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Getting to Know Chiropractic by Glenda Culbertson
I had a compulsion. A compulsion shared by many, the compulsion to run. Running brought me such joy and happiness, as I would hit the trails, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy whatever element of weather Mother Nature chose to bestow upon me. I would run, day after day, mile after mile, until I woke up one morning with hip pain that stopped me in my tracks. I later came to understand that my “hip” pain was really sacroiliac pain. Along my journey to understand the nature of my pain, I went to medical doctors, physical therapists, podiatrists, and orthopedic specialists. It was not until I went to a chiropractic physician that light was shed on not only what was causing my pain, but also on how to heal it by getting to the root of the problem. I was given natural healing options rather than just more anti-inflammatories.
Many people are unfamiliar with the benefits offered by chiropractic medicine. As America’s health care system becomes ever more troubled, many people are looking for alternatives to traditional medicine, as well as placing more emphasis on preventive care. This is where chiropractic thrives, as chiropractors are basically musculoskeletal specialists, who have trained for years to help manage peoples’ pain without drugs.
It has been estimated that over 80% of the population will experience low back pain or other musculoskeletal pain at some time in their life. The problem with prescribing drugs for this type of pain is that pharmaceuticals merely cover up the symptoms rather than address and solve the cause of the problem. By getting to the root of the issue, the problem has a better chance of not recurring, which is definitely a longer-term benefit than short-term pain relief.
The primary goal of the chiropractic physician is to ensure that all the motion in the joints of the body is proper and sufficient. If the musculoskeletal system is not in proper alignment, the central nervous system cannot properly relay information to the body and illness may soon follow.
One of the main reasons I had such intense sacroiliac pain that jeopardized my ability to run, was that my sacroiliac joint on the left was stuck! It simply was not moving through its normal, albeit small range of motion. Through chiropractic adjusting, motion was restored to the joint and after being given the proper stretching and strengthening exercises, was able to return pain free to the wonderful world of running.
When a chiropractor determines that a joint is out of alignment or “stuck” there are several techniques that may be utilized to restore motion. Widely recognized is the use of the low force high amplitude adjustment, which may cause a “popping” sound as the joint releases. Some patients prefer this method of treatment, but should realize that there are many other styles of treatment that offer much lower force with very successful outcomes. These methods may include Activator method, Craniosacral technique, SOT (Sacro-occipital technique), Network, Graston, and ART (active release technique). If you have preference for a specific style of treatment, and are seeking a new chiropractor, be sure to inquire about their style of treatment, as it varies highly from doctor to doctor.
Oregon is very fortunate to have a wide scope of practice within the chiropractic profession. That makes it possible for you to find a chiropractor that can manage many of your conditions from an alternative perspective. Recognized as primary care physicians in Oregon, chiropractors can act as your gateway to health and either work with you to treat your condition, co-treat, or make the proper referral if you needed further specialized care.
Many people do not realize that chiropractors treat much more than just low back pain. Other conditions commonly treated include shoulder pain, headaches, TMJ pain, foot pain, allergies, and fibromyalgia. In Oregon, there are even some chiropractors that specialize in minor surgery and/or women’s health!
My experience being treated by a chiropractor for my sacroiliac joint was so positive that it piqued my interest in becoming a chiropractor. The idea of helping people heal through natural means seemed like a gift that I wanted to pursue. Chiropractic is proving to be a highly rewarding profession and I hope more people will choose to experience the holistic benefits offered by this healing approach to medicine!
Dr. Glenda Culbertson practices chiropractic medicine at the Bush Street Wellness Center. In Portland. In addition to being passionate about her work, she enjoys running, rock climbing, and teaching yoga. You can reach her at (503)475-4370 or go to www.healingaroundthebend.com.
Site updated Winter 08-09