Chiropractic care improves our health and wellness in many ways. By aligning the spine and removing interference with the nervous system, chiropractors allow the body to function at its best. Joint mobility, flexibility, and improved posture are just some of the benefits of chiropractic care that help us feel better and stay healthy.
How can chiropractic care boost our body’s ability to help keep us healthy?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: That’s an excellent question. When I look at that question, I’m looking at the word boost our abiity and boost means that like you could push it up beyond what it’s normally capable of. And what I want to explain with chiropractic and how it relates to our health is that chiropractors work with the nerve system. Everyone thinks that we’re back doctors, but we use the spine as our avenue of approach because when the bones misalign and get stuck in those abnormal positions, it will pinch and irritate those nerves. Now those nerves are the communication system that monitors your body and controls your health.
And what’s interesting is a lot of people remember Christopher Reeves, the actor who fell off that horse and he broke his neck. Besides the fact that his legs were paralyzed because there was too much pressure on his nerve system and he couldn’t use his lungs again because there was too much pressure on his nerve system to run and regulate those things, what was interesting is that after that accident he was put on antibiotics for the rest of his life. And everyone’s like, “Well why would they do that?” Because his nerve system sustained enough damage where his nerve system couldn’t tell the immune system what to do. The communication was broken down. Just like the brain was not connected to his legs so he couldn’t use them, when there’s that much pressure on the nerve system, it will not allow the immune system to work properly because it doesn’t get the proper instructions. So, he needed to be on antibiotics.
Now when people have subluxations in their spine, it does put some pressure and irritate the nerves. Not to the same level as Christopher Reeves. And I’m also not saying that a chiropractor could have helped him because once those bone fragments went into the cord, there was no way anyone could remove them.
But by removing interference from the spine, it will allow your body to work optimally. So, everyone gets a body that works at 100% when they first get it. But over time there can be changes to the nerve system, spinal alignment, which irritate those nerves, which can lower the effectiveness of the body’s ability to heal. I can make sure that your spine and nervous system are working at their best. And the better your nerve system, the better connected it is to your overall health, the better your body should be able to fight and understand the disease processes and things that are coming at it. So again, a healthy nerve system, extremely important for a healthy body and that connection is improved with chiropractic.
If someone is suffering from aches and pains, how does chiropractic care help reduce their pain and improve their quality of life?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: That’s a great question. If someone is already suffering from aches and pains, they’re probably on the later side coming to chiropractic. And what I preach and teach in my office is that you should get in before you have aches and pains. Just like you brush and floss your teeth whether they hurt or not, no one wakes up on the morning of a dental appointment and says, “My teeth don’t hurt. I’m not going to go.” You should be checking your spine periodically before it breaks down because if you brush and floss and you see a dentist regularly, by the time you’re 65 you haven’t lost all your teeth and you don’t need dentures. But if you go back a couple of generations, people didn’t know to take care of their teeth. They didn’t go to a dentist unless they couldn’t bite into an apple and subsequently, they all thought it was normal to lose their teeth by 65. But we know today that if you brush and floss and see a dentist that chances are that’s not going to happen.
Well, it’s no different with your spine. It’s made of the same stuff, it degenerates in a similar fashion if it’s not cared for. So, caring for your spine a little bit at a time along the course of your lifetime will prevent a lot of problems from happening. So, prevention is really the key. Once you have these issues, of course correcting the alignment and getting the pressure off the nerves will reduce the aches and pains and make sure the joints don’t continue to degenerate and ultimately that will improve their quality of life over the course of their lifetime. Because again, the better your nerve system works, the better you work. Your nerve system is how you integrate with the world. You hear me talking to you on this podcast, that’s your nerve system. You’re shaking your head nodding up and down with me in agreement, that’s your nerve system doing that. It is the master system controlling all the other ones and chiropractic works to enhance nerve system function and that’s really what improves quality of life.
How does chiropractic care improve flexibility in joint mobility to help us stay active?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Oh, that’s a nice, easy softball for me to hit. Very simple. The primary thing chiropractic looks at is the alignment and the motion of the bones of the spine. Now if they are misaligned or fixed or stuck in these abnormal positions or what we call subluxated, when we go and make an adjustment, we’re going to break up that fixation, get the joint moving properly in its correct range of motion, and that’s going to improve flexibility because then the joint can move completely through its range of motion without being restricted. And that’s going to help you stay active and more flexible. And the more flexible you are, the less likely you are to be prone to injury when we’re weekend warriors and things of that nature. So, it’s just very simple. Making sure that the joints are lined up properly and moving without any interference and pressure building up in your nerve system. And that’s what’s going to keep your body moving and running and regulating itself just fine. And that’s going to keep you active.
