What is Chiropractic?
The World Health Organization definition is: “A health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuro-musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation, with a particular focus on subluxations.”
Central to the approach of each chiropractor at our clinics in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull is the fact that we are all self-regulating and self-healing organisms.
In biology, the term homeostasis is used for self-regulation and it refers to the ability of the body to maintain a stable conditions inside the body despite changes in conditions outside the body. The stability, or balance, that is attained is called a dynamic equilibrium. In other words, in most cases, your body can adapt to changes outside and keep you healthy e.g. if it is hot, you sweat and the evaporating sweat cools you down.
Sometimes things happen so that your body is actually damaged by things outside but your body can still restore you to health. That's because your body is also a powerful self-healing organism. It heals itself automatically, innately, without your conscious awareness or involvement. Your arm is cut and grazed, it bleeds, forms a clot, then a hard protective scab and the skin heals underneath before the scab falls off. Your ability to heal yourself is so powerful that you can't stop yourself from healing!
Occasionally this self-regulating, self-healing is overwhelmed and your body is not able to restore itself to full health. This is often because of severe or long running physical, chemical or emotional stressors. So outside intervention is necessary to move you back towards health.
Our Chiropractors at Sutton Coldfield and Solihull focus primarily on analysing your posture, joints, muscles and ligaments together with the possible effects of your lifestyle. Specific emphasis is on the spine because it has a very large number of joints, muscles and ligaments and the majority of nerves emerge from the spine. Nerves act as telecommunication lines between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. Without proper nerve function the information going from the sensors in the body to the brain and the instructions going from the brain to the body can suffer interference. This may be detrimental to our self-regulation and self-healing abilities.
It is interesting that in 1902 (prior to many effective modern medicines) Thomas Edison is reported to have said:
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”
Who is Chiropractic for?
At the Chiropractors of Sutton Coldfield and Solihull we use a wide range of techniques to care for all ages including the very young and elderly.
The vast majority of new patients seeking chiropractic care from a chiropractor at our clinics in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull have heard about us from friends or family.
What is Happens?
Consultation and Examination Visit
This is usually the first visit and will start in reception when one our care assistants will ask you to complete a form with your personal details and questions about your health. This will take about 15 minutes after which you will meet your chiropractor.
Even before you enter the examination room your chiropractor will be observing your posture and the way you move to glean information. The chiropractors will then take a detailed history by asking a lot of questions; some specifically about the issues that lead you to seek help and also your general health.
For the physical examination you will usually be asked to change down to your underwear. Women will be asked to put on an examination gown with an opening at the back that is easily opened and closed. This allows the chiropractor to see the back and neck clearly. Men are welcome to wear a gown if they wish. It is important that you let us know if you are not comfortable with anything, otherwise your body will tense up and the examination findings may be distorted.
The examination will typically entail a postural analysis, orthopaedic, neurological and chiropractic tests. The purpose of all of these tests are to ascertain if it safe to treat you; whether you need to see another healthcare professional (usually your GP) and the cause of your complaint. Occasionally it may be necessary to refer you for an MRI or x-ray to get more information.
Treatment will not usually be given at this visit as it is in your interests for the chiropractor to first reflect on the examination findings.
Report of Findings Visit
Prior to this visit your chiropractor will have correlated the examination findings with the history taken of your present complaint and general health. This will allow the chiropractor to tell you; what they believe to be the cause of your complaint, what can be done about it, how long it will probably take and the associated risks. It is then for you to decide if you wish to start chiropractic care. If you want to receive care you will receive your first adjustments (treatment).
The core treatment you will receive from your chiropractor is a spinal adjustment. This aims to restore normal movement patterns to spinal joints which have become “locked up” or do not move through their full range. Essentially, this involves techniques designed to get specific joints to move.
Chiropractic has developed a large variety of techniques to do so. This is like each chiropractor having a number of tools in his or her tool-bag. Your chiropractor will choose a technique which is appropriate for you. The techniques used to adjust a 25 year old body builder’s back will be very different to those used on a 97 year old’s neck, or on a small child where very little more than finger pressure is used.