Your body’s most critical functions rely on the framework and pathways created by your musculoskeletal and nervous systems. The spine is the most vital component of this framework, holding bundles of nerves that link the brain to the rest of the body.
Many health issues can develop if your vertebrae become improperly aligned—not just typical symptoms like back pain and neck problems, but other more surprising ailments like poor mobility, headaches, numbness and tingling, and vertigo. That’s where chiropractic adjustments play an essential role. Using a safe, hands-on approach, a chiropractor can adjust your spine and return your body to its intended, functional condition.
While chiropractic care offers effective pain relief, a single adjustment doesn’t act as a quick fix. Each adjustment helps the body heal itself, but as you can imagine, daily stressors, traumatic injuries, and the onset of illness continually threaten your spinal health. This calls for consistent, repeat visits to the chiropractor. How long each adjustment lasts depends on your body’s needs and your treatment goals.
What Do Chiropractic Adjustments Do?
Is there value in visiting a chiropractor over getting pain medication from your primary care doctor? How does spinal manipulation help your body function at its peak? Once you understand what chiropractic adjustments do, it will all become clear.
Chiropractic Adjustments Release Endorphins
Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. They also create a general sense of well-being. Your body usually generates these hormones in response to pain or stress, but healthy activities promote the release of endorphins as well, including exercise and chiropractic adjustments. Endorphins provide immediate, though temporary, pain relief to get your body on the right track.
Chiropractic Care Increases Blood Flow
Restricted joints and scarred muscle tissue restrict your circulation. By improving your range of motion and lengthening stiff muscles, chiropractic adjustments restore the blood supply to the affected area. This allows oxygen and nutrients to get where they need to go, helping your body begin the healing process.
Chiropractors Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a complex bodily response. In small doses, it helps prevent infection while your immune system responds to injury and illness. However, chronic inflammation can lead to joint pain, bone damage, digestive trouble, and many other problems. Inflamed tissue that presses on or rubs against a nerve can also cause considerable pain.
Spinal adjustments restore proper alignment, allowing your body’s biometrics to return to normal. This reduces the production of inflammatory neuropeptides and cytokines, limiting the total inflammation in your body and improving your overall health.
Spinal Manipulation Removes Nerve Interference
The communication lines between your brain the rest of your body are housed within the spine. A misaligned spine can pinch and otherwise interfere with nerve function, causing problems throughout the body. Your chiropractor can reduce or even eliminate this interference by providing careful, precise adjustments, freeing up the brain and body to communicate as intended.
Chiropractors Correct the Root of the Problem
Many medical interventions, such as taking pain relievers, only mask the problem. However, the underlying issue remains, so the treatment is only a temporary solution. This differs from chiropractic care, which accomplishes everything outlined above to truly correct the underlying pain or dysfunction you’re experiencing.
Consistency is the key to long-lasting results. After all, if your spine has been misaligned for years, its natural tendency is to return to its previous position, even after being properly realigned. Like teaching yourself a new skill, repetition is required to train your spine and the surrounding muscles where they should actually be.
How Long Should I Go Between Chiropractor Visits?
The amount of time you benefit from each spinal adjustment depends on your goals and what problems you’re treating. Here’s an example of how often you should schedule chiropractor visits based on your needs:
- If you are treating an injury, such as whiplash or a muscle sprain, your chiropractor may recommend once-a-week visits for several weeks or until your symptoms dissipate.
- If you are in serious pain, you may require more intensive treatment. Since the effects of each adjustment may only last 24 to 48 hours, you may want to visit the chiropractor two or three times a week. This frequency will gradually decrease as your symptoms improve.
- If you have ongoing pain from osteoarthritis of the spine, fibromyalgia, or other chronic conditions, you may need consistent visits up to once a week. Then, as you get your pain under control, you may be able to receive adjustments as infrequently as every couple of months.
- If you want to boost athletic performance before an upcoming event, schedule weekly visits with your chiropractor. Even during regular training season, you may benefit from getting adjustments every few months.
- If you want to prevent pain or injury, consider getting regular chiropractic adjustments every two to four weeks. Such preventative care can help keep back pain and other problems at bay if you work long hours at a computer or have a job that requires repetitive movements or heavy lifting.
Be aware that a typical treatment plan might span three to six weeks. As you progress, your chiropractor will decide whether to modify your plan, gradually tapering off your visits until you only need occasional maintenance adjustments.
Should I Visit the Chiropractor Even If I’m Not in Pain?
America’s medical system is based heavily on the “sick care” model. This term describes the phenomenon of only seeking medical care when you’re sick. Living according to this model often means looking for quick yet temporary fixes. The “preventative” model is a superior alternative. This focuses on taking steps to stay well so you can avoid pain and illness more often.
The problem with only visiting the doctor when you’re sick is that you miss out on the opportunity to stay healthy in the long term. After all, you can’t expect lasting health if you only seek care when you’re in pain. Just as you wouldn’t wait until you had a cavity to brush your teeth, you shouldn’t wait until your back aches to see a chiropractor.
Based on this logic, chiropractors recommend regular “body maintenance” visits. The sooner you make a habit of visiting a chiropractor for long-term preventative care, the better off your general health will be.
Speak with a Chiropractor in Crofton or Millersville, MD
The long-term health benefits of ongoing chiropractic care are undeniable. To experience them for yourself, schedule your first visit to Effective Integrative Healthcare today. We are a complete wellness center offering a suite of cutting-edge healthcare treatments and restorative therapies. By combining spinal manipulation with our other services, you can resolve pain, improve mobility, and live life to the fullest! To schedule a free consultation, please contact our Crofton or Millersville, MD office today.