By: Dr Mark Hsu
Introduction – there are millions of videos about chiropractic adjustments. Whether it be on humans, pets, and or pandas, I believe we all need to be adjusted at some point in our lives. It is never too late to be adjusted, but if you’re introduced to chiropractic care properly at an early age, the treatment would be more effective. So what is chiropractic? How does it affect you as a runner? Let’s dive deeper on how chiropractic care can benefit you.
“Chiropractic is a form of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are believed to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs”
1 ) Pain relief – when there’s one section out of place, like a kink in a chain, it disrupts the equilibrium of the whole system. Similarly if your spine is out of alignment, no matter how many pain killers you take, your equilibrium is still not corrected. Sometimes our bodies just decide to live and cope with the pain but it’s just masking the pain and not resolving the issue. Misalignments usually cause some kind of compression on the nerves that stimulate your body’s organs. Biomechanically, your body could be twisted to irritate pain receptors that are distributed throughout your entire body. With chiropractic adjustments, your spine is set correctly for the body’s systems to do their jobs. Moreover, we use other tools like cold laser therapy to decrease inflammation which is also a factor in pain relief. That’ll be discussed below.
2) Improved range of motion (ROM) – when the kink is present in our spine, the goal is to straighten out or put motion into stuck segments. Joints are supposed to be fluid. Therefore putting motion into joints is like lotioning and lubricating those joints to stay loose rather than staying incorrectly rigid. Our misaligned spines will cause compensation of muscle contractions which also lead to decreased ROM. By resetting the joint with chiropractic adjustments and manual therapy, we can train the muscles to not compensate. Imagine using a crooked spoon to drink soup. The spoon (your spine) most likely has been curved from many factors it has previously endured. Sure it could have happened in one instance (deadlift or heavy box with a pop in your spine) but the spoon could have other factors (location, pressure, age) that made it easier for it to bend. By correcting the curvature, the function returns (range of motion) but life happens and things go back to dysfunctioning again where we again are drinking soup with a crooked spoon. It’s maybe been many years because not all dysfunctions create pain or you’ve just coped with it. Let me find out where the kinks are in your spine and what causes them so we can improve your health and wellness through increasing range of motion.
3) Decrease inflammation – at the clinic, we use the cold laser to decrease inflammation and loosen up musculature to assist the chiropractic adjustment. Again, the two reasons previously mentioned on why you should get adjusted contribute to decreasing inflammation. Since running is such a repetitive and traumatic sport on the joints, improper biomechanics will directly affect spinal and extremity alignment. My mentor Dr. Joe Ford, D.C. has a saying that “grandma’s car and a race car both get wear and tear on their tires, it’s how fast they degrade and get used as well as recover from getting beat up. They just need a different type of maintenance.” Grandma’s car may have low mileage and less need for maintenance whereas a race car has more mileage and requires more check ups. No runner has perfect gait; therefore, any slight abnormality will cause exaggerated muscle firing which leads to increased inflammation. As much poundage your body is taking from running, if there is not enough maintenance, you put yourself in a dangerous position for re-injury or worse injuries.
4) Better posture – growing up I played with Lincoln logs, legos, and jenga all the time. Just like stacking them perfectly or to build it up tall, the positioning really matters. Same thing for your spine, when you are correctly aligned with chiropractic adjustments, your body will be in better posture to take on life and all its stressors. I will work with you along with the rest of the team at Model Wellness to ensure your body knows the postural protocol we have in place. Sometimes, we will advise an X-ray which we have in the clinic to better check alignment.
5) Enhanced well-being – after talking about the other points, it is without a doubt that you should feel an enhanced overall well-being that is affected by the chiropractic adjustments as well as other modalities we offer to make you feel better.
Every chiropractor has different tools on their toolbelt. There are many ways to be adjusted whether it be with hands, knees, assisted tables or instruments. I personally like to customize your adjustment, and may use a combination of tools.
Like all things in life, there are risks that must be addressed. If improperly performed, a chiropractic adjustment could be harmful to pre existing issues; however, if insurance companies didn’t think chiropractic care was safe, then they wouldn’t be paying at all.
Just know that the doctors of chiropractic at Model Wellness do not force the joint to provide movement. We simply apply some pressure and with quick maneuvering once you’re relaxed, then the release of pressure and realignment will provide the movement in your joint. I like to consider myself NOT a crack addict so if it doesn’t pop, I’m happy to just put the movement where it is needed most. It does allow the patient to come back and see if we can get more movements next time. You can come to me without being shamed for being a runner and get to meet the doctor underneath the panda. Give the office a call at 214-643-6888 or visit modelwellness.com to book a call back time!