How does chiropractic work? The reason chiropractic works is due to the fact that the body is a self-healing organism. Meaning the body has the amazing ability to heal itself. Think wolverine from X-Men, only not quite as quick. When we cut our finger, our body has an innate ability to heal itself. If we were to break a bone, it’s our body that heals the fracture. The cast is only there to provide support and allow the bone the heal correctly. This is crucial concept to grasp and understand.
At the top of our body we have our brain, which is the central component of our nervous system. Our brain is connected to the spinal cord and this is connected to a network of nerves that allows the brain to communicate to the rest of the body. You can think of the nerves as like the wifi connection within the body, or even the cell phone reception that allows the brain to communicate to the rest of the body. The nervous system and its connection the brain is what allows the body to communicate to the brain. It is the job of the nervous system to interpret and respond to stress accordingly. If our finger gets into close contact to an open fire, it is our body’s nervous system that tells the rest of the body of potential danger/harm and to pull back.
The job of the chiropractor is to locate where there is interference within the communication system between the brain and the body. If there are vertebral subluxations, misalignments that are negatively affecting the nervous system, the nervous system is irritated and the body is working less than optimally. Pain likely will not ensue immediately, but over time when the body is working less than 100%, chronic pain starts to show itself. For instance, vertebral subluxation in the upper neck (due to poor posture and old accidents) are affecting the nerves that control the head. Initially it doesn’t feel like anything at all. Then it starts to feel like stiffness in the neck, where one has this need to ‘crack’ or ‘pop’ their own neck. Next thing they know it, this person is experiencing headaches multiple times a week. Once this person starts corrective care with their chiropractor, these headaches start to become less frequent and eventually go away. Why? Because the body is intelligent and self-healing. All it needed was for the brain to finally be able to communicate to the upper neck to allow it to heal. The chiropractor is merely unlocking the body’s ability to heal and allow it to work closer to one hundred percent. When the body is working the way it is supposed to, proper biomechanics occur, muscles that were inhibited are now turned on, range of motion is restored and pain pathways are inhibited.
Another way to look at this is through the saying “garbage in… garbage out.” This saying is usually in reference to dieting and how someone feels when they eat junk food. Relating this to the spine and nervous system, if there is a vertebral subluxation, information into the nervous system is less than stellar and can even be bad. Because of poor input into the nervous system, the body’s output (or how we perceive things) is bad. This is where a person can say they have all sorts of aches and pains. Now if these aches and pains have been present for a number of months to years, likely it is not just a muscle issue. Muscle or soft tissue injuries typically heal on its own after several months.
Simply put, chiropractic works whether you believe in it or not.. just like gravity. You do not need to see it in order to understand it, chiropractic has helped hundreds of thousands to millions of people in its short lifetime as a profession. If you can understand that the body has the ability to heal itself, then that explains why chiropractic works. How it works is through the nervous system having better communication to the brain and body to allow it to heal on its own.