What is Chiropractic?

By Dr. Cristina M. Grossi

Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts based on the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body).

Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body’s inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body that is functioning improperly.

The doctor begins with an examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function. This is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones beginning at the base of your skull and ending in the center of your hips.

Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.

Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion and countless other factors can result in displacements or misalignment of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations often cause malfunctions such as muscle tension, weakness, lack of motion, pain, numbness and tingling. Chiropractic teaches that placing the spinal vertebrae back into normal alignment can reduce or eliminate irritation to spinal nerves.

Chiropractic also emphasizes nutrition and exercise programs, as well as wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. In fact, chiropractors now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine and other rehabilitation practices.

What Can I Expect on My First Visit?

The first thing Dr. Grossi will ask is, “Why you are here at our office today?” She will let you explain what you feel is going on in your body. Dr. Grossi will also ask about your family history, dietary habits, other care you may have had (chiropractic, physical therapy, medical, etc.) and other more targeted questions to determine the best treatment.

A complete neurological, musculoskeletal and orthopedic physical examination will be performed. In addition, a careful spinal examination and analysis will be performed to detect any structural abnormalities which may be affecting or causing your condition.

An “adjustment,” as doctors of chiropractic use the term, means the specific manipulation of vertebrae which have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally. Doctors of chiropractic spend years learning motion palpation (the art of examining by movement or touch) and other forms of spinal examining procedures, so that they can administer adjustments based on your individual needs.

Once Dr. Grossi has identified the problem, she will begin care by way of these adjustments. Particular attention will be paid to that area of your spine where a spinal misalginment or “subluxation” has been detected. The adjustment is usually given by hand or “activator” type instruments, and consists of applying pressure to the areas of the spine that are out of alignment or that do not move properly within their normal range of motion.

Please call our office today at if you experience any neck or back pain or have any questions regarding your spinal health.

Visit unionsqchiro.com for more information.

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