What You Should Know BEFORE Seeing a Chiropractor
Chiropractor a chiropractic are terms you have probably already heard of before, but did you know that there are over 100 different techniques and methods used by said chiropractors?
That’s right! One of the most common methods is a form of joint manipulation known as ‘diversified chiropractic technique’. It involves testing the quality of motion of the joint (where two bones meet) to determine if there is any restriction. The treatment itself is to administer a quick and firm force, usually involving twisting, pulling or pushing a bone to attempt a release. This type of technique is also known as ‘High-Velocity Low-Amplitude’ joint manipulation.
The problem with testing the quality of motion in a joint however has been shown to be unreliable (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/).
Chiropractors also use other methods such as ‘Sacro-Occipital Technique’, ‘Gonstead Technique’, ‘Toggle’, ‘Thompson Drop’ and so on. Unfortunately, all of these methods will either help some people some of the time and not others, not make much if at all any difference to others and even in some cases actually cause harm and create more problems!
In his book, Unlocked: Release Your Peak Potential and Rebuild a Body that’s Future-Proof, Richard Gliddon, DC outlines the problems he encountered himself when faced with a life changing accident. He details how a snowboarding accident left him with chronic pain and how the methods of chiropractic that worked well most of the time for his patients, would now not serve him when he most needed them to. He, like many other practitioners who came to the same realisation, questioned why their once trusted methods would eventually be found to be so unreliable.
The common thread among these techniques as well as other body and manipulation therapies is that they fail to consistently address the root cause of pain and dysfunction. Although chiropractic is working on the skeleton (which is the correct thing to do) they would go about it the wrong way.
It was discovered that what actually caused joints to become stiff, or hypermobile, or unstable, or swollen, or have dysfunctional movement was quite simple.
Bone(s) out of place in a direction the body could not self-correct because there were no muscles or combination of muscles to pull the bone back in the direction required to re-align everything.
This meant that unless a treatment involved identifying exactly; a) which bones were out of place, b) the direction they were out of place, c) the exact method to correct each bone and d) the correct order to perform the manipulations – you would find that your results would be inconsistent and not tackling the underlying problem.
Chiropractic and chiropractors (not to mention other body-work therapists) are being misled by areas of the body that are compensating for the primary biomechanical pathology i.e. the root cause. These compensation areas are often the sites of pain, stiffness, swelling and poor movement but they have become that way due to being overworked and overburdened with protecting the body from falling back into the original injury position.
Manipulation of these “compensating bones/joints” can give short term relief but only the exact correction of the primary biomechanical pathologies will resolve the issue for good. When you treat the correct area, you always get a positive result; no more results where there is no benefit and no more making the situation worse.
Physiotherapists, sports therapists, osteopaths, GPs, orthopedic specialists, and chiropractors in Birmingham and elsewhere are generally all focusing on compensations and not on the underlying cause which is driving the problem.
Chiropractor/Chiropractic Treats Compensations
As you may have already gathered this idea that bones can and do go out of place is not a new idea or understanding. Far from it. However what others failed to realise and appreciate was the actual mechanism of what was happening when these bones did indeed go out of place, particularly in the spin itself.
The image on the left shows what a normal healthy spine would look like. The second illustrates the chiropractic understanding of what a bone out of place that needs to be corrected would look like. This is incorrect. As per the last image to the right instead of just the one bone going out of place and not affecting the rest of the spine, the entire spine above the initial offending bone moves as one chunk due to the gravitational effects on the body. This causes a collapse at that point and is the source of your pain and discomfort. You do not experience pain at this point necessarily but rather at the points of COMPENSATION.
When a bone becomes out of place in a direction the body cannot self-correct, the natural and usual response is for the body to begin to twist, torque and bend to compensate for the imbalance caused by the bone out of place creating a collapsing point. Your body has an incredible ‘autopilot’ so to speak, controlled by the subconscious that is always trying to keep you upright and moving as best it can.
This compensating behaviour results in the pulling on and stressing of the tissues and organs of the body such as the nervous system, muscles, joints, organs, and vascular system.
This ultimately leads to the production and presentation of symptoms in the body such as joint and muscle pain, poor posture, pins and needles/numbness, weakness, difficulty breathing, brain fog, osteoarthritis and more.
These compensations are not the site of the actual injury. The true origin is a bone or bones out of place in a direction that the body cannot self-correct.
These compensations are what almost everyone else in the medical and non-medical profession focuses on in their treatment and not the true cause or origin. Examples of a site of compensation are tight muscles, sore/swollen joints, slipped discs, hard/calloused skin, etc.
Treating these areas can provide short term relief but unless you tackle the root of the problem, it will not improve your overall health in the long term.
Aside from not tackling the underlying issue, releasing compensations makes it harder for your body to cope with the primary injury. Your body is intelligent and the compensations are there for a reason. This is why you often need to keep repeating the treatment – you are fighting against your body. Messing with compensations can make you worse!
Don’t be a symptom chaser. Let us get to the root cause of your ailment(s). We offer a FREE consultation including a demo of the ‘First Rib Manoeuver’ before you decide on proceeding with any treatment. You will feel the difference to your pain and movement right from the off.