The average American waits two years before deciding to visit a chiropractor according to the American Chiropractic Association. This is because a majority of the general public really doesn't know what all a chiropractor does or what conditions they can treat.
A chiropractor is trained to locate and remove body imbalance and interference to the nervous system. Because the brain controls the function of every tissue, cell and organ in the body, interference of brain to body communication can cause the body not to function properly. This occurs when a subluxation or misalignment is present in the spine.
The main area of breakdown or subluxation in the spine is at the level of C1/C2 or the Atlas/Axis. When breakdwon occurs in this area, two things occur, body imbalance and disruption of brain to body communication.
As the head tilts off the center of gravity as much a a quarter of an inch from the center of gravity, everything below, from the shoulders, low back, hips, knees and ankles must
compensate for body imbalance since gravity works from the top down. This can cause anything from neck pain, back pain, degenerative disc disease over time, hip pain, knee pain, foot pain, etc. due to the secondary compensation occuring below the upper neck.
The same upper neck misalignment that causes secondary body imbalance can also put stress on the upper spinal cord and brain stem. This stress can cause an endless array of symptoms in an individual. For one person, this may be heart burn, for another person it may be migraines, and the next may be high blood pressure. When the brain can't communicate effectively with the rest of the body due to upper neck misalignment, the organs don't function normally.
A properally trained chiropractor will take a specific set of xrays to determine exactly if and how spinal misalignment may be affecting your health and if you are a canidate for chiropractic care. Once determining if you are a canidate, a gentle correction is performed by either hand or instrument to the subluxated vertebrae based on specific xray analysis to restore balance and function to the body.
Because the body is a self-healing organism, When balance and function are restored, symptoms tend to clear up because the body now functioning properly.
The amount of time and visits for the healing process to occur depends on how long the problem has been there. This is determined by the xrays. Some people require weeks, other months or years. Children tend to respond much quicker than adults that have had injuries and trauma affecting there spines for years or decades.