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Opinion

October 2, 2013

Chiropractic is more than just your spine

Chiropractors are usually categorized as “back and neck doctors,” but what most people don’t realize is that chiropractors are not just for the back and neck. Many people are unaware that chiropractors can also treat extremities such as your arms and legs.

Extremity care contributes to whole body care and often time’s spinal pain is caused by an extremity. In D.D. Palmer’s (founder of chiropractic) earliest pamphlets from circa 1906, he describes adjusting extremities such as the foot, knees and hips. These types of adjustments also include the treatment of the condition we know as plantar fasciitis.

An example of this is lower back pain. Lower back pain can be caused by fallen arches on patient’s feet. Once the arches drop down and the feet fall flat on the floor, this causes an inward rotation of the upper leg bones, which puts pressure on the hips. This then results in tipping of the pelvis which then stresses the lower back causing the muscle to be constantly contracted, thus causing pain.

When a shoulder injury happens, small misalignments of the bones that make up the shoulder can occur. When this happens the muscles surrounding the shoulder will often tense up and spasm in an attempt to keep the shoulder from further misalignment and injury. This results in decreased range of motion, muscle soreness, pinching sensations and nerve issues.

Other examples include mid- to upper-back pain, neck pain and headaches that can also be caused by shoulder misalignments. When the shoulder and collarbone joints are misaligned, or subluxated, the top of your upper arm begins to move forward from the body. This produces stress on the collarbone, ribs and shoulder blade, which then creates tightness in the surrounding muscles. Of these, the trapezius (the muscle at the back of your head and neck that runs over to the shoulder and midway down the back) creates a lot of pain and reduced range of movement in the shoulder. At times shoulder misalignments will show as spinal pain, if the shoulder goes undiagnosed it will be difficult to completely stabilize the region.

Almost anywhere in the body that involves a joint – chiropractic can help. Most joints in the body have the potential to be subluxated or misaligned but with the right chiropractic care these joints can allow you to get back to your life sooner.

Ken Womboldt, DC, is owner of Alternative Wellness & Chiropractic Center.

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