Now or Forever? The difference between chiropractic care and corrective exercise.

We see the same kind of people.
Our goals are the same.
We both look at the individual and determine bones are out of place.

So what is the difference between a chiropractor and a corrective exercise specialist?

Maybe the easiest way to answer that question is ask yourself this question,  “Do you just want your pain to go away NOW or FOREVER?

I won’t pretend to be a chiropractor.  No way that I’m going to sit here and critique their techniques or their effectiveness.  Honestly,  I have never needed a chiropractor and really only know the ones that have been my clients.

What I understand about them is that they are in very high demand.  30 million people will visit a chiro this year. I am willing to bet that most of those who visited one,  didn’t just end up with one session.  The prevailing thought is by most, is that if you hurting in just about any way, you head to their office to have something snapped back into place.

This is what I have a little problem with. 

Does it make any sense to just wait to head back to their office?

Would it not make more sense to take matters into your own hands and prevent pain from occurring?


I mentioned I have never visited a chiropractor before, I have only heard stories. What they do I think is completely invaluable.  Almost like magicians,  they can have a person come to them in obvious discomfort, “crack ’em” and have them walk out feeling like a million bucks. I am all for people feeling great and in an instant they can look someone over and figure out what they need to “pop” back in place.
That’s where we are similar.  Not necessarily the “pop” part though.

When dealing with musculoskeletal pain or movement impairments it is vital to assess. Nobody would ever trust a mechanic who just tells you what is wrong with your car without looking “under the hood” first. So,  in that regards I would assume that the skilled chiropractor is checking your body alignment to see what is our of place.
An assessment of your skeletal structure tells us which bones are forcing muscles to do more than they are supposed to as well as which muscles aren’t picking up their end of the deal. A thorough assessment will help you discover exactly why those bones are out of place. Is it your shoes?  Could it be the way you sit or stand?  Maybe the way you exercise is influencing how you feel?

I don’t know what an education in chiropractic care includes.  I am aware that they get to be called “doctor,” but im not certain how one is able to attain the title of doctor. One thing I don’t remember is if any of these doctor’s were in any of my classes.
My fascination  with human movement has resulted in an absolutely ridiculous number of hours strapped to desk or in a classroom somewhere.  Ad mist the many controversial theories i discovered regarding how to care for persons in pain, is the general concept of how muscles work in pairs.  Basically the design of body allows for each muscle to have an equal but opposite. Meaning one half of your body does one thing while the opposite side does the opposite work. 
We also understand that our boney structure can regulate the tension between these pairs. What I mean is that if a bone is out if place, the muscles attached to it will change lengths as well. Say, for instance, your arm is bent, as if in a cast. The muscles on the front of your upper arm (biceps) get short, while the muscles in back of arm (triceps) get longer.
This is important to understand to learn how exactly chiropractic care and corrective exercise are different.

If I was to give a sentence to describe chiropractic versus corrective exercise,  I would say something like, ” In general chiropractors will address boney positions out of place by forcing them back where they belong whereas corrective exercise will address what is keeping them out of place.”

In corrective exercise,  we identify joints that are dysfunctional and aren’t aligned correctly.  This gives us clues as to which muscles are not the correct length. We will end up with some that are too short and others too long. The short ones usually steal the message to do work from the brain and as a result the long ones are not used effectively.  What happens next is that your brain has to bring in even more muscles to do jobs they are not used to doing. Kind of like a cake factory running extra workload with less employees something bad is bound to happen. This is the birth of the cumulative injury cycle.

During the cumulative injury cycle, pain can be felt as a warning sign in the form of inflammation or spasms.  These “warning signs” are a reminder that there are parts of the body that are not working effectively.

As a corrective exercise specialist,  I understand that as a result of bones being in the incorrect position too often, muscles will change lengths.  I understand that our goal is ultimately to get the bones back where they are supposed to be. I further understand that to create permanent change, we need to address the muscles tissues attached to the boney structure, otherwise the malaligned muscles will pull the bones out of place.

This line of thought is why I figure so many folks visit and re-visit their chiropractor. They get the required adjustment and regain alignment,  but tgen dont do anything to maintain their newky adjusted position so they start the process over again. Typically this is within three days.

The job of a corrective exercise specialist is to carefully assess your body to determine any malalignments. Those malalignments create muscle imbalances that allow us the knowledge to create stronger long muscles and lengthen short muscles.


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