If you own a car or a furnace, the notion that you need to perform regular chiropractic maintenance raises no objection. The car engine needs oil and coolant to run properly; the furnace needs cleanings and new filters to operate efficiently. But when it comes to our bodies, we often wait until we can tell something is wrong before acting on it. We believe that how we feel directly ties to how healthy we are, and even after something starts to hurt, we put off doing anything in the hope that it will go away on its own.
You are worth more than this. Your body is designed to take care of itself, but when you neglect your care, those healing powers diminish. Chiropractic maintenance appointments serve to keep your back and spine straight and aligned over time. This, in turn, frees your body’s magnificent central nervous system to protect and heal you from within.
How We Let Ourselves Deteriorate
You may naturally ask: if the body is designed to heal itself, why do we get sick or injured at all? Unfortunately, our day to day lives often take their toll on our bodies. If you work at an office desk, you likely spend large portions of each day sitting down. Your posture slips over the course of that work day. Your spinal column curves and compresses, pinching off the spinal cord and inhibiting its ability to send the signals it needs to send through your body.
Conversely, a job involving extended physical labor can also take its toll on you, particularly if you do not stretch regularly or over-exert yourself. Your spine can compress, and your joints can stiffen. You may not notice the symptoms of pain and stiffness right away, but the damage to your support structure sets in a little more each day. By the time you do feel it, you may have had problems building under the surface for longer than you realize.
Finally, physical stress is not the only source of spinal compression. Many of us experience a tightening in the back and shoulders during times of mental or emotional stress. These physical responses are just as real as the compression that comes from direct physical impact. As you endure longer periods of this kind of stress, the body has a harder time bouncing back from it.
What Chiropractic Maintenance Entails
Your spine has twenty-four bones that work together, cushioned between by discs that fill with spinal fluid. The system works together to give your body support, to protect your spinal cord, and to give strength to your movements. When it works properly, fluid flows in and out of the discs as needed, and the bones move in a flexible way to allow your body a general freedom of motion without sacrificing those benefits. Any jarring impact to your spine is cushioned by the discs, and the spine stays aligned to continue supporting your body structure.
Unfortunately, this system can sometimes begin deteriorating long before you physically feel the impact of that deterioration. Spinal bones that become misaligned begin with small shifts from center. Similarly, discs may start to swell or compress or slip out of their position, setting the stage for what can become later discomfort or pain, and can create problems in your body’s ability to send signals that promote healing for you.
Preventive chiropractic maintenance care involves regular adjustments, generally once every month or so. At the appointments, your chiropractor will adjust your spine, and will identify and correct small alignment issues that come up over time. He or she will make sure your spine is stretched, even, and in place, and look for potential problems that may need to be addressed before you start feeling their effects.
How Preventive Chiropractic Care Helps
Preventive care comes with an eye not only to your pain, but to your overall health. Often spinal discomfort and back pain do not reveal issues until alignment concerns have been present for a long time. We as humans are incredibly resilient. While this generally works to our advantage, our ability to adjust within ourselves to abnormalities means that our bodies mask small problems, sometimes until they become much bigger and harder to manage. Incremental changes, difficult to detect when you are experiencing them, show up in your preventive chiropractic maintenance sessions. The chiropractor will shift, stretch, and realign your back as needed to get you back where you need to be.
One of the most important advantages to maintenance chiropractic sessions is that it keeps your body’s main support structure strong and flexible. When your body is correctly aligned, you resist injuries better, and recover from injuries that do occur more quickly. Every part of your body is designed to function in concert with the rest of your body. Your bones, muscles, and internal organs rely on each other to keep you working properly. A misaligned or compressed spine reduces the support in your body and leaves you more prone to back spasms, pulled muscles, and even viral or bacterial illnesses. Correcting incremental aberrations that you experience keeps you stronger and ready to combat issues that arise.
Of course, no maintenance plan can fully prevent injury or illness, and we cannot promise nothing bad will happen to our regular clients. Your health should be the focus of your treatment plan, and everything we do comes with that at the forefront. Regular chiropractic care does help prevent injury and illness, but it also mitigates the impact when injury or illness occur. A properly aligned spine generally gives you the strength and support you need to recover more quickly and more completely than you would without that structure in place. It prepares you to handle more of the surprised life throws at you, and to bounce back more quickly.
Preventive chiropractic maintenance fits in as part of an overall health and wellness plan. Regular treatment keeps you stronger and healthier over time, and helps your physical support structure before you have the opportunity to even know something may be wrong.