What is Chiropractic?
Modern chiropractic began in the late 1800s when Daniel David Palmer, a self-educated teacher and healer, performed
the first spinal manipulation on a patient. Today, chiropractic is the third largest area of medicine, next only to dentistry
and is the largest Complementary and Alternative Medicine (or CAM) health profession
The word chiropractic comes from Greek words meaning "treatment by hand",
which is exactly what chiropractors do - they use their hands to manipulate the body and promote healing and wellness.
The chiropractic philosophy is based on the following belief statements:
• All bodily functions are connected and the healing process involves the entire body.
• A healthy nervous
system, particularly the spine, is the key to a healthy body. The spinal cord carries information throughout the body and
is responsible for all bodily functions including voluntary movements (such as walking) and involuntary functions (such as
breathing). When the systems of the body are in balance, it is called homeostasis. Disorders of the bones, muscles, and nerves
can disrupt homeostasis and increase the risk of disease and other health problems.
• When body systems are in
harmony, the human body has the remarkable ability to maintain health and heal itself.
Chiropractors are medical professionals
who diagnose and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They use traditional diagnostic testing methods
(such as x-rays, MRI, and lab work) along with specific chiropractic techniques that involve hands-on manipulation of the
articulations of the body. Chiropractors also offer nutrition and healthy lifestyle counseling. Chiropractors elect not to
prescribe medications and they do not perform surgery, however, many chiropractors work closely with medical doctors and will
refer a patient when necessary.
believe one of the main causes of pain and disease is the misalignment of the vertebrae in the spinal column (this is called
a chiropractic subluxation). Through the use of manual detection (or palpation), carefully applied pressure, massage, and
manual manipulation of the vertebrae and joints (called adjustments), chiropractors are able to relieve pressure and irritation
on the nerves, restore joint mobility, and help return the body's homeostasis.
Some chiropractors dedicate their practices solely to locating and removing subluxations.
However, most chiropractors, in addition to using manual adjustments, also offer other treatment modalities such as the following:
- Heat/cold therapy
- Electric muscle stimulation
- Decompression Therapy
- Exercise programs and instruction
- Physical Therapy
In addition, many chiropractors have extensive post-graduate training
and become board certified in certain areas of interest such as:
- Sports medicine
- Physical rehabilitation
- Manipulalation Under Anesthesia
Chiropractic is the 3rd
largest field of medicine with over 50,000 licensed chiropractors practicing in the United States. Because of its success
in treating back and neck problems ,chiropractic is now part of mainstream western medicine. In fact, many hospitals now have
chiropractors on staff and they are a part of the Medicare/Medicaid systems. Chiropractors are currently being incorporated
into the U.S. military health system. Chiropractors are also recognized by the court system as expert witnesses in their field.