In our second edition of our Monday Myth series, we are going to talk about your spine going out of alignment. We will take this chiropractic myth, break it down, and then we replace it with an even better truth!
This is one of the longest standing and most popular chiropractic myths! A lot of our patients come to us and they think that their back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or other musculoskeletal problem, is caused because their pelvis or their spine has went out of alignment. They think their vertebrae or hips have slide to the side or have rotated or that their bones are just asymmetrical. They think that they are out of alignment, so that’s what is causing their pain.
This is a very valid concern and it calls for the public to be educated on this topic. It honestly would make a lot of sense that since one is in pain that the nearby bones must have shifted out of their normal place. Some chiropractors, physical therapists, and other providers even tell their patients that their pain is because their spine, hips, or pelvis is out of alignment. This is a very easy model to sell. But research has actually debunked this and proven this to be a myth!
What Does the Research say?
So if we took an X-ray or MRI of your spine & pelvis, we would see in that there’s subtle asymmetries in our bones and that they’re not perfectly straight. This can happen in our spine, our pelvis, our feet, and any other bones in our body! Let’s then say that you then went to a chiropractor to get adjusted. He or she performed manipulation on your spine, hips, pelvis, and wherever the x-rays showed subtle asymmetries. So after you are feeling all mobile and relaxed, we could then take another X-ray or MRI of your bones to see if you were now in better or straighter alignment.
Research has shown that there would be no difference in the two images before and after treatment! Even though you may feel better after you go in to see the best chiropractor near you, it’s not because we realigned anything back into place. Our spine, thankfully, is much more resilient, strong, and much more stable than that.
We don’t just go through life and have these little traumas to our body that just cause little misalignments. And thankfully, if you go see a chiropractic physician, they can’t put those bones back into place because then also that would mean that if the chiropractor did something wrong, they could move a bone out of place. Our spine and the rest of our bones are surrounded by muscles, ligaments, and tendons and other soft tissue structures that help hold us in place. These tissues are extremely thick, tense, and robust. This provides our body with resiliency and stability.
So What Does a Chiropractor Do for Your Aches & Pains?
So because research has proven that our bones don’t really go out of place (unless you dislocate a joint or fracture a bone) and chiropractors cannot adjust your bones back into place, then this must mean that it is pointless to go see a chiropractor right? Of course not! Elite chiropractors are still experts at treating back & neck pain, herniated discs, bulging discs, headaches, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain, and all other musculoskeletal aches and pain!
When we start to have these injuries and aches, our joints can start to lose range of motion, our muscle tone gets imbalanced which can then cause muscles to become tight, and we develop general inflammation in the area as well. So these are the most common reason that you get musculoskeletal pain. This is what a chiropractic treatment aims to restore. The best chiropractors can restore range of motion in your joints to help get you moving better. We can normalize the muscle tone in the area, which can then alleviate any tightness and pulling that you’re feeling. And then we help to decrease inflammation in the area as well which helps decrease some of that pain.
Elite chiropractors and sports chiropractors typically accomplish this through manipulation or adjustments of your spine and other joints, soft tissue therapy, exercise rehabilitation, sports taping, cupping, nutrition, and encouraging positive lifestyle behaviors!
To recap, just because your spine doesn’t go out of alignment does not mean that you still can’t have back and neck pain. It also doesn’t mean that a chiropractor can’t help and that a chiropractor can’t be your guide for getting rid of your aches and pains, rehabbing your injuries, and making sure you feel better than you ever have! Now that you know your spine does not go out of alignment, pass it along to a friend!