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The chiropractor: an ally to relieve back pain and improve health

Most people only care about spinal health when suffer the first back pain. It is then that they usually discover chiropractic, a type of treatment that consists of using manual techniques and adjustments to prevent and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal system but also helps to resolve disorders that may cause nervous system function and health. .

If you are considering going to a chiropractor, This article will help you solve your doubts:

What training does a chiropractor have?

Despite being recognized as a health profession by the WHO, in Spain chiropractic is still not officially regulated. However, Madrid and Barcelona already offer higher education of five years. Since vital nerves pass through the spinal column, the Spanish Association of Chiropractic insists on the importance of always placing yourself in the hands of qualified professionals.

Only those who attend internationally recognized chiropractic studios receive the title of “doctors of chiropractic.” One of them is Aaron Morrisgraduated in California but with his practice at the Punt Vital Quiropràctic center, in Barcelona.

“The body is made to be healthy,” Morris explains. “When there is no interference in the nervous system, the body’s innate intelligence, the force that regulates unconscious functions and keeps us alive, can be optimally expressed. This generates vitality and allows us to live to the fullest of our potential.

When a subluxation occurs, communication between the brain and the body stops being fluid and problems can appear: from headaches or back pain to digestive discomfort or asthma.

“The spine works like a hose,” he clarifies. “If we open the faucet in the brain and the water flows unimpeded, the garden plants will be watered, but if the faucet is left half closed or a knot forms in the hose, the water it won’t get where it needs to go: organs, glands and tissues won’t receive the information they need from the brain to function normally.”

How does the chiropractor help the back and health?

The vertebral column fulfills a function as important or more than supporting the body and connecting its lower and upper halves with the help of the trunk muscles. Through it circulates all the information that the brain needs to send and receive so that the body can function properly.

From the beating of the heart to breathing, walking or digesting: any vital function, any chemical reaction and any conscious or unconscious movementno matter how small, They require nerve impulses that travel through the spinal cordlodged in the column.

Keep it healthy and flexible It helps, of course, to avoid back pain. But also, and above all, it can promote the balance of the nervous system and promote health.

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and billions of nerves that act like an electrical network. of the human body. Its task is to transmit vital information from the brain to all cells, muscles and organs.

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That information travels through the cord to the spinal nerves, which then branch. exist 31 pairs of spinal nerveswhich arise from the medulla, to the height of each vertebra.

When a vertebra displaces and pinches those nerves, it causes a subluxation. It can also affect the intervertebral discs and, over time, if not corrected, cause herniated discs or other wear problems.

The work of the chiropractic, developed in the late 19th century by Daniel David Palmera Canadian therapist.

Palmer began to study the influence of the vertebrae on health after verifying that the deafness of his assistantwho had not heard for 17 years, it was because she had a displaced cervical vertebra. By pressing on the protruding bulge at the nape of her neck, he instantly restored her hearing.

continued to investigate and concluded that a large number of health problems could be due to this type of displacement which he called “subluxations” and which a well-trained hand could correct with gentle, precise pressure.

Unlike other manual therapies, chiropractic does not massage the tissues to eliminate tension. It focuses on correcting the position of the vertebrae so that the nervous system can carry out its work without interference.

When to go to the chiropractor?

Chiropractors advise not to wait until you have discomfort to check the spine, because subluxations usually do not cause symptoms at first and, the more time passes, the more difficult it is to correct them.

The frequency with which adjustments are later received depends on each case and, if one wants, you can continue to do it for a lifetime as preventative care, like someone who goes swimming or practices meditation.

The average price per session is between 30 and 40 euros. In the sessions are held only necessary adjustments so that the changes are integrated gradually, and between one session and another not many days are allowed to passespecially at the beginning, to consolidate progress.

Corrections require time to take hold and also repetitionsbecause if the subluxation is old or is due to habits that have not changed, the vertebra tends to return to its displaced position,” explains Morris.

Chiropractic obtains very good results in headaches, lumbago and herniated discs. However, although many other ailments are noted for which it is useful, adjustments are not aimed at treating specific illnesses or pain but only to correct subluxations so that the body does the rest.

