Tatiana Mark was 17 years old when a gym accident changed the course of her life, both personally and professionally.
“I fell six feet onto my sacrum while hanging upside down on a pull-up bar,” she says. “I was mid-crunch and the bar fell.” Tatiana walked away from the accident without needing a trip to the emergency room, but three years later, she was still feeling the lasting effects of her fall. She finally reached her breaking point during a study abroad program when she realized how much the chronic pain was interfering with her life and her daily joy.
“So, I went to a chiropractor in Australia, and not only did I start noticing that my back pain began to go away, but also my tummy issues all of a sudden weren't there, I didn't need my inhaler anymore for asthma, and my TMJ jaw pain got better. There was a whole array of benefits I did not expect.”
Tatiana isn’t alone. According to a Gallup poll, one in four American adults (35.5 million) sought chiropractic care for neck or back pain relief in 2016, while 65% of U.S. adults reported seeking care for the same issues at some point throughout their lives. The toll of chronic pain is steep for both individuals and society, so the potential for non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical intervention is enticing. Chiropractic is even more appealing when you consider the other health issues it can possibly help, including a breech baby, sleep problems, and issues with exercise.
What Is Chiropractic Care Really About?
Many people unfamiliar with chiropractic care may associate the practice with cringeworthy cracks and pops and potentially even painful, jerky spinal adjustments. But according to Tatiana, who pivoted from a career in marketing and advertising to studying to become a chiropractor herself, none of those things should happen over the course of a session.
“Chiropractic should never hurt,” she says. “The sound you hear isn't bones cracking — it’s air bubbles releasing. It's called joint cavitation. During the adjustment, a gap forms in the joint capsule, releasing gas...increasing awareness to the brain, it can tell the muscles and ligaments that attach to the bone to relax.”
Chiropractic adjustment is rooted in the belief that the human body has the ability to heal itself. According to primary care physician Dr. Michael Richardson, this means relying on a skilled professional to guide the body’s innate wisdom. “Instead of using medicine to treat the body, chiropractors use manipulative therapies which involve mobilizing the body and joint manipulation to alleviate musculoskeletal pain and disability,” he says.