Chiropractic care is a conservative, non-invasive treatment that is safe and effective. Relief is provided without the use of drugs or surgery. In most cases, chiropractic care is less expensive than medical care. Chiropractors are more extensively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular skeletal (nerve-muscle-bone-joint) disorders than medical doctors are.
Chiropractic has been helping people with musculoskeletal pain for over 110 years. Medical studies have shown that chiropractic can be effective at treating back pain, sciatica, neck pain, dizziness, and even high blood pressure. Millions of people have benefited from the natural approach of chiropractic.
The word chiropractic comes from the Greek “chiros” and “praktikos,” meaning “done by hand.” The technique of chiropractic was first developed by DD Palmer in 1895, and the theory of chiropractic was based on the concept that dysfunction in the spine can alter the function of the nervous system and create pain and illness.
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is subluxated, "locked up," or not moving properly. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to eliminate interference to the nervous system, improving spinal function and overall health. Gentle spinal adjustments boost your body's immunity.
Today as many as 40% of American adults take vitamin supplements on a regular basis. Some people question whether the use of supplements is justified. But new lifestyles and new eating habits such as dieting, meal skipping, between meal snacking and the consumption of "empty calories" can work against good nutrition.
The most widely used guideline for nutrition is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), as established by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). However, the NRC acknowledges the RDA's are "neither minimal requirements nor necessarily optimal levels of intake," in other words, many of us need more than the RDA.
Therefore, two issues need to be addressed:
- Are we meeting the RDA for all nutrients with diet alone?
- Do certain conditions increase the need for nutrients?
Several government studies over the past 25 years have shown widespread deficiencies of calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6. The population groups most widely at risk are:
- Women - calcium, magnesium, iron Vitamins A, C, B6. These deficiencies are probably due to the low calorie intake of women.
- Teenagers - meet the RDA for only 1 out of 12 nutrients.
- Elderly - calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and C. Deficiencies are the result of inadequate intake, inhibited absorption, and poor dentition and drug/nutrient interaction.
- Infants and children - iron, vitamins A and C.
- Lower income families - only 12% of food stamp recipients meet RDA for all nutrients.
Other factors which interfere with nutrient intake include:
- Increased popularity of fast foods.
- Meal skipping, snacking, and away from home meals. (25% of Americans skip breakfast)
- Low calorie diets - nutrient intake decreases with lower calorie diets.
- Food quality - today most Americans eat less breads, vegetables, and cereals and more sweets and fatty foods.
- Drugs - they impair nutrient absorption, increase excretion and decrease nutrient utilization (especially oral contraceptives, laxative, and aspirin).
Scientific studies indicate that many factors increase nutrient needs beyond the RDA:
- Cigarette smoking increases vitamin C needs.
- Heavy alcohol intake increases needs for folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, iron, and protein.
- Environmental stress increases need for vitamin C.
- Air pollution increases the need for vitamin E, which protects against damaging free radical present in pollution.
- Pregnancy and lactation (breast-feeding) increase need for most nutrients.
- Injuries increase the need for zinc, iron, copper, and vitamin, A, C, D, K, and B complex.
- Bacterial and viral infections increase the need for vitamin A, C, E, B6, and folacin.
In summary, the high incidence of below RDA intakes presents a situation in which nutritional supplements are a ration and beneficial choice. Supplementation provides a practical means of increasing adequate nutrient intakes.
Pregnant women can safely receive chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractic treatments can promote a healthy, stress-free pregnancy by alleviating joint pain, muscle aches and nausea.
Chiropractors are trained to accommodate the special needs of pregnant women. Treatments are modified so that no pressure is applied to the abdomen.
Misaligned joints may be caused by the massive changes that occur during a pregnancy. Weight gain, changes to the alignment of the pelvis, changes to posture, and increased curvature of the back all contribute to pain and discomfort. Chiropractic treatments can be especially effective in reducing the effects of these physical stresses on the body.
Chiropractic treatment can provide relief for other symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and morning sickness. Stress to the uterus and its supporting ligaments may be reduced by means of a specialized technique in establishing balance in the pelvis. This has also proved to be useful in helping breech babies turn naturally before the onset of labor.
Maintaining a healthy spinal alignment will assist the body in functioning more effectively during this significant time of change.