Chiropractic – What Is It?


Chiropractic is an alternative health care discipline and profession that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, under the hypothesis that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system.

It is generally categorized as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM),  a characterization that many chiropractors reject.

Although chiropractors have many attributes of primary care providers, chiropractic has more of the attributes of a medical specialty like dentistry or podiatry.

The main treatment technique involves manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment also includes exercises and health and lifestyle counseling.

Traditional chiropractic assumes that a vertebral subluxation or spinal joint dysfunction interferes with the body’s function and its Innate Intelligence, a vitalistic notion that brings ridicule from mainstream science and medicine.D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century.

It has two main groups: “straights”, now the minority, emphasize vitalism, Innate Intelligence and spinal adjustments, and consider subluxations to be the leading cause of all disease; “mixers” are more open to mainstream and alternative medical techniques such as exercise, massage, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture.

Chiropractic is well established in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Throughout its history it has been controversial. For most of its existence, chiropractic has battled with mainstream medicine, sustained by ideas such as subluxation that are not based on solid science.

Vaccination remains controversial among chiropractors. The American Medical Association called chiropractic an “unscientific cult” and boycotted it until losing a 1987 antitrust case.

It has had a strong political base and sustained demand for services; in recent decades, it has gained more legitimacy and greater acceptance among medical physicians and health plans in the U.S., and evidence-based medicine has been used to review research studies and generate practice guidelines.

Although spinal manipulation can have serious complications in rare cases, chiropractic care is generally safe when employed skillfully and appropriately.

In today’s society, people go to see their chiropractor for a host of different reasons. To some chiropractic care is a way to help heal musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck, disc, arm, shoulder, leg, hip, joint, nerve, and muscle pain.

For others, chiropractic care is a natural system of healing from diseases or health conditions like headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, skin conditions, menstrual cramps, arthritis, asthma, sinus troubles, digestive problems, stress, and issues with ears, eyes, nose, or throat.

Still, others seek out chiropractic care as a method of keeping themselves healthy. For these individuals, chiropractic care helps improve their sports performance, disease resistance, thinking, and energy levels.

So whether you are turning to a chiropractor for relief care, corrective care, or wellness care remember, chiropractic care has proven to be a safe, natural, holistic and drugless approach to healthcare for millions of people around the world.

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