When it comes to head, back, arm, leg and general muscle and joint aches, many people treat the symptoms and not the actual cause of the problem! The pharmaceutical industry would have you believe that the cause of the pain is due to inflammation or muscle spasm only, not even considering what may be causing these symptoms. Or perhaps they believe that insufficient pain killers or muscle relaxers in your body may be causing the problem. Due to the billions of dollars spent by the pharmaceutical industry in advertising in TV and newspapers, promoting their latest and greatest drugs, Americans eagerly swallow many billions of dollars of OTC (over the counter), and prescription drugs annually. Most of time, the symptoms return, persist and often worsen. The MD - Medical Doctor, has no, or minimal training in spinal functional rehabilitation, spinal biomechanics or the relationships of - functional spinal pathology - to pain. In the majority of head, back, arm and leg pains - abnormal spinal function is at the very core of its’ cause. And these are the very conditions which Chiropractors specialize in treating. Even though research clearly proves the effectiveness of Chiropractic manipulation therapy for the above mentioned conditions, most MD’s neglect to refer their patients to the DC - Doctors of Chiropractic. Instead MD’s assume the problem is only muscular or inflammatory. So, the perhaps well meaning MD’s prescribe drugs or refer to the physical therapist or both. Neither of these treatment approaches, treat the actual cause of the persons problem who has functional spinal fixations, subluxations or associated neurological involvement. Therefore are usually ineffective.
Several “physiological functional facts” of the human body must be understood to appreciate the true cause of the problem:
FACT #1 - When paraspinal muscles (those which border the spine), become tight for any prolonged period ( more than two or three days), they will cause a progressive decrease in range of motion of the joints they span or cross.
FACT #2 - When spinal joints are pulled tighter together by spastic muscles, and are held in these positions for days, they develop diminished range of motion. These joints often become fixated, or stuck and will no longer move normally, even when deep stretches are applied.
FACT #3 - When joints of the spine (spinal vertebra) no longer move properly, several harmful events occur in the region. The spacing between the fixated vertebra narrows which often contributes to nerve root irritations causing leg pains (sciatica), arm pains, tension headaches, and back aches. Also, it is very unhealthy for the vertebra to remain fixated because unhealthy movement between vertebra caused demented circulation, while healthy movement ensures good circulation and nutrition to the associated tissues, such as the disc and bone. Disc tissue of the human spine have no nutrient blood supply and depend upon normal movement of the bones to pull in the nutrients they need. Because of this abnormal movement associated with fixation of the vertebra promotes rapid degenerative changes to the regional tissues.
FACT #4 - Choosing the right health care provider can make all the difference. You wouldn’t go the optometrist for a dental problem, they both have there place, but are not trained to take care of the others specialty. When muscle and nerve pains are due to fixated or subluxated joints, medications, massage therapy and physical therapy will not treat the cause of the condition. Stretching or massaging a fixated joint will not restore normal movement to the affected joints. Other therapeutic approaches are very effective for certain conditions, however these therapists are not trained to treat and take care of the chiropractic specialty of restoring healthy biomechanical motion, posture and stability to the dysfunctional and fixated vertebral segments. Other therapies may temporarily relieve some to the symptoms, but they will usually return again and again without proper care. Inappropriate therapy is often continued for many months due to a lack of appropriate medical training in the related subjects, such as spinal biomechanics and spinal manipulation that Doctors of Chiropractic spend six to eight years learning, and are licensed to diagnose. Therapists are not licensed to diagnose these or any conditions.
FACT #5 - Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care providers who have the training and experience to rehabilitate the cause of functional back pain. This is accomplished through safe and effective spinal adjustment therapy, rehabilitative exercises, and patient education as to how to recover from and prevent injuries to the spine. The DC is licensed and trained to do everything the physical or massage therapist does, in addition to this training, they are licensed as doctors who can perform complete physical exam procedures utilizing X-ray, MRI, CAT scans, EMG, orthopedic analysis, and laboratory analysis and are trained to diagnose and treat the cause of the problem.
FACT #6 - Doctors of Chiropractic often refer some of their patients to the massage therapist, who perform, with great efficiency, modalities which they are trained for. The massage therapist works very well when muscle tissues have been hypertensive for prolonged periods of time causing a chronic muscle condition. Physical therapists are well trained and effective to rehabilitate joint range of motion and stability to such joints as the hips, shoulders, knees and other extravertebral joints, (other than joints of the spinal column).
Many have unknowingly made the unfortunate mistake of going through months, sometimes years of unnecessary drug therapy or physical therapy to find themselves in the same poor condition, or in some cases worse off. If these conditions are not treated properly, permanent damage may develop over years of having fixated, dysfunctional spinal joints. As mentioned earlier, such conditions as degenerative disc disease often develops because discs require good movement of both associated joints to which they are attached in order to stay healthy, also osteoarthritis and other aging conditions of the spine may be quickened through inappropriate rehabilitation.
If you suffer with any type of muscle, head, or joint pains, always check with a Doctor of Chiropractic as your first choice of treatment.