Adobe Stock / stars
While many medical options promise relief from back, neck, or spine pain, chiropractic care has become the treatment for many Delawarens.
The origins of the word “chiropractic” alone define the basic principles of this popular wellness option. From Greek words cheir (hand) and praktos (fact), the practice arose from manual healing methods dating back to ancient times. But it was not until the late 19th century that chiropractic began to become a viable profession in the healing arts, with the first chiropractic adjustment attributed to Daniel David Palmer in 1895. Two years later, Palmer a founded the first school of chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
Today, chiropractic is highly regulated within the healthcare industry, with strict training and competence standards required for licensing by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. In the United States, there are approximately 20 chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, an agency officially recognized by the United States Department of Education in 1974. The 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories, as well that over 40 countries around the world licensed chiropractors.
The basic theory behind chiropractic is that proper alignment of the musculoskeletal structure of the body, especially the spine, allows the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. At the heart of this practice is manual manipulation characterized by sudden, controlled force on a spinal joint to improve movement of the spine and improve physical function of the body.
According to Jacob Ross, DC, of Ross Chiropractic in Wilmington, correcting mechanical dysfunction of the spine is the primary goal of chiropractic. “We are working a lot on mechanical pain in the spine and on releasing mechanical dysfunctions in the spine to increase mobility and relieve discomfort in the nervous system,” he explains.
While readjusting the body’s internal wiring – the nerves that run through it – is an important aspect of chiropractic, Ross says it’s not as easy as plugging in, unplugging. “There are different nerves between the joints called mechanoreceptors,” he continues. “If they don’t move properly, they trigger pain receptors.”
Ross supports and uses a variety of modes of chiropractic care, including traditional work that causes the ‘burst’ feeling most people equate to going to a chiropractor, as well as gentler types of spinal adjustments. for myofascial release or focus on the general range of motion. “We also offer physical therapy,” says Ross. “We believe not only in the chiropractic aspect, but also in the selective strengthening of muscles to increase stabilization of the spine and the body.”
He also promotes stretches and exercises that patients can do at home, especially in situations where a person has chronic pain, adding, “You also need to learn to manage your pain outside of treatment. “
According to WebMD, approximately 22 million Americans see chiropractors each year, with 35% of patients seeking relief from back pain resulting from sports injuries, accidents, and / or muscle strain. Headaches and pain in the neck, arms or legs are the main factors that lead to choosing to see a chiropractor.
“People go to chiropractors for many reasons,” agrees Karen C. Feeney, DC, a registered chiropractor with Athena Chiropractic LLC in Wilmington. “Some people are fortunate to have been introduced to chiropractic early in life, perhaps by a parent who was a chiropractic patient. Parents may also choose to take a child to a chiropractor for problems related to “growing pains”, sports, and even for relief of colic and asthma symptoms. Others may choose chiropractic care as part of an overall wellness plan to help them stay flexible as they get older or because they don’t want to take prescription drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 1 in 4 patients who receive long-term prescription opioids for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the emergency room for prescription opioid abuse.
“Beyond the risks of addiction and overdose, prescription drugs that numb pain can convince a patient that a musculoskeletal disorder is less serious than it is or that it has cured”, explains Feeney. “This misunderstanding can lead to overwork, a delay in the healing process, or even permanent injury. Chiropractic and other non-drug approaches to pain management can be an important first line of defense against pain and addiction resulting from the abuse of prescription opioid pain relievers.
Since chiropractors are not licensed to dispense medication, they rely on a drug-free approach to whole body wellness, a philosophy that can sometimes run counter to Western medicine.
Ross is well aware of the collective desire in American society for a “quick fix” when it comes to seeking medical attention. “In Western culture, patients usually look for the quick fix to fix whatever ails them. But there is no quick fix, ”he says. “I like to use the analogy of a car: a car is a moving object; our bodies are moving objects. Our cars wear out and need maintenance from time to time to function properly, such as wheel alignment. Our bodies need the same, because we are a moving entity that is not made of something as strong as steel.
Driven by a compulsion to help those in pain, Ross was originally directed to more general medical direction, but decided to dedicate himself to chiropractic care because he believes he can help more people by working in a rehabilitation environment. “What inspires me, keeps me motivated for chiropractic work, is that we help people who are in pain, pain that can drastically change a person’s lifestyle and quality of life. From my experiences as a chiropractor and having had chiropractic treatment in the past, I find that it helps improve the quality of life and makes people feel fundamentally better.
In Feeney’s case, she grew up in a family of healthcare providers, especially chiropractors and nurses, which prompted her to pursue chiropractic. “Being healthy and encouraging healthy behavior in those around us has always been a natural part of life,” she reveals. “After college, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with my dad and he encouraged me to visit chiropractic schools.” She settled at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas, which offered state-of-the-art learning facilities, a solid scientific background, and a strong philosophical / professional background.
Feeney also attributes early and regular chiropractic care to her commitment to her craft. “I was the tomboy, I was constantly doing falls with my Ferris wheel or stunts on swings,” she recalls. “If I hadn’t been fitted all my life, I imagine I would have significant orthopedic issues today. In general, she says she is grateful that she can combine her passions for health and wellness into what she does for a living.