The Zen of Chiropractic HealthCare
Generally speaking, there are two approaches we can take regarding our health: prevention and crisis care. Logically speaking, taking a preventative approach makes sense: to engage in a variety of health-promoting habits to stave off the likelihood of ill health or disease. That old chestnut: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (not metric, but we get the idea). Of course, accidents can happen where we get injured and require acute care, but generally speaking, it is easier to stay healthy than try to regain our health. We all know that eating nutrient-rich foods, moving and exercising our bodies, and reducing stress are 3 of the pillars of good health. So where does Chiropractic care fit into this picture?
The majority of people seek Chiropractors for pain relief. Pain can be an immediate roadblock to our ability to perform even the simplest of daily tasks, let alone exercise. If someone is in pain, their ability to exercise is reduced, their sleep is often affected, and their general sense of well-being and happiness deteriorates rapidly.
Now mention Chiropractic care to a cross-section of people, and you are likely to hear a wide range of opinions. Some people will swear by them, and others won’t even consider it as an option. There are clearly many factors that lead to our perceptions and opinions. For the advocates, their enthusiasm often stems from the benefit that they experienced from chiropractic care that they couldn’t find from other approaches. As for the detractors, they may have a perception of the treatment and the “bone cracking” as sounding unappealing or even painful. Or they may have tried it and had a poor experience.
The important factor here, as with any service, is finding practitioners that offer high levels of quality care. Red flags can include: very brief appointment times, unreasonably extended treatment schedules, odd treatment protocols or methods, and just the general skill level and diagnostic expertise of the practitioner. Some of those might be easier to recognise than others. The important point to remember is if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular practitioner or approach, seek out another. You need to be a smart shopper of your healthcare.
The lack of recognition of Chiropractic healthcare is still apparent, but well-performed therapy, after arriving at a correct diagnosis can be life-changing for some individuals. Much of the under-utilisation of Chiropractic is due to a lack of understanding of how it benefits our health.
As part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment program, the RAND Corporation studied patients who were under chiropractic care compared to those who were not and found that the individuals under continuing chiropractic care were:
Free from using a nursing home (95.7% vs 80.8%)
Free from hospitalisations (73.9% vs 52.4%)
More likely to report better health;
More likely to exercise vigorously;
More likely to be mobile in the community (69.6% vs 46.8%)
An additional study recruited 59 elite Australian Rules football players and randomised them into intervention and control groups. The control group was administered standard club therapy, and the intervention group included chiropractic management, involving manual therapies and soft tissue therapies. The Chiropractic intervention resulted in the lower incidence of injuries to the hamstrings, knees, and lower back, with far shorter periods of play missed.
Now reading research studies is pretty dry stuff, but the summary can be made that properly administered chiropractic care can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life.
The mechanism of how Chiropractic care works is quite complex because it involves the nervous system, an impossibly complex system that links our bodies and brain. It’s a system that controls all functions in our body, all muscle contractions, and all pain that we experience. That is why a treatment that balances this system effectively is so powerful. When it is combined with other approaches like massage, exercise prescription, nutrition, and stress management, the levels of health obtained can be substantial.
Our health is our only true possession in this world, and chronic pain can significantly reduce our quality of life. So if the current state of your health is lower than you’d like, you should investigate how much Chiropractic care can impact your life.