How a San Diego Chiropractor Can Relieve Your Aches and Pains
To get the most out of seeing a chiropractor, it’s important to understand what a chiropractor does. In San Diego, chiropractic clinics welcome people everyday who are seeking relief from conditions as varied as migraine headaches, arthritis, and acid reflux. No matter the condition, every San Diego chiropractor first looks at the spine. The gateway of the nervous system, the spine requires proper alignment for signals to travel freely between the brain and the rest of the body. Without proper alignment, these signals are slowed, weakened, or perhaps blocked entirely. By understanding this approach to health, you can more confidently find the best chiropractor in San Diego for you.
The Spine: How Chiropractors See It
The spine stacks up 33 bones, called vertebrae, which protect the spinal cord and support the entire upper body. Chiropractors divide the spine into four distinct areas:
- Cervical spine: As the topmost region, the cervical area contains the smallest vertebrae in the spine. Your head spins 360° on the top two vertebrae, called the atlas and axis.
- Thoracic spine: Just below the cervical spine, the thoracic region is the longest portion of the spinal column. It has the important task of stabilizing your ribcage.
- Lumbar spine: When people say they’re having low-back pain, they’re usually experiencing it in this area. Lumbar vertebrae are linked by joints similar to those in your fingers. They allow the lumbar to bend forward and backward, helping you dominate limbo contests. Because lumbar vertebrae bear a high proportion of the body’s weight, they are prone to pain and injury.
- Sacrum/coccyx: Most of the vertebrae in the sacrum and coccyx region are fused. That limits mobility, but enhances stability. The sacrum supports the pelvis, while the coccyx—also known as the tailbone—is like a built-in shock absorber designed for sitting.
What Kinds of Conditions Are Related to Spinal Health?
Oftentimes, chiropractors deal with issues that develop from habitual misuse. Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain are prime examples, as all can develop slowly. Sitting at a desk or wearing a jewel-encrusted crown for long stretches of time makes it easy for posture to gradually erode. That can lead to vertebrae unhealthily compressing, sliding against each other, or pulling apart, thus leading to unhappy nerves.
Of course, spinal-related issues can develop suddenly as well. Doctor of Chiropractic Steven M. Wachs, a chiropractor in Chula Vista, often treats injuries sustained in workplace and automotive accidents, such as pinched nerves and whiplash. There’s also the possibility of conditions suddenly arising to express longstanding but unnoticed spinal issues, as is the case with many sports injuries. Newly developed pain in a runner’s knee, hip, or ankle could indicate gait issues stemming from improper spinal alignment.
How Do Chiropractors Treat the Spine?
The most common way is through adjustments. Done either by hand or with chiropractic instruments, adjustments apply light yet firm pressure at select points along the spine. This frees the vertebrae to return to their original position, restoring structural integrity and proper nervous system communication. In some cases, chiropractors may apply additional techniques to enhance their work. At Gaslamp Chiropractic, doctors sometimes combine adjustments with massage or low-level laser therapy. Some chiropractors also expand into holistic services, such as weight-loss guidance, to address lifestyle conditions impacting spinal health.