Chiropractic is a fairly well-known practice; However, it is a method of realigning the spine, joints, and muscles. Its efficiency lies in the gentle but manual actuation of the realignment.
The word chiropractic means “to be done by hand”. Experts state that this type of treatment helps patients maintain their health by avoiding unnecessary medication or surgery.
Eric Mutabazi, physiotherapist at King Faisal Hospital in Kigali, explains that disc problems that could compress nerves require chiropractic treatment.
If a patient comes with a disc protrusion, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is done to see the level or size of the bulge or protrusion.
Other conditions treated with chiropractic treatment include abnormal movement or position of the spinal bones (spinal kinesiopathology), abnormal functions of the nervous system (neuropathophysiology), and abnormal functions of the spine and body (pathophysiology).
Mutabazi adds that this type of treatment can also work for someone with a “tight neck” or someone with pain or a partially dislocated hip or shoulder.
“Any dislocation of bone can be corrected with chiropractic treatment, expect ligament and muscle spasms; these are treated with physiotherapy because it treats the bones and the entire structure, ”he says.
HOW IT WORKS
Noella Kanyabutembo, a chiropractor at Legacy Clinic, says that after checking important aspects of your health, a series of tests will be done. These tests are designed to pinpoint any areas of the spine that can be causing problems.
A number of activities can cause the spinal bones to lose their normal position or movement; This can lead to nervous system dysfunction and ultimately disease.
The chiropractic approach is then used to identify, reduce, and prevent nervous system dysfunction.
Information posted on the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website shows that a chiropractic adjustment primarily on the spine involves the use of hands or a device to apply controlled, rapid force to a joint.
The aim is to increase the range and quality of movement in the treated area and to help restore health. Joint mobilization is another type of manual therapy that can be used.
Kanyabutembo also says the primary treatment is specific chiropractic adjustments that help bring individual spinal bones back into their proper movement and position.
Sometimes only one area of the spine is adjusted and sometimes attention is paid to the entire spine.
“There are hundreds of ways to use carefully targeted and controlled pressure to restore better position and movement to ‘locked’ or immobilized spinal joints. This may require a quick thrust or, in other cases, slow, constant pressure, ”she says.
Some adjustment approaches can result in a faint “popping” sound. This sound is caused by the displacement of gas and liquid in the joint. The presence or volume of this sound has little meaning and varies with each patient, says Kanyabutembo.
CHIROPRATIC CARE IS SAFE
Chiropractic adjustments are safer than aspirin, muscle relaxants, and back surgery. Dozens of research studies have documented the safety and effectiveness of the practice.
However, experts note that the side effects of spinal manipulation may include a temporary headache, fatigue, or discomfort in the parts of the body being treated.
In rare cases, serious complications such as stroke, cauda equina syndrome (a condition in which nerves are pinched in the lower part of the spinal canal), and worsening of a herniated disc have been reported, although the cause and effect are unclear.
A 2007 study of patient outcomes from 19,722 chiropractic patients in the UK concluded that minor side effects (such as temporary pain) after cervical spine manipulation were relatively common, but that the risk of a serious adverse event immediately “low to very small” “Was or up to 7 days after treatment.