By Dr. John L. Reizer
Not very long ago I attended a health fair where I performed chiropractic spinal exams for members of my community. After checking a prospective patient on my portable chiropractic table, the man got up and said to me, “But I feel great doc – why do I need a chiropractor?” I hear this same question over and over again from different laypersons I examine at health screenings. The answer to the man’s question is actually very important for readers to understand. Chiropractic has absolutely nothing to do with how patients are feeling and everything to do with how they are functioning.
Traditional chiropractors are doctors who specialize in monitoring the integrity of the spinal column’s alignment. Most of the spinal problems that chiropractors work on do not cause pain or discomfort in people. They do, however, cause a loss of general health and well being in all human beings.
Chiropractic is often misunderstood by many people. Quite a few laypersons mistakenly believe that chiropractic is some sort of “new age” therapy for back and neck pain. The idea that chiropractic is nothing more than a “mechanical aspirin” has been promoted over time by organized medicine. The origin of such blatant disinformation comes from a plethora of drug companies that relentlessly paint traditional chiropractic’s objective as something that is less than scientific.
Tiny misalignments, which can regularly occur within the framework of the human spinal column, can place pressure on spinal nerves that exist in close proximity to the spinal bones. These tiny misalignments, for the most part, do not cause symptomatic discomfort in patients. Spinal misalignments, also known as vertebral subluxations, can interfere with the nervous system’s ability to function properly. Chiropractors perform regular spinal examinations for patients in an effort to determine where specific subluxations are located within the spinal column. Once a subluxation is located, the chiropractor uses a manual (by hand) adjustment to correct the bone’s alignment in relationship to the other spinal segments above and below it.
Because most of the spinal nerves in the body are not involved with transmitting pain sensations to the brain, it is nearly impossible for patients to determine when or where they might be subluxated. Only a skilled chiropractor is capable of determining when a particular patient is subluxated and needs to be adjusted.
Sometimes patients will claim that they can tell if subluxations are present within their spines. In reality, this is not likely. Patients can often feel muscle pain and other soft tissues that might be injured however, the possibility of a patient identifying the location or existence of a specific subluxation is remote at best.
It is my recommendation to the members of any community that every person should get his or her spine checked frequently by a qualified chiropractor. Spinal subluxations can cause serious damage to the nervous system and if left intact for an extended period of time, these misalignments can cause permanent dysfunction to nerves that directly influence vital organs and systems within the body. A person’s health can decline substantially if subluxations in the spinal column are not corrected.
Dr. John Reizer is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of Sherman College of Chiropractic. He is also the bestselling author of many books that deal with the subject of chiropractic. Dr. Reizer is a former Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at Sherman College of Chiropractic. He maintains a private practice at 188 Blalock Road in Boiling Springs, SC. John can be reached at 864-494-0121.