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Table of Contents

Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?

Many patients consult a Chiropractic Doctor because they think they have a pinched nerve.  Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions, or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots.  While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare.  Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue!  This can result in numbness, burning, or a "pins and needles" feeling.  More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion).  This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal joints.

Do I Have a Slipped Disc?

Technically, a disc can't "slip."  The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones.  Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine.  A soft, jellylike center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue.  Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.  Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot "slip."  However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture.  This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.  While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills by choosing Chiropractic Care for their disc-related health problem.

What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism.  These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body.  The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain.  The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots.  If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body.  Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.  Vertebral, meaning the bones of the spine.  Subluxation, meaning less than a total dislocation.  And Complex, meaning consisting of more than one part. Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and the philosophy of all things natural.

How does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy.  When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health.  The Chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy.  A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column.  A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system.  This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses.  With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous system function.  Your Chiropractic Doctor can help remove interferences that may be impairing normal health.  Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, Chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as "back" problems. 

What Do Chiropractic Doctors Do?

Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a case history.  This gives the doctor a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details affecting your current health.  After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examination is performed.  These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit.  The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of chiropractic adjustments may be recommended.  Progress is monitored with periodic examinations. Since the work "doctor" comes from the Latin word meaning teacher, regardless of your doctor's unique clinical approach, he or she has a strong commitment to patient education.

What Type of Education Do Chiropractic Doctors Get?

Today's Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated.  A total of 4,485 class hours, almost 200 more class hours than Medical Doctors.  The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects.  This demanding curriculum prepares Chiropractic Doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction.  To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes the demanding National Board Examination.  Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice.  A Chiropractic education never ends.  Most doctors complete postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research.

Quotes of the Month

"Attitude: I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."

If you or someone you know would like a consultation please call my office and schedule a time.

Dr. Catherine Maloof
(949) 581-6543

You may view Dr. Maloof's website by clicking www.drmaloof.com

Dr. Maloof Online, 2008 

Disclaimer: All material provided in the Dr. Maloof Online newsletter is provided for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.