Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Work on Those Too?

When most people think of chiropractors, they think of the back and neck, or spine.  And that's true.  Chiropractors specialize in treatment of the nervous system.  And a great deal of the nervous system is protected by the spinal column.  And it is essential to have your spine checked by a chiropractor, especially if you are experiencing any symptoms.  However, most chiropractors also have a great deal of training in what are called the extremities.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term extremities, it basically means your arms and legs.  When chiropractors are adjusting the spine, we are making sure that the joints of the spine are moving correctly.  And we all know that we don't only have joints in our spine.  You have joints in your shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, hips, knees, ankles, feet, toes, jaw, and skull.  And yes, most chiropractors have the knowledge to treat and adjust any misaligned joints of the extremities.

Before going to chiropractic school, I didn't even realize that some of the joints in your extremities can affect nerves that travel into those extremities.  For instance, part of the nervous system that travels from your neck down to your fingertips runs right behind the collarbone close to your shoulder.  If your collarbone or shoulder are out of alignment, it can cause symptoms and even mimic carpal tunnel syndrome.  Another problem that plagues many people is what is known as TMJ.  Many times, a simple misalignment of the jaw can cause excruciating pain when talking, chewing, or yawning.  And at the school that I attended, we had a pretty extensive course on adjusting the jaw.

So, if you are having arm or leg pain, tweak your ankle, or have carpal tunnel syndrome, it wouldn't be a bad idea for your chiropractor to take a look.  A lot of times it's cheaper than seeing an MD or you could even avoid surgery.

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