“If someone comes to the office with a herniated disc, most of the time they improve and even avoid surgery, but the herniated disc is not treated directly. The care is global and the benefits are broader. Quality of life is gained and many times problems that were not expected to be fixed are solved“Morris points out.

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What does a chiropractor do?

on the first visitBefore performing any adjustments, the chiropractor subjects the patient to a series of tests.

After collecting your history, palpate the spine vertebra by vertebra to check the condition of the tissues and to identify subluxations. also performs balance and posture tests, Notice if he puts more weight to one side or the other, if the body leans forward or backward, or if the shoulders and hips are aligned. A surface electromyography, which is performed by placing electrodes on both sides of the spine at different heights, allows you to measure the tension of the muscles and specify the degree of imbalance.

With the results in hand, he prepares a report and recommends a program that can include one or several sessions per weekdepending on the case. Every certain number of sessions, a review is made to see the progress.

In the first sessions, the highest area of ​​the spine is usually worked and then it is lowered. The work is focused in the spine because that way it has a greater impact on the nervous system, although some chiropractors also can correct musculoskeletal disorders that occur in the extremities.

If the spine and pelvis are misaligned, one leg may become slightly longer, giving the impression that one is shorter than the other. If this imbalance is maintained, we will carry more weight on one side of the body when standing or walking, which can wear joints more quickly.

The chiropractor checks the length of the legs to see the level of balance between the pelvis and the spine. If there is an imbalance, it may be due to subluxations in any of the vertebrae.

What is the chiropractic activator?

The pressures applied to correct subluxation They are called “adjustments”. They are usually executed with the hands but sometimes instruments are used such as wedges, stretchers of moving parts, or a firing pin called a “trigger” that exerts a single quick and precise pressure.

the activator is an instrument that Delivers a precise and painless impulse on the misaligned vertebra. It is used, then, with the same intention as the hands: that of correcting a subluxation.

There are chiropractors who resort to it frequently, although there are others who use it preferably in very young children and older people. It can be used in any area of ​​the spinefrom the neck to the coccyx.

The activator is like a trigger; the person may hear a popping sound at the time of adjustment.

Chiropractic adjustment: what is it and what is it for?

exist different techniques to make adjustments, which each chiropractor chooses based on his personal preferences and the needs of the patient. The technique with which the adjustment is carried out can vary, for example, if it is carried out in children, the elderly or pregnant women.

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Adjustments are painless and sometimes cause immediate effects –emotional reactions, relief from pain or feeling of rest–, although the usual thing is that the effects are noticed as the days and sessions go by.

Yeah a clicking sound is heard when adjusting, there is no need to worry. Are gases dissolved in the synovial fluid that make noise when the pressure between the vertebrae is changed.

1. Cervical adjustment

the cervical area is the most important because of its proximity to the brain. The adjustment is made through manipulations of the head, at the base of the skull and neck, with the person sitting with a straight back. The chiropractor can also work the area with the person lying face up on the stretcher

By aligning the cervical vertebrae, the effect is very powerful because the “tap” is opened through which the information generated by the brain will run freely to all parts of the bodyrestoring balance to the nervous system and helping to restore general health.

2. Adjustment on the atlas

The atlas is the first cervical vertebra. Due to its location, just below the skull, it usually modify the technique to access this area, the most delicate of the spine; the most appropriate posture may be with the person lying on their sideinstead of face up.

The chiropractor uses a gentle and precise impulse with the hands to align the atlas, the control center of all vital functions; through it passes all the information that controls breathing, digestive organs or cardiovascular function, among others.

A subluxation in the atlas can give symptoms such as headache, insomnia, lack of concentration, anxiety, tiredness or dizziness.

3. Back adjustment

A subluxation in this area can affect vital organssuch as the heart, lungs and digestive system, among others.

For adjustment, a very light force with a short lever on the patient’s back, lying face down; This allows the adjustment to be Very specific and painless.

at other times the chiropractor uses the patient’s own weight to adjust the dorsal area, directing it from the sitting position to the mouth position above. Meanwhile, the hand on the back guides the vertebra that you want to adjust.

4. Adjust…

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