Chiropractic joint manipulation, or adjustment, is a treatment in which the chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a very quick, precise, and safe amount of pressure directly on the affected area of your spine or specific joint. This pressure momentarily separates the joints, allowing a gas bubble to escape (this may create a popping sound or cracking noise). This relieves the pressure on the joint, surrounding nerves and muscles, and most importantly, restores normal mobility. The adjustment is not painful, and often provides immediate relief.
Dr. Szczepanik provides adjustments using manual techniques (utilizing the doctor’s hands) and using an activator (a hand-held device that is used to adjust in place of the doctor’s hands). Adjustments are very important as they help reduce local nerve irritation as well as promote a healthy nervous system. A healthy nervous system is vital to the function of the entire body.
What does this have to do with arthritis?
An adjustment of a joint in the body is beneficial for a number of reasons, including restoring normal range of motion, reducing pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves and muscles. The most important reason to get adjusted is to maintain healthy cartilage in the joint. The term arthritis simply means an inflammation of the joint, because of breakdown of cartilage in the joint.
The cartilage in the joint does not have a very good blood supply, unlike muscles and bones. Muscles and bones get their nutrients through this blood flow. Cartilage gets it’s nutrients through compression and relaxation of the joint as it moves, and through normal motion within the joint. If you have a misaligned vertebrae, or a joint in the body that has lost it’s normal movement, the cartilage will not get the proper nutrients and therefore will breakdown.
Why do the curves matter?
When you look at a person from the side you will notice that their neck has a curve in it, as does the mid-back (between shoulder blades) and the lower back. The curve in the neck and the lower back is called a lordosis. The curve in the mid-back is called a kyphosis. These curves are very important to the stability of the spine and it’s ability to handle physical stresses. If proper curvatures are maintained, and if the spine is properly aligned, the spine will be able to better resist degenerative changes that will occur. How quickly and severely these degenerative changes occur depends on the biomechanics of the spine.
When degenerative changes such as a degenerative disc or osteoarthritis occur, osteophytes (bone spurs) often form on the vertebrae (bones in your back) and will irritate local nerve roots. This irritation can interfere with the flow of information that travels from the brain to the organs of the body. From reading the information above it is obvious why it is important to maintain a healthy, mobile spine. It is the key to the function of the entire body, especially as we age.
To make an appointment call Active Body Chiropractic Clinic at (519) 398-8598 conveniently located at 33 Princess Street (In the Princess Center, Suite 410) in Leamington. If you are a WSIB case or car accident case please inform the receptionist while making your first appointment.