How can chiropractors help people of all ages improve their posture? And how does maintaining better posture improve their overall health?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, that’s a good question. I liked that you talk about people of all ages. And what you’re getting a sense of, and the more you talk to me, is realizing that it’s okay and it’s important for children to get checked early because posture is something that they’re going to develop from day one. The first curve in the neck shows up when they start to pick their head up off the ground. Then when they start to bear weight and we start to see the curve in the lumbar spine starting to develop. So, this posture and everything will develop properly over time.
But if you ever watched an infant learn to walk, they fall 20 or 30 times a day. That can create a misalignment and if it’s not checked and/or corrected that can show up later in life as a misalignment or a subluxation, putting pressure on the nerves and affect the way that joint functions and moves and affect the way the nervous system works, and it can have a pretty significant impact on a child’s health.
So, working on posture is something we can do all the time. Now in the days of the cell phone and the computer, they have something called Tech Neck where everyone’s bending and flexing their head forward to look down at their computer screens, to look down at their personal devices. We’re actually seeing changes on the x-rays we take. Now when I put up a cervical x-ray, I see very little curve in the neck and the curves are typically there for stability, but this Tech Neck thing is really coming on where we’re seeing forward head posture, a loss of the curve. When you lose the curves then the joints aren’t as good at absorbing shock and then the little stresses and strains and bumps and bruises will have a more pronounced effect later in life.
Most of the things happen in the spine will start to accumulate. So, preventing that accumulation by getting checked periodically will be huge. And then using correct posture, making sure your feet are on the floor, that you’re looking forward and that you do some regular exercise. Just simple stretches to do at your desk when you’re looking 20, 30 minutes straight down. Take a break, get up, stretch, roll your neck back, roll your shoulders back, get up to a standing position, use a standing desk.
There are so many different things that we can do to maintain better posture to improve our overall health because the better your posture is, the less misalignment, less stress and tension on your musculoskeletal system, less irritation to your nerve system. And again, your nerve system is the key to good health. That’s really what chiropractic is all about, making sure that the nerve system functions optimally and that you have the best alignment you can to your spine so it doesn’t degenerate and cause problems later.
In what ways can chiropractors help with stress and anxiety and help improve mental health?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I always say in my office that we can help everyone with pretty much everything below atlas. Atlas is that top cervical vertebrae and then everything above that, really, if you’re looking for help with anxiety and mental health, you need to see a mental health provider. Typically, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a therapist, whatever it is. However, when people have a lot of stress, it will typically manifest as tightness in some of the neck muscles or the shoulder muscles. And for some people it’ll manifest as lower back pain. Some people might, when they’re stressed out, get an upset stomach. So, stress can affect the body in a lot of different ways. And when people are stressed out, they create their own anxiety.
Now by seeing a chiropractor, I’m not going to sit here and say I can make anyone’s anxiety go away, but when people are feeling better and they’re not in so much pain, they’re more relaxed and that decreases the amount of stress and anxiety that they have. So, the better you feel, the less likely those things are going to happen. So, if you’re already stressed out and anxious, to be in pain and to be uncomfortable is only going to add to all these things that drive you into sympathetic overdrive. Sympathetic overdrive is when you’re all adrenalized and stressed out and your body secretes adrenaline and cortisol and those two hormones are very deleterious when you’re under stress and have a lot of physical effects on the body. Because when you have a lot of adrenaline coursing through the body, the muscle tone is going to be higher because it thinks your body’s in fight or flight. You’re going to be a little more anxious. Your nerve system will be more amped up.
With chiropractic care, when we make the corrective adjustments and we can relax those muscles, get some of the irritation off those joints, people are going to be a little calmer, a little more relaxed, and it should help the situation. Again, chiropractic is not a panacea. Anyone with stress and anxiety will benefit from chiropractic care, but I’m not going to sit here and say, “Oh, I can fix their anxiety and make all that go away.” Just generally, when someone’s happier and feeling better, they’re going to have less stress and anxiety. That’s just the way the body works.
To speak with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, visit www.ChiropractorMidtown.com or call 917-534-6484 to schedule an appointment