As chiropractors, we are often faced with the possibility of determining whether a person is a candidate for chiropractic care.

We routinely check and treat our family with chiropractic care and you may be wondering if you or your family could benefit. Whether you are suffering from pain or want to see if spinal misalignments are affecting your health, here is a concept to keep in mind along with some indicators you can look for to see if a chiropractic adjustment could help you.

How Does the Body Adapt to Stress?

One of the first laws and concepts we learn in chiropractic school is called Wolff’s law.  Simply put, it states that our body specifically adapts to forces placed upon it. For instance, if you break or fracture your arm, your body would heal that bone according to the forces placed upon it.  If the force you apply to the bone helps to align the bone (ex. A splint), the bone will heal and likely adapt in the same way it was adapting before the break. However, if you don’t align it while it’s healing, the body will still heal the bone, but it will do it in a misaligned way and, therefore, the body will have to adapt to the additional strain as a result of the misalignment.  

Although our spines are not fractured, they can become misaligned due to injury, trauma or poor lifestyle habits.  If we apply Wolff’s law we realize that forces like gravity, weight and movement can have varying effects on the spine.  These misalignments cause the body to compensate and these forces gradually become harder to control. What starts off as an achy back can eventually lead to a variety of symptoms (back pain, neck pain, headaches, undue tension, and stress).  

Are You Fine or Misaligned?

Before these symptoms start to develop, try to partner up with a friend or a family member and look for these indicators.

  1. Check the posture:  Have your partner stand behind you and have them look at the bottom of your ears to see if one ear is level to the others (Are they level?).  Then, have them put their hands facing horizontal along the ends of your shoulders (Is one shoulder higher than the other?). Lastly, have your partner do the same test that they did with your shoulders, but instead, use the top of the pelvis as a landmark (Is one hip higher than the other?)
  2. Feel for abnormal or asymmetric tension in the shoulders:  Have your partner run their fingers over your upper back and press gently to feel for tension.  Get feedback on whether you or they feel that one side is tighter than the other.
  3. Check the legs:  Lay face down and have your partner look at the heels of your foot.  See if one heel seems to be shorter than the other.

Whether You Have Pain or Not….

Any of the three tests above can be indicators of whether forces on your body are affecting or leading to misalignments in your spine.  Although chiropractors have more in depth ways at assessing imbalances in their office, be on the lookout to see whether these factors could be affecting your health.  

As always, if this article or other articles are insightful, please share it with your friends and consider  scheduling a free consultation  to find out if a holistic approach to chiropractic could help your child.