Preventing Wear and Tear

When discussing chiropractic, a misconception that is commonly brought up is that frequent or repeated adjustments to the spine are in some way harmful. There seems to be a feeling that adjustments will "wear out" the bones, cause arthritis, or cause the spine to go "out of place" again more easily.

These ideas arise because of a lack of understanding of what is involved in chiropractic adjustments and what they accomplish. The adjustment, as delivered by the trained professional, is a specifically-directed, controlled manual force which acts to restore proper motion to a joint that is not moving properly. This is because joints in the spine, or elsewhere in the body, may lose their normal range of movement. The bone or joint is not so much "out of place" as it is fixed in one position. This causes abnormal movement of other joints surrounding it.

A chiropractic adjustment simply restores normal movement by releasing joints that are restricted. This release may need to be repeated many times in the course of treatment because the surrounding ligaments and muscles are "used to" a certain position and will tend to return to it at first. There may be connective tissue buildup that needs to be broken down. An important factor in spinal adjustments is the restoration of balance not only thorough the entire spine, but also in the hips, knees and feet. If the body is not in balance, fixations of joints will arise repeatedly. Exercise and changes in postural habits may be necessary along with adjustments to help stabilize the joint movement.

The sound that is heard with adjustments is simply the sound of a joint releasing as proper movement is restored. If there were no restriction of joint movement, no release would be heard. In other words, you cannot "adjust" a joint unless it is not moving properly.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine, along with exercise, posture and proper diet, are a major component of a program of spinal health care. Your chiropractor is the best judge of the frequency of treatment needed to best restore and maintain balance for individual requirements. For more information call contact our office.

If a joint or joints in the spine are restricted in their movement, degenerative changes to the spine can result with time. The discs between the vertebrae are cushion-like shock absorbers which get their nutrition from surrounding fluids as they are compressed and released during normal activity. If the joints are preventing normal movement of the vertebrae on either side of the disc, this compression and release cannot take place and the disc may become inelastic and brittle. If, as is generally the case, the joints are restricted on one side, the vertebrae will move asymmetrically, causing abnormal torque on the disc and leading to degeneration or even rupture of the disc.

The joints which are moving abnormally will also be subjected to wear and tear and may develop the spurs and degenerative changes characteristic of osteoarthitis.

Dr. Karin Mattern

6543 Portsmouth Rd.

Nanaimo, BC

V9T 1C4

250-933-3443

drkarin@shaw.ca

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