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. “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many human ailments begins with the body’s inability to adapt to its environment.
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 most other doctors.
The examination 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.
During your life, a variety of stressors can bring injury to your spine and the rest of your body. Poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, sports injuries, car accidents, work-related injuries and emotional pressures can add up, and if left unaddressed, they can create and exacerbate health problems.
Chiropractic is a natural way of helping your body heal itself without relying on drugs and surgery. Doctors of Chiropractic are primarily concerned with the function of your spine. Why? Your nervous system, which controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body, runs all the way from your brain to your tailbone. While the brain is protected by the skull, the spinal cord is more vulnerable. It is covered by 24 moving vertebrae and is attached to nerves that flow throughout your body. When these bones and vertebrae lose their normal motion or position, they can irritate the nervous system. This may disrupt the function of the tissues or organs these nerves control. Although the dysfunction may have been present for some time, the first symptom you may feel is pain at the sight or along a nerve. Chiropractors call these dysfunctions Vertebral Subluxation Complexes. Simply put, chiropractic care consists of locating areas of spinal distress or vertebral subluxation and .improving it’s function.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutrition, exercise 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, there are a growing number of clinics in the U.S. where 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 practices.