What is chiropractic?

The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic "as a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling."

Chiropractors use their hands to find a bone out of place.  In our office, you will hear it called a "subluxation".  In other offices it may be called "nerve impingement syndrome" or "NIS".  Its all the same thing meaning your spinal bones have come out of place and are pressing on the nerves that come out of your spinal column and communicate with the rest of your body.  When this happens, nerve impulses are taking longer to reach their destination and then report back to the brain.  

When you lay your hand on something hot, how soon do you realize you need to remove it?  If it isn't an immediate reaction or your hands or legs feel like they might be "asleep" you need to give us a call to see if we can help.  

Nerve Impingement Syndrome Facts:

• 80% of all childbirths result in Nerve Impingement Syndrome.

• 40% of all children fall on their heads by age 1, according to OSHA; this can result in Nerve Impingement Syndrome.

• Between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, children fall over 200 times; this can be a major cause of Nerve Impingement Syndrome.

• Within 2 years of receiving a drivers license, 70% of all teens are involved in an auto accident. Car accidents often result in Nerve Impingement Syndrome.

• Because there are so many causes of Nerve Impingement Syndrome, everyone at some time or another will suffer from NIS. In many cases, the symptoms do not appear for months or even years.

• When the body detects a problem, it compensates for it over time. This compensation causes PAIN. If left untreated, this condition could lead to the destruction of the joint and irreversible damage to the nerve, causing chronic pain, or worse.

That last statistic is part of it again....

You can compare this to the famous "Leaning Tower of Pisa".  You realize it didn't go from a perfectly vertical structure to the degree at which it currently stands overnight.  


Compensating often leads you to hurt in a specific spot but truth be told, that's usually the last place to look for a subluxation.  Something above or below the point of pain has set it off.  Pain is last symptom to surface; its your body's way of saying "STOP!! I can't take this anymore!!".  

While pain shows up last, its the first to go.  Patients sometimes feel it best to determine if they need to see a chiropractor based on pain which is false.  A doctor of chiropractic must try to reverse the process that brought you to pain, then make sure you're able to maintain that adjustment for a certain period of time.   The length of time varies from patient to patient but Dr. Belcher is a great communicator and will gladly tell you when he's helped your body sustain the treatments.  It's a victory for him too, you know!  

Could chiropractic help me with.....

Neck Pain:

In a randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
-- Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal

In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating mechanical neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, about 57% of those who met with DCs and 48% who exercised reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, compared to 33% of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53% of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75% reduction in pain; compared to just 38% pain reduction among those who took medication.
-- Bronfort et al. (2012), Annals of Internal Medicine


“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”
-- McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001), Duke Evidence Report

“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.” ‘
-- Boline et al. (1995), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Low Back Pain:

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56% vs. 13%) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”
– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Reduced odds of surgery were observed for...those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor."
– Keeney et al (2012), Spine

“Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain.”
--Goertz et al. (2013), Spine

If you've never seen a Doctor of Chiropractic before or are an existing patient with a few more questions, it is important to get factual information about safe and natural chiropractic care.  We feel one of the best places to get that critical information is from Palmer College of Chirorpactic's website.  Palmer is known as the "Fountainhead of Chiropractic" and the first adjustment was performed less than a mile from the college.

Depending on your case, Dr. Belcher may use one of the following techniques: 

Activator, Active Release, Diversified, Gonstead, Graston ,Thompson, and/or Webster.


Some articles you may enjoy reading are linked below:


Sports & Being Active: