Chiropractic care is an alternative health care approach that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure (mainly the spine) and its functioning.
Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Chiropractic Practitioners, known as chiropractors, use a hands-on method of spinal manipulation involving a sudden application of controlled force to a spinal joint.
This is done to improve the range and quality of motion in the treated area or relieve pressure or pain.
Chiropractors also use other methods of treatment such as heat and cold, electric stimulation, strength training and traction. Some surgically trained chiropractors will, from time to time, depending on the patient’s case, perform minor surgery.
Chiropractors believe that disruptions in the structure of the spine make the body ill or susceptible to illness.
Since the body has a great capacity to heal itself, they believe that their job is to remove the cause of the illness or vulnerability due to which the illness appeared. The body will then be able to heal itself.
Chiropractors normally do not use drugs, seeing this as the domain of conventional medicine.
The History of Chiropractics
Historically, chiropractic care has been practiced since the times of Hippocrates in ancient Greece.
Modern Chiropractic care was developed by Daniel David Palmer in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa, the founder of the Palmer School of Chiropractic.
Palmer was a self-taught healer with the strong belief that the body has a natural healing ability.
He theorized that misalignments of the spine can interfere with the flow of energy needed to support health and that theorized, and the key to health is to normalize the function of the nervous system, especially the spinal cord.
Palmer’s first patient was reportedly a deaf janitor whose hearing was restored by Palmer through chiropractic manipulation.
Palmer developed a doctrine of vertebral subluxation – a misalignment in the spine, which interfered with the natural healing ability of the body.
By correcting subluxation, a chiropractor activated the healing ability and set the patient on the way to recovery.
Few chiropractors now uphold this doctrine in its initial form. New theories explaining the effectiveness of chiropractic have been put forward.
People mostly turn to chiropractic care for treatment of chronic lower back pain as Chiropractors have had the greatest success in this area.
Other ailments for which people tend to rely on chiropractors are neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, strains, and, more rarely, arthritis.
Chiropractic care is generally safe if administered by a professional. It is good advice, however to consult with one’s conventional doctor before going to an appointment with a chiropractor.
In 1993, a professional review recommended that neck and cervical manipulation not be conducted with children.
These risks taken into account, it is also known that many people report disappearance of such conditions as lower back pain after being treated by a chiropractor.
The chiropractic field is also constantly evolving and improving its standards of diagnosis and treatment, ensuring that professionally trained chiropractors are reliable and competent specialists in their area.
Ongoing research is looking at effects of chiropractic treatment approaches, how they might work, and diseases and conditions for which they may be most helpful.
MORE ABOUT CHIROPRACTICS
Questions and Answers~~~
What are the most common reasons people seek chiropractic treatment?
People seek chiropractic care primarily for pain conditions such as back pain, neck pain, sports injuries and headache. Many people who seek chiropractic care have chronic, pain-related health conditions.
Are Chiropractors licensed?
To practice chiropractic care in the United States, a practitioner must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from a college accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).
CCE is the agency certified by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit chiropractic colleges in the United States.
Admission to a chiropractic college requires a minimum of 90 semester hour credits (approximately 3 years) of undergraduate study, mostly in the sciences.
What Does Chiropractic training involve?
Chiropractic training is a 4-year academic program that includes both classroom work and direct experience caring for patients.
Coursework typically includes instruction in the biomedical sciences, as well as in public health and research methods. Some chiropractors pursue a 2- to 3-year residency for training in specialized fields.
What is the derivation of the term, “chiropractic?”
The term “chiropractic” is a combination of two Greek words, cheir (hand) and praxis (action).
Chiropractics is a ” Hands-on” therapy especially involving spine adjustment which is central to chiropractic manipulation.
Is Chirpractics considered a mainstream medical therapy?
In the United States, chiropractics is considered part of complementary and alternative medicine.
It is one of a number of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine but rather a CAM therapy.
What is CAM?
CAM is the acronym for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.
What are the Three Main Points of Chiropractic Treatment?
1. That the body has the powerful ability to heal itself.
2. That the body’s structure (primarily that of the spine) is closely related to its function, and this relationship strongly impacts general health.
3. That chiropractics works to normalize this relationship and assist the body to heal itself.
What are the usage statistics of CAM?
According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, 8 percent of American adults and nearly 3 percent of children had received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in 2006 – 2007. It’s grown considerably since then.
Adjusted to nationally representative numbers, those percentages equated to more than 18 million adults and 2 million children received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.
Should my Physician be involved in my chiropractic care?
Yes. Tell your doctor and other health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
What Can You Expect During a Chiropractic Visit?
During the initial visit, chiropractors typically take a health history and perform a physical examination, with a special emphasis on the spine.
Other examinations or tests such as x-rays may also be performed. If chiropractic treatment is considered appropriate, a treatment plan will be developed.
During followup visits, practitioners may perform one or more of the many different types of adjustments used in chiropractic care.
Given mainly to the spine, a chiropractic adjustment (sometimes referred to as a manipulation) involves using the hands or a device to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, moving it beyond its passive range of motion.
The goal is to increase the range and quality of motion in the area being treated and to aid in restoring health.
Other hands-on therapies such as mobilization (movement of a joint within its usual range of motion) also may be used.
Chiropractors may combine the use of spinal adjustments with several other treatments and approaches such as:
Heat and ice
Counseling about diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors
Are there any side effects or risks?
Side effects and risks depend on the specific type of chiropractic treatment used.
For example, side effects from chiropractic adjustments can include temporary headaches, tiredness, or discomfort in parts of the body that were treated.
The likelihood of serious complications, such as stroke, appears to be extremely low and related to the type of adjustment performed and the part of the body treated.
If dietary supplements are a part of the chiropractic treatment plan, they may interact with medicines and cause side effects.
It is important that people inform their chiropractors of all medicines (whether prescription or over-the-counter) and supplements they are taking.
What to discuss with your chiropractor
– His or her education, training, and licensing
– Whether he or she has experience treating the health conditions for which you are seeking care
– Any special medical concerns you have and any medicines or dietary supplements you are taking
Tell all of your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.