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What Is Chiropractic?

Both infants and adults can benefit from ongoing chiropractic care in Broward County, FL. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.

What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic in Broward County from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that Broward chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. The word ‘subluxation’ comes from the Latin words meaning ‘somewhat or slight’ (sub) and ‘to dislocate’ (luxate). So, the term 'vertebral subluxation' literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine. 

When a subluxation occurs, a Broward County chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. Why is this important? Because subluxations can cause pain, stiffness, tingling, etc. More importantly, since the subluxation affects the spinal nerves as they exit the spine, they cause wide ranging effects on the nervous system to the detriment of your health.

This procedure by which chiropractors in Broward County correct the subluxation is appropriately called an ‘adjustment’, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release or a "crack." The sound is harmless and is caused by the release of pressure built up in the affected joint. The sound sometimes startles people a little bit the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic adjustment. There are times when the audible ‘cracking’ does not occur. This does not mean that the adjustment was not effective. In fact there are many chiropractic techniques, known as non-force techniques that do not involve forceful movement of the joints at all.

It is up to the skill, knowledge, and experience of the Broward chiropractor to know which type of adjusting technique would be best for an individual patient. This is determined after a thorough history and examination which might include such diagnostic testing as X-rays, computerized nerve or muscle tests, and other diagnostic means. In addition to the adjusting, most chiropractors also utilize physical therapy modalities including: hot or cold packs, electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and of course exercises. Many also offer nutritional counseling, relaxation techniques, and even acupuncture.

How many visits a patient needs depends largely on their goals. Some patients just want relief from acute pain, others want the condition stabilized and rehabilitated, and others opt for long term wellness care to minimize the chances of the condition returning, and to help prevent new one from occurring. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its re-occurrence is more important than the initial symptom relief.

There are actually five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).

  1. Bone Component – Bone component is where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration. This frequently leads to a narrowing of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself.
  2. Nerve Component – Nerve component is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted. The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally. Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.
  3. Muscular Component – Since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex.  In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by, the VSC.  A subluxation can irritate a nerve, and the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm. In turn, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and repeats the vicious cycle.  It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.
  4. Soft Tissue Component - The VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug-and-squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force. Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction.
  5. Chemical Component – Chemical component is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC. Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called ‘kinins’, are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area.

These changes progressively worsen over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement,  as well as muscle weakness and spasm.  Broward County, FL chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxations have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors in Broward County are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.