As a chiropractor I often get asked questions about why a patient developed symptoms or why they have symptoms that keep returning. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer for those questions as each patient and their lifestyle is different. Chiropractic is based on the idea that vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments) can affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body. This may result in pain, abnormal movement, and dysfunction of whatever body parts receive nerve supply from that spinal level. The goal of chiropractic adjustments is to reduce the nerve interference so the body can function better. One of my goals as a chiropractor is to help my patients in the Sioux Falls area have lasting relief. If we can find the cause of their symptoms, we can usually reduce the number of visits that are needed at our office. We refer to the causes of subluxation as “the Three T’s.”
What are the Three T’s?
“The Three T’s are thoughts, trauma and toxins and they can each affect the body to cause spinal subluxations.
Thoughts: This refers to mental and emotional aspects. Stress can cause people to feel very tight, which can result in poor posture. Stress is one of the most common things patients relate to their headaches, neck pain and upper back pain. Learning to reduce or even to handle stress better may result in fewer flare ups.
Trauma: When people think of the purpose of chiropractic, trauma types of injury, like a fall or auto accident, are likely what comes to mind. While a large trauma may indeed be a cause of spinal subluxations, small traumas also may make chiropractic care necessary. Small traumas could include poor posture when sitting or when you are sleeping. They could also include improper form when exercising or lifting weights. Repetitive movements, like typing at work could also be a form of small trauma that can result in subluxations.
Toxins: Toxins can come in many forms. Obvious toxins may include alcohol, drugs or harsh chemicals. One less obvious toxin can be food. Eating processed foods or foods that your body is allergic to (dairy, nuts, gluten, etc) can result in dysfunction of the body and can play a role in recurring symptoms. Other toxins could include cleaning or personal care products that contain harmful products in small amounts.
Ways to Find Your Subluxation Causes
When we have a patient in our office, we try to get a health and lifestyle history to learn more about them. This can help us to find aspects of their life that may be causing their symptoms. Then, we can give advice on how to modify their lifestyle or activities to reduce the risk of future injuries. In some cases, the cause of a patient’s problems may be easier to spot than others. Sometimes we may have to have a patient help us get more information. A food log may help to find if any foods seem to be a problem. An ergonomic consultation at work may help to find any postural issues with a workstation. If we can find ways to reduce the “Three T’s”, we typically expect patients to need fewer chiropractic adjustments. If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions about chiropractic care, please contact our Sioux Falls office.