Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based
upon the understanding that good health depends, in part.
upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially
the spine). A recent study concluded that 20 million
people use chiropractic services annually, making it
the most popular alternative health care.
"Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word
Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by
hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the
cause of many disease processes begins with the body's
inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to
address these diseases not by the use of drugs and
chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal
area of the body which is functioning improperly.
A spinal adjustment is when the doctor applies manual
pressure to the bone and "unlocks" it from
its improper position, allowing the bone to align itself
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address
are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself.
All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination
to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course
of treatment. Doctors of chiropractic use the same
time-honored methods of consultation, case history,
physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray
examination as any other doctor. In addition, they
provide a careful chiropractic structural examination,
paying particular attention to the spine.
of the spine to evaluate structure and function is
what makes chiropractic different from other health
care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of
movable bones which begin at the base of your skull
and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs
of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain
and exit through a series of openings. The nerves
leave the spine and form a complicated network which
influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and
countless other factors can result in a displacements
or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation
to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often
what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic
teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation
to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more
efficiently and more comfortably.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional
and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications
for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors
make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic
do refer patients for medical care when those interventions
are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors,
physical therapists and other health care professionals
now work as partners in occupational health, sports
medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation