The English longbow is one of the most iconic weapons of all time. It was the key to English military power up until the introduction of gunpowder, and it allowed the poor and working class members of society to have enough power to begin to have a real voice in government. From the battle of Agincourt to the legends of Robin Hood, the longbow had a tremendous impact on the English-speaking world. But with the discovery of the Mary Rose, a Renaissance-era English warship sunk and lost for over 300 years, archeologists have also learned the impact that longbows have on the bodies of the people that used them. The Mary Rose has yielded 3,500 arrows, over 130 longbows, and the skeletons of the archers themselves, and many are surprised by what archeologists have found.

 

Forensic archeologists that studied the archers’ skeletons found in the Mary Rose have discovered that they easily stand out from the others found in the shipwreck. Their bones actually adapted to the stress of using the massive (over six feet long) and powerful (draw strengths between 100 and 180 pounds) longbows. The left arms were noticeably larger where the bone actually grew to match the stress. There were also painful bone spurs and deformations on their shoulders and shoulder blades, elbows, arms and wrists. This is just one example of how the human body has an amazing capacity to adapt to the punishment that we put it through. We usually think of bones as brittle and unchanging, but in fact they grow and adapt with us throughout our lifetimes in response to the stresses to which we subject them.

There are few medical professionals more in touch with how your body responds to stress than a chiropractor. Their training and education is centered on the body’s muscles, bones and joints and how these amazing and dynamic systems interact as part of your overall health. Chiropractic adjustments can be a life-changing part of managing chronic pain, especially difficult-to-treat lower back pain that is a growing problem in the United States. Just as the ancient archers’ bodies responded to their occupational stresses, many people in modern society are experiencing the results of a lifestyle that is not active enough to trigger healthy bone growth and density. Others with more demanding jobs or activities may also develop the painful side effects of bone growth to compensate for the strain, like bone spurs.

 

 

Why is chiropractic care important?

Have you ever experienced severe back or neck pain?  Or had to help someone that did?  Chiropractors are important because they provide people with urgent relief for issues created by painful pressure or tension in the neck and back.  This is a form of manipulating the body’s joints to alleviate the pain that comes from misalignments caused by minor trauma, certain physical conditions, or even the natural wear and tear caused by aging. This allows people to handle minor swelling or even chronic conditions, without going to the expense of an emergency room visit.  However, in situations that require surgery for major trauma, a chiropractor will likely advise you on how to cope with or relieve the pain, until you can spend time with a surgical specialist.

How does chiropractic work?

Chiropractic works by applying controlled, measured force to joints in the body to relieve tension and increase range of motion. Going to the chiropractor is a remedy for relief, and part of many effective long-term coping plans.  It is not meant to replace surgery to treat major issues, but many doctors and pain management specialists recommend chiropractic as part of treatment plans and rehabilitation.  Many issues such as headaches and back inflammation stem from something being out of place or needing a release. The chiropractor simply makes the proper adjustments, and advises you on long-term care.

When is a chiropractor needed?

Many people are unaware of just how many services a chiropractic clinic can provide. They aren’t limited to just tending to the pain of chronic conditions. Because modern lifestyles do less to encourage healthy bone growth, nearly anyone can benefit from the adjustments and manipulations that chiropractors provide. In addition, if you suffer from chronic conditions like misaligned ribs or recurring pains, they can often teach you simple exercises that will help increase muscle strength and flexibility to help your body naturally regulate itself and relieve discomfort.

How often should you visit a chiropractor?

Depending on your needs and the recommendation of your chiropractor, some people may need chiropractic adjustments as often as multiple times a week or as infrequently as just a few times each year. There is no set hard-and-fast rule to govern how often you should visit a chiropractor. For most people, it is up to how much each visit helps their individual condition and how their lifestyle affects their physical health. Many chiropractic patients come in for adjustments several times a month and find that it has a significant impact on their comfort and quality of life.

Is chiropractic preventive care?

Many people don’t realize that the benefits of chiropractic care aren’t limited to treating injuries. Even healthy people can benefit from chiropractic adjustments as part of a general healthy lifestyle to prevent injuries before they occur. By strengthening muscles and improving your joints’ range of motion, you can often prevent injuries from sports, hiking and rock climbing, and other activities that you may not even imagine could lead to joint pain.

 

 

English longbow users were

widely regarded as some of

the best archers in the world.