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, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek work 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, thus interfering with the nervous system.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic (D.C.’s) 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.
The existence of the nervous system as the primary control mechanism of the body is an undisputed scientific fact. Its relationship with the spine is the focus of the practice of chiropractic. The spine develops in utero to provide two primary functions: 1) allow for freedom of movement, and 2) house and protect the spinal cord. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned through trauma or repetitive injury, two major consequences will result: 1) the range of motion becomes limited, and 2) the spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord are compromised. D.C.’s use the term “subluxation” to describe such disruptions. Interruption of nerve flow can eventually lead to pain, disability and an overall decrease in the quality of life. Conversely, the removal of that interference has been shown to have significant, lasting health benefits. Through the adjustment of the subluxation, the doctor of chiropractic endeavours to restore normal nerve expression. The body is then able to respond appropriately to any imbalance in the system, thus relieving symptoms and restoring health.
Chiropractors have long recognized the importance of a wellness focus (considering the role of the mind, body & spirit) when dealing with health care.
Doctors of chiropractic receive extensive undergraduate prerequisites and four years of graduate-level instruction and internship at an accredited chiropractic institution. Comprehensive knowledge of all systems of the body and diagnostic procedures enable the DC to thoroughly evaluate a patient, address disorders relating to the spine and determine the need for referral to another health care provider.
Chiropractic has been around for more than a century, and has an excellent safety record – for more facts on the proven safety of chiropractic, please go to www.chiropracticissafe.com.