Chiropractors are healthcare practitioners that utilize a holistic approach to health care. As a practicing chiropractor of 39 years, I examine a person beyond focusing solely on the symptoms or a specific area of discomfort. This allows me to address the root cause of the problem to bring about relief of a patient’s particular pain. This article will discuss why it is important to evaluate the whole person, versus a narrow, specialist focus.
Let’s discuss several different pain conditions as examples. Each of the patients, in these cases, had a specific area of pain. The specialist they had gone to were unable to help them with their conditions.
Example one, is a patient who recently came to me with shoulder pain. A specialist had given her a steroid injection into the shoulder which helped for a few days but following that the baseline pain returned. I expanded the exam and found that she had misalignments of the spinal bones of the neck and upper back. Misalignments and improper movement of the spinal bones are commonly associated with shoulder pain complaints. By utilizing spinal manipulation and exercises for the shoulder we were able to bring about complete shoulder pain relief.
A second example Is of a patient who was suffering from almost constant tension headaches. She was seeing a neurologist who prescribed a handful of different medications to combat her headache pain. The intensity of her headaches was improved, but the meds left her drowsy, and made it difficult for her to concentrate at work. Our chiropractic examination included a holistic inspection of the spinal bones of her upper neck. When this area is misaligned, it causes pinched nerves and irritated spinal joints of the area. This can be a significant contributory cause of tension headaches. When the patient received chiropractic spinal adjustments to correct misalignments of the upper spinal bones of her neck, the frequency and intensity of her headaches diminished almost completely. This provided more than temporary relief as it addressed the root cause of the problem to bring about headache pain relief.
Our third example is of a patient who was experiencing pain in her left buttock and hip area. She had seen an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed arthritis of her hip and treated her with a steroid hip injection and physical therapy to strengthen muscles in the area. After a month of care, she had the same hip pain she had started with. Chiropractic inspection revealed a misaligned pelvic joint called the sacroiliac joint. When the sacroiliac joint is misaligned, it causes a patient to carry the weight of the hips unevenly. The hip that carries more weight becomes irritated and painful. By providing chiropractic manipulations to realign the pelvis the patient’s imbalance was improved, and the weight borne by her painful hip was alleviated, allowing her hip to heal and become pain-free.
By conducting expanded, whole person assessments, chiropractors gain a deeper understanding of patient’s overall health to bring about natural, practical, lasting, pain relief.
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