It may be seen that chiropractic care is only there to treat the times when back pain becomes unbearable and affects your ability to work, move or sleep. However, while this is a key reason to see a chiropractor, this form of treatment can be used widely to treat the whole family. With an experienced practitioner, this form of care can be factored into the usual family healthcare routine and your family can begin to benefit from this treatment.
What does it involve?
Chiropractors will not use drugs as part of the treatment which is a plus factor particularly for those who prefer natural healing techniques. They do have a “hands on” approach because the treatment involves manipulation of the spine, or chiropractic adjustments, in order to restore mobility to joints and relieve pain.
Those being treated lie down in a given position, often face down, and the chiropractor applies a controlled and sudden force to the joint that is being targeted. As well as this form of manipulation, the chiropractor will also recommend other treatments to be carried out alongside the chiropractic care. This can be in the form of massage therapy or stretching, use of heat, ice or exercise, and weight loss depending on the individual and their needs.
Who does it benefit?
The sedentary worker and senior citizens
This can apply to someone who spends a lot of time in the office in front of a computer, or equally to a younger family member who is studying for exams. If the majority of the day is spent sitting down, either revising or working in an office chair that is not ergonomically suited to the individual, the spine will start to suffer. Even for the retiree whose mobility is not as good as it used to be, if you don’t sit correctly and maintain good posture, the spine becomes misaligned. Chiropractic care and joint alignment can be beneficial in getting the body and posture back to where it should be. Frozen shoulders caused by being hunched over a computer or mobile device are very painful and this is also where the chiropractor can help with freeing up the movement of the joint, suggesting appropriate exercises to keep it mobile and reduce the pain and inflammation.
Plus, as we get older our joints start to stiffen up and become painful. Chiropractic care can relieve pain and also help get some mobility back which enables the individual to carry on moving around. Gentle exercise is very good for the older person but if their joints are feeling stiff and sore in the first place, they will be disinclined to keep that movement and exercise ongoing. Chiropractic care can assist with promoting a healthy regime and also with helping an older person with their balance, thus avoiding falls.
The permanent slouch of the typical teenager around the home is a familiar sight to parents. This is where the start of a lifetime of poor posture habits begin, so educating children at a young age about the benefits of chiropractic care and “spinal awareness” should be high on the list. Posture correction is something a chiropractor does as well.
The teenage years are also a time when a young person starts to get more involved with school sports or trying out a number of sporting activities as they begin to find out what interests them. Typically, sporting injuries occur around this time as well, so chiropractic care does have plenty of benefits for the teenage group. It can be used for pain relief, it also helps reduce inflammation and relax the muscles helping to prevent further sprains or injury. More importantly, it does promote and boost the body’s natural immune system.
Teenagers are prone to illnesses such as glandular fever, at a time when their bodies are still growing and developing. They have the pressure of exams and puberty to deal with, and their stress levels are going to rise. Chiropractic care can aid stress management through relaxation, improve breathing and boost the immune system which is a great benefit for our teens.
Children and babies
There have been studies undertaken (reported in The Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics 2012) which looked at the use of chiropractic care in the treatment of very young children who suffered from colic. It was shown the colic symptoms were reduced so a discussion with the chiropractor around benefits to treatment for the younger members of the family is important. Ear infections, which are very common in the young, is also an area that chiropractic care seeks to offer relief.
Mothers and carers
During pregnancy, hormones in the body allow the spine and joints to become more flexible to cope with the growing baby. Once the body has recovered from childbirth, a mother spends a lot of time lifting and carrying the child. For those who also have to look after elderly parents or a child with a disability, there is a lot of bending, twisting and stretching. Lower back pain is quite common, lack of sleep gives rise to headaches and chiropractic care can be of benefit (for new mothers it is very important to seek confirmation from your medical practitioner and from the chiropractor as to when you can undertake chiropractic care).
Booking an appointment with a chiropractor and talking through the needs and requirements of your family is the start of a proactive regime of healthcare that will benefit the whole family.