because I didn’t have another therapist at the time and was desperate. About a week later she told me that one of her crankiest patients had become one of her favorites. She was amazed to see that this former grouch was a truly wonderful person once pain wasn’t weighing on her any longer.

That transformation is one of the reasons that I love my job. The first visit can be a rough encounter. The patient is usually in considerable pain and because of it they are irritable and frustrated. The pain can be overwhelming, scary and depressing. But after a visit or two that sour outer shell starts to crack and before you know it their sweet, gooey insides are spilling out.  It’s like a human Sour Patch Kid, but even more rewarding.

The reasons that we put up with discomfort are many, but we should address them immediately. Pain wears us down whether it is severe or subtle, long or short term. There is no such thing as a “normal” pain but is a signal that something is wrong. Chiropractic care is a proven way to effectively treat many issues from head to toe. Call or stop in at England Chiropractic to start getting back to who you really are when you aren’t in pain.

-Dr. Aaron England

 

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