Chiropractic Care - Q&A's with Dr. Weiner
Q. What is chiropractic?
A. In the simplest sense, chiropractic works to help the nervous system transmit and receive information accurately, mainly by making corrections in the joints when they are not moving well or are a little out of their natural, efficient alignment.
Q. Are all chiropractors the same?
A. Not all Chiropractors use the same techniques or approaches. In my practice I work mostly with the joints of the spine, those between the cranial bones including the jaw, and the pelvis. These joints have a very high population of nerve endings that take moment-to-moment readings of the body’s ongoing position and movements, and send that information to the brain. The brain processes this and sends commands back through the information networks to generate the greatest efficiency in our actions. Trauma and stress may create errors in this flow of information by limiting or distorting the function of the joints. The nerve pathways, considered as a network, influence not only our posture and the way we move around and do things, but also interface with the digestive, metabolic, hormonal, immune and emotional networks. In fact, every cell in the body receives information through this network. Injury, stress, environmental factors, food choices, even the thoughts we have, all make input to the same system, so we pay attention to these joints and their nerve networks, in practice, as a portal of entry to all of the body’s systems. The chiropractic adjustment reduces errors in the flow of information from the joints so the brain has more accurate feedback for the rest of the body. This allows many systems to work more efficiently and effectively.
Q. Why should I go to a chiropractor when I can just take an ibuprofen and move on?
A. That is certainly a valid choice. But consider that each time you take an ibuprofen, you place a limitation on a number of important functions in the body, like maintaining the lining of the digestive tract, mounting an immune system response to an invading organism, or managing source of inflammation somewhere. This becomes especially significant if you use ibuprofen frequently. Not only that, whatever is causing the pain you took the ibuprofen for is not addressed. The chiropractor can tell pretty quickly if the cause is something he or she can address, and will help without interfering with the body’s chemistry, without harming the system at all.
Q. I have a cousin who had bad headaches and the chiropractor helped her. But my friend has them and keeps going to the chiropractor but they don’t get better. Help me understand why is worked for my cousin but not for my friend?
A. No two people have the same problem, even if their symptoms are similar or if they’ve been given the same diagnosis. Just as we each have a unique set of fingerprints, our nervous systems react in unique ways to stress and trauma. These reactions reflect themselves in the structural patterning that the chiropractor investigates during an examination. You may have a headache because the car accident you were in four years ago left abnormal postural patterns in the way your head and neck work together. The person next to you on the bus may also have had a similar car accident around the same time, but his structural pattern will be different and he may suffer digestive trouble without headache. A third person with similar headaches may not have had a car accident at all. The chiropractic examination will reveal the areas of the structural network that need adjustments, and treat accordingly. Some patterns are more complicated, representing multiple traumas that overlap each other. One way to understand this is to realize that rather than treating all patients with similar symptoms the same, we look for, and treat, the individual patterns of disturbance in each patient.
Q. What should I look for in a chiropractor?
A. When looking for a chiropractor be sure to find one whose approach makes sense to you, who listens to what you tell him or her, and is willing to take the time to answer your questions.