This is a question that comes up quite often in conversation in one form or another….and it is a very good question. However, not one that can be answered easily in a few short sentences. How does someone know when they need an adjustment? Short answer: They don’t. Long answer: Many judge whether or not they need an adjustment based on how they feel, whether or not they hurt, whether or not what they have going on is bad enough or just to keep thier bodies tuned-up, etc. What we have to look at is the root of how we come to the conclusion we do or why we think we “need” an adjustment at this time or that time.
So lets explore. Chiropractic was never designed to treat pain or symptoms. It is based on the fact that the human body has a nervous system and that nervous system controls and coordinates all body function. “Doc, all body functions?” Yes, ALL FUNCTION. The nervous system (NS) controls everything from consciousness to heart rate, to breathing……….etc. Yes, ALL FUNCTION. So Chiropractic stands on the truth of this. When the nervous system is working well and the signals/messages from brain are flowing to the cells of the body and back with no intereference then we have the best chance to be healthy. When the NS is interfered with our health starts to deteriorate, plain and simple. So what would cause a person’s nervous system to be interefered with? From a Chiropractic perspective it is what we call a subluxation. Subluxations are when the vertebra misalign and interefere (pinch, irritate, aggravate, excite, suppress) nerve function. Subluxations are caused by 3 major stress categories: Physical stress, Chemical Stress and Emotional Stress. Physical stress is falls, accidents and traumas of any sort. Statistically the average child will have 2500 falls before the age of seven. Chemical stress is bad diets, fast food, environmental toxins, heavy metals, not eating the right foods, not drinking enough clean water and so on. Emotional stress is mental stress and is most commonly associated with what happens to us in our lives and how we react to it. Emotional stress can be work related, family, death of a loved one, divorce….basically anything that causes our bodies to go into a stress response. The stress response of the body (DON’T MISS THIS POINT) is the same whether it is a physical, chemical or emotional stress. You heard me right, the way the body reacts to stress is the same regardless of the stressor.
So, we are bombarded with different stressors each day and when our bodies are put under more than we can handle, then we “blow a circuit”. Where you blow a circuit typically is in the spine where the nerve extends from the spinal cord out to the rest of the body. For example: Let’s say that a person constantly bombards their body with fatty foods which are broken down with the help of the liver and gall bladder. It is common for that person to cause a subluxation (misalignment) in between the shoulders (at the T4/5 level). Why? Because that is where the nerves come out of the spine and go to and control those organs.
The last and final point is “what if I hurt” or even better “what if I dont?” Again, see above. Whether or not someone needs an adjustment is not based on symptoms. Whether or not someone needs an adjustment is dependant solely on whether or not the person has a subluxation. So that begs the question “How does someone know if they have a subluxation since that is the reason to get an adjustment?” Simple, the person must be evaluated by a trained chiropractor to see if they have a subluxation.
How does someone know when they need an adjustment? Simple, get checked by a chiropractor for subluaxtions regularly as they interfere with nervous system function…..and therefore interfere with body function…..and ultimately interfere with LIFE!
One last interesting point. Years ago, some foundational research was done on how long would it take to a joint of the body to begin to deteriorate with irreversible damage if it was immobilized. The answer: 2 weeks. So since part of a subluxation is loss of range of motion, you should not go longer than 2 weeks without getting checked.