Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness (a state of health and well-being), and specific fitness (the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations).

Much discussion goes on in health care circles as to what to call what chiropractors do. Is the term manipulation or adjustment? To answer this question lets first look in a Webster Dictionary for some synonyms of each.
Manipulation: Exploit, misuse, take advantage, control, deploy, maneuver, use, ply, swing, wield, grope, examine, finger, fondle, handle, maul, palpate, paw, probe, touch, govern, sway.

And for Adjustment: Factor, calculate, align, center, regulate, convert, scale, tune, dial, select, fine tune, finesse, modify, tweak, regulate, standardize, conform, equalize, level, set policy, alter, catalyze, change, refashion, calibrate, decide, determine, establish, resolve, set, compensate, make equal, redeem, remedy, correct, cure,  fix, heal, make well, repair, restore, coordinate, attune, accommodate, conform, harmonize, integrate, proportion, reconcile, tune, correct, amend, fix, improve, mend, position, rectify, restore, right, straighten, service, maintain, adapt, balance, fit, inspect, overhaul, recondition, refurbish, regulate, repair, support. In looking at the two it is easy to see why chiropractors use the term adjustment.

The International Chiropractors Association has a policy on this subject that says it best; The ICA holds that the chiropractic spinal adjustment is unique and singular to the chiropractic profession. The chiropractic adjustment shall be defined as a specific directional thrust that sets a vertebra into motion with the intent to improve or correct vertebral malposition or to improve its juxtaposition segmentally in relationship to its articular mates thus reducing or correcting the neuroforaminal / neural canal encroachment factors inherent in the chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex. The adjustment is characterized by a specific thrust applied to the vertebra utilizing parts of the vertebra and contiguous structures as levers to directionally correct articular malposition. Adjustment shall be differentiated from spinal manipulation in that the adjustment can only be applied to a vertebral malposition with the express intent to improve or correct the subluxation, whereas any joint, subluxated or not, may be manipulated to mobilize the joint or to put the joint through its range of motion. Chiropractic is a specialized field in the healing arts, and by prior rights, the spinal adjustment is distinct and singular to the chiropractic profession.

Each year in March in Columbus Ohio, Arnold Schwarzenegger holds his Fitness Classic in conjunction with the International Chiropractors Association Symposium on Natural Fitness. During these events thousands of exercise and fitness minded people, along with a few hundred chiropractors get together and attend various events. The highlight of these events for the chiropractors is when Arnold himself addresses the chiropractors symposium and takes time to pose for a picture with each chiropractor in attendance.

Arnold gave an address this past symposium, (March 6th, 1999) in which he made several remarks about the benefits chiropractic has personally given him.

"People who do not believe in chiropractic always ask me about it. I have now become like a spokesperson for chiropractic. So many people come up to me because they know that I am a big believer in chiropractic and that we are doing this fitness weekend together each year. They ask me about chiropractic with questions like, How do you choose a chiropractor? or What is the best way of going about finding the best doctor for me? Well, I say, there are a few things that you should watch out for. Then I give them a few points. I share my experiences. I just had another skiing accident up in Sun Valley and I really could not move. And I again had one of those miracle moments when you call a chiropractor, they care for you and give you adjustments and then days later you ski again like a champion on moguls. So this is what happened to me ... another personal experience with proof how great chiropractic is."

Chiropractic was well represented at the 10th Annual International Congress on Anti-Aging and Biomedical Technologies at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The chiropractic portion of this world-renowned program was hosted by the International Chiropractors Association, (ICA). As reported in the December 13, 2002 issue of the Chiropractic News from the ICA , the International Congress on Anti-Aging and Biomedical Technologies, was the world's largest and most prestigious international conference on anti-aging science.

The chiropractic portion of the conference included authoritative chiropractic presenters who spoke on the clinical application of chiropractic in the care of the aging population. Dr. D.D. Humber, ICA President stated, "This inter-disciplinary professional conference represents an important frontier for chiropractic because in a segment of the population awash with prescription drugs, and where one-half of all emergency room presentations by Medicare beneficiaries are related to those prescription drugs, awareness of and access to the benefits of chiropractic care becomes an urgent matter of public health."

The conference focused on a strong professional awareness and education. The conference brought together thousands of health professionals to explore the frontiers of prevention, health and healing. Dr. Humber further stated, "This event provides the chiropractic profession with an opportunity to educate consumers, policy makers, and health care professionals alike on the value of chiropractic as a health care discipline that encourages wellness practices with their patients."

A health minded program, "America on the Move" seems to fit the Chiropractic model of wellness. From an April 9, 2004 release on PRNewswire, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges people to take an extra 2000 steps per day. America on the Move is a national initiative dedicated to helping individuals and communities make positive changes to improve their health and quality of life.

To assist in this program chiropractors are urging people to take some simple additional steps each day.  Dr. George McClelland, a chiropractor and member of ACA's Wellness Committee, explains that, "Adding a short walk to your lunchtime schedule, coupled with taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator, could add up to 2,000 additional steps for many of us. And cutting just one can of soda from your day and replacing it with water can eliminate more than 100 calories."

According to Dr. McClelland, "Many health care providers are now beginning to talk with their patients about healthy lifestyles -- an approach doctors of chiropractic have taken for many years. It's simply not good enough to wait until someone gets sick to start thinking about making them well. As we've seen, that model of health care is just not working."

The article notes that the easiest way to keep track of your extra 2,000 steps is to get your hands on a pedometer, a small device that can count the number of steps you take. It just might be the best 10 dollars you'll ever spend."

In the research periodical, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, a case study was published on April 18, 2013 documenting the improvement of a case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with chiropractic care.

The author of the study notes that in the Unites States Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will affect between 12% and 30% of the population.  It is interesting to note that the rest of the world only reports this issue in between 5% and 10% of their populations. In the US IBS accounts for 12-14% of primary care physician visits and 28% of referrals to gastroenterologists. The authors note that standard medical care is aimed at reducing symptoms like pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

In this case a 32 year old woman, who was an optometrist, went to the chiropractors with complaints of loose, painful, runny stools upon waking with abdominal pain and bloating that began ten years earlier. The woman also suffered from mild depression which began three years earlier, and anxiety that began 10 years prior to her visit to the chiropractor. Her history included being in two car accidents, one at the age of 10, where she was struck as a pedestrian leaving her in a coma for three days, and the second at age twenty where she suffered a fractured pelvis.

A chiropractic examination showed abnormal spinal postural positioning and a decrease in the range of motion in her neck. Thermal (heat-reading) scans were performed which also showed irregularities in the neck area. Spinal x-rays were taken of the neck which showed malpositioning of the first and second bones in her neck. From these findings a determination of subluxations in the upper neck was made. Specific cervical (neck) adjustments were performed to correct the subluxations in the upper neck.

The results showed that on her second visit she reported that she had a pain free, solid bowel movement the morning after her first adjustment which has continued. She also reported that her mood was better and less frequency of anxiety when faced with issues that would normally trigger anxiety in the past.  The study notes that the woman was reassessed three months later in care and she continued to show documented measurable  improvement in her physical and mental issues.

In his conclusion, the author explains that a subluxation in the upper neck can cause nerve system dysfunction that can result in a problem with the bowels. He writes, "Correcting the misalignment at this level restores proper neurological function and thereby proper function of the gastro-intestinal track."