This morning I was checking the spine of one of my patients who happens to be just over one year old. Now this cute little guy didn’t walk into my office on his own but was brought in by his parents who through attending one of my in-office lectures began to understand the importance of Chiropractic care for people of all ages. This morning, this fellow’s mom was attentively watching me check her son’s spine and asked: “how do you know where he needs an adjustment?” It was a great question and one I was happy to answer.
To understand this we need to understand a few basics about the human body. As it turns out we know from years of research that the human body is designed to thrive with regular movement. That’s why I’m always telling my patients to get some form of exercise daily, be it as simple as going for a 30 minute walk. Now the human spine with it’s 24 bones (vertebrae) also needs to move daily to keep the numerous joints (spaces where the bones connect together) healthy. We know that if one or more joints and bones in the spine stop moving or misalign, that this adversely affects the nerve connections in that area of the spine AS WELL AS the areas of the body that those same nerves connect to. For example, if one of the lower vertebrae in your spine misaligns and stops moving properly, over time that bone and joint will undergo changes including scar tissue formation and even arthritis. This joint decay can irritate and put pressure on the nerves in the area which happen to form the sciatic nerve, a large nerve bundle which travels down the back of the leg. If the irritation gets bad you will feel pain or numbness in your leg or foot which of course is far away from the source of the problem in your spine. So…the bottom line is that for your spine to stay healthy we have to do all we can to prevent it from seizing up and/or misaligning. And this is an ongoing process of checking and making adjustments that ideally will occur from birth to death. So Chiropractic check-ups are for a lifetime!
When a Chiropractor is “checking” your spine he or she is basically feeling the movement and alignment of all of the 24 vertebrae and when one is found that is stuck or not moving properly an adjustment is made to introduce movement into that area. Usually it’s a little push and a click or popping sensation is often felt as the vertebrae moves into better alignment. There are lots of different techniques to accomplish this and your Chiropractor will know which one of these is best for you taking into account your age, state of spinal health and other factors.
Regular adjustments keep your spine and nerve system healthy so your body functions the way it is designed to: as a self-regulating and self-healing entity. For more information on how your spine and nerve system control your body please watch the video below: