Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. They employ a hands-on approach to manipulate and adjust the spine, aiming to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall well-being. Here are some potential benefits of chiropractic care:

Pain relief: Chiropractors commonly address back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint pain through manual adjustments. By realigning the spine and reducing pressure on nerves, they can help alleviate discomfort and promote natural healing.

Improved mobility: Chiropractic adjustments can enhance joint function, increase flexibility, and restore range of motion. This can be beneficial for individuals experiencing limitations in movement due to injuries, chronic conditions, or sedentary lifestyles.

Chiropractic care primarily relies on manual adjustments and physical therapies, minimizing the need for medications or surgical interventions. This makes it a suitable option for individuals seeking natural and conservative approaches to healthcare.

Regarding whom should use chiropractic services, it can vary depending on individual circumstances. Some common reasons people seek chiropractic care is because:

  • Individuals experiencing acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain, neck pain, or joint pain.
  • Athletes or physically active individuals seek to optimize their performance, prevent injuries, or recover from sports-related injuries.
  • Individuals with certain conditions like sciatica, migraines, or fibromyalgia, may find relief through chiropractic adjustments.
  • Those looking for a holistic and non-invasive approach to healthcare, preferring natural treatments over medication or surgery.
  • People who want to improve their overall well-being, maintain good posture, or enhance their spinal health.

By looking at the benefits of the chiropractic service, especially when thinking about pain alleviation, it seems to be a no-brainer and we all should use chiropractors. However, the pain that we may feel is just a consequence, but what are the reasons, that trigger the pain?

Back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint pain can have various causes that vary significantly from person to person, and it is best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist, for a proper evaluation and diagnosis of your specific symptoms. They can provide a comprehensive assessment and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs. However, here I would like to talk about muscle imbalances that lead to compensation and can cause pain.

As a rule, the muscles in the body will work in pairs or groups to stabilize and move our joints. When there is an imbalance between opposing muscles, it can lead to altered joint mechanics, placing excessive stress on certain structures. For example, if the muscles on one side of the spine are stronger or tighter than those on the other side, it can create an imbalance and strain on the spine, resulting in back pain. To avoid this pain our body and brain will start looking for a solution by making compensations. For example, if we continue talking about the spine, the compensation will lead to poor postures, such as slouching or hunching forward, which over time will further increase muscular imbalances. Maintaining an incorrect posture places excessive strain on certain muscles, while others become even weaker and lengthened. This imbalance can cause chronic muscle tension, leading to pain in the back, neck, and shoulders.

Muscular imbalances can also affect the alignment and movement of joints. When certain muscles are tight or overactive, they can pull the joints out of their optimal position, causing joint pain and discomfort. Additionally, the imbalanced forces acting on the joints can contribute to wear and tear over time. The same muscle imbalances over time will become chronic muscle imbalances and compensations that our body had created can lead to the development of trigger points, which are localized areas of muscle tension and hypersensitivity. Trigger points can cause referred pain, meaning the pain is felt in a different area of the body than where the trigger point is located. These trigger points can contribute to headaches, neck pain, and other types of musculoskeletal pain.

Any muscle, posture imbalances, or joint dysfunctions are not happening overnight. It takes time for them to develop, sometimes months or even years. During this time your body will try to protect you from pain and discomfort by going through the process of compensation.

Again, the compensation usually happens when certain muscles are weak or injured, the body often compensates by relying on other muscles to perform the necessary movements. This can lead to overuse of certain muscles, causing them to become fatigued and painful. For example, if the muscles in the hip and buttocks are weak, the lower back muscles may compensate, leading to back pain.

Naturally, we do not like pain and do not want to live with it, so to avoid it our body along you’re our brain will always try to find the solution. When the body together with brain finds a way to avoid the pain and discomfort through compensation, they will start to create a new so-called motor program. In simple terms, a motor program is a relatively automatic movement pattern produced by the nervous system.

The problem with a new motor program is that it was created when you already have poor posture, have chronic muscle imbalances, joint mechanics have been altered and joints are already out of their optimal position. So, in simple terms, our new motor program is at least not ideal, but more often is bad.

And here I would like to bring back the subject of chiropractic services. A good chiropractor would be able to create a treatment plan that over time and a set number of sessions would be able to realign your spine and joints. Let’s say in two months, thanks to manipulations and gradual adjustments, you have the correct posture, and your joints may be in their optimal position.

The question is: Were my problems solved and would I be able to live my life pain-free?

Unfortunately, the answer is no to both questions.

The pain will come back as well as bad posture and you will be forced to see a chiropractor over and over again.

And the reason for this is very simple. You have never addressed the root of the problem – and that is your muscles.

First, you would need to create a balance between the muscles surrounding your joints. Meaning, you would need to strengthen the ones that are weak, lengthen those that are short, activate inhibited muscles and sometimes deal with overactive muscle.

At the same time, you had to start the process of retraining your brain on motor control, and that is the process of activating and coordinating muscles during the movement. All this is done through corrective exercises and repetitions. Slowly activating and training muscles, creating new neuro-connections between the brain and the muscle, teaching our brain to fire neuro-signals at the correct time to stabilize the joints through balanced engagements of the surrounding muscles.

The process is very simple as a concept, but requires proper exercise selection, control, and time.  At the end our goal is to create a new motor program, so all the movement patterns will be relatively automatic and controlled by our nervous system unconsciously.

And that is where the service of a corrective exercise specialist or knowledgeable personal trainer will benefit you. These professionals can play a crucial role in complementing and enhancing the outcomes achieved through chiropractic treatments.

One of the primary advantages of working with a corrective exercise specialist or personal trainer is their expertise in assessing movement patterns, muscle imbalances, compensations, and posture. Through a detailed evaluation, they can identify any dysfunctions or weaknesses that may contribute to the pain and discomfort experienced by the individual. This assessment helps them gain a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of the problem.

Based on the assessment findings, the personal trainer or corrective exercise specialist can design a personalized exercise program tailored to address the specific needs and limitations of the individual. This program would focus on correcting muscle imbalances, improving flexibility, enhancing core stability, and optimizing overall movement patterns. By targeting these areas, the program aims to alleviate pain, improve posture, and prevent further injury or discomfort.

By working in conjunction with a chiropractor, the corrective exercise specialist or personal trainer can enhance the outcomes of chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic treatments primarily focus on realigning the spine and restoring proper joint function. However, without addressing the underlying muscular imbalances and movement dysfunctions, the adjustments may only provide temporary relief.

By incorporating a comprehensive exercise program alongside chiropractic care, the individual can actively participate in their own recovery and maintenance of optimal health. The exercises prescribed by the corrective exercise specialist or personal trainer can help strengthen weak muscles, stretch tight muscles, and improve overall joint stability. This proactive approach helps to reinforce the adjustments made by the chiropractor and supports long-term improvements.

Furthermore, by consistently following a tailored exercise program, individuals can reduce their reliance on chiropractic care over time. While chiropractic adjustments may initially be necessary to alleviate pain and restore proper alignment, the regular practice of corrective exercises can gradually correct the underlying issues that contribute to pain and discomfort. As a result, individuals may experience long-term relief, improved functional movement, and reduced reliance on chiropractic treatments.

In summary, incorporating the expertise of a corrective exercise specialist or knowledgeable personal trainer alongside chiropractic care can provide substantial benefits for individuals suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint pain. Their assessment and individualized exercise programs can address underlying muscle imbalances, enhance movement patterns, and support the adjustments made by the chiropractor. This collaborative approach can lead to long-term relief, improved posture, and reduced reliance on chiropractic treatments.

About the author : Maksim Kondrukevich

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