Do you need an adjustment? We’re not talking an attitude change, but a spinal one that comes from excellent chiropractic care.
“Chiropractic adjustments are necessary when joints become restricted or hypomobile, which can lead to pain, inflammation and muscle tightness,” says Jan Carlo Zegarra, DC, lead physical medicine provider at St. Joseph Hoag Health’s Wellness Corner at LA Fitness Crossroads in Irvine, California, a center specializing in muscular, joint and spinal health. “And with inflammation and mechanical stress to the surrounding tissues and nerves, the signaling pathways to different systems--from digestive to musculoskeletal--are impacted. That makes a big difference in peoples’ lives, which is why getting help is so necessary.”
Although Dr. Zegarra has extensive experience in assisting athletes (he’s worked with professional athletes in the NFL, NHL, MLB and UFC), he also helps many who experience pain stemming from everyday life. With so many of us spending our working lives seated with our heads unnaturally in forward posture over our computers, he often sees everyday working people whose backs and necks are aching from this unnatural position that can seriously throw off spinal mechanics over time.
Other situations frequently treated by chiropractors are poor posture, joint damage and swelling, spinal inflammation due to poor diet or stress, osteoporosis or tight back muscles. Most people experience back pain when they seek out chiropractic care, but others are also suffering from headaches, irregularity, and a loss of mental clarity.
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One of the best things about receiving chiropractic adjustments is that they are a drug-free and surgery-free method of healing the body naturally. The intent is to help restore joint mobility and proper body mechanics to achieve balance and promote healing. Moreover, costs are far less expensive than traditional interventional care.
So, what happens when you go for an adjustment?
There are several forms of treatment, and the best known is spinal manipulation, which involves the chiropractor applying a controlled force on the spine to restore proper mobility. This procedure is also known for the “cracking” noise patients hear, which is caused by the harmless release of gas trapped between joints. The movement of the joint causes a change in pressure, which in turn releases gas bubbles. There is usually no pain or discomfort involved in this technique.
Chiropractors work with each patient to determine the appropriate amount of pressure and ensure the technique is right for them. For example, patients with osteoporosis typically require a gentler approach. For them, spinal mobilization is often the answer. With this form of adjustment, the chiropractor employs slow movements that may include gentle stretching or firm pressure (rather than thrusts) to restore joint mobility.
Another form of treatment is myofascial release technique, which targets the layer of membranes that cover and connect the muscles. This type of therapy is also performed by physical therapists and massage therapists. During myofascial release, the chiropractor identifies stiff areas and applies pressure to loosen them up, free movement and reduce pain.
After a complete history, exam and imaging/lab studies if necessary, the doctor of chiropractic will determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for the condition. Through a process of shared decision-making, the doctor will explain your diagnosis, recommend a treatment plan and review the risks and benefits of all procedures.
‘Although it’s been practiced for nearly 120 years, chiropractic care has become much more popular and accessible in recent years,” says Dr. Zegarra. “While chiropractic care has typically been thought of as an ‘alternative’ service, it’s now more mainstream than ever before— as indicated by the fact that many patients keep coming back to ensure they move and feel their best throughout their lives.”
The Wellness Corner, focusing on muscle, joint and spinal health, is located inside the LA Fitness – Crossroads in Irvine, California, and is open to the public. You do not need an LA Fitness membership to receive care. Call us at (949) 430-3968 or email WellnessCorner.LAFCrossroads@stjoe.org, and find out how we can help you achieve better health!
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.