What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a complementary and alternative health care profession that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the functions of the nervous system and general health. It emphasizes manual therapy including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation. There are Chiropractic adjustments for all the joints of the body. They provide pain relief, increased movement and improved nerve function; therefore wellness ensues. Chiropractic and soft tissue massage are well paired. Chiropractic momentarily gaps the joints and massage relaxes the muscles that hold joints in abnormal positions.
How do Chiropractic Doctors practice?
Doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians diagnose and treat patients with conditions of the musculoskeletal system that affect the nervous system and general health. Many chiropractic treatments deal specifically with the spine and the adjustment of the spine. Chiropractic medicine is based on the principle that spinal joint misalignments interfere with the nerve energy flow and can result in lower resistance to disease and many different conditions of diminished health.
The chiropractic approach to health care stresses the patient’s overall health. Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, non-surgical health treatments, relying on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities. It also recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Chiropractors recommend changes in lifestyle that affect those factors. Chiropractic doctors refer patients to other health practitioners, and/or consult with them, as needed.
Like other health practitioners, chiropractors take a patient history to get information needed to diagnose and treat patients. They also conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations and may order laboratory tests. X rays and other diagnostic images are important tools used under specific circumstances. Chiropractors analyze a patient’s posture, spine and gait to find any structural or functional misalignments or imbalances. Treatment of musculoskeletal system or other conditions involves manually adjusting the spinal column, or extremities, prescribing or performing massage or other manual medical practices.
Some chiropractors use other alternative treatments in their practices, including therapies using water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric, acupuncture, and heat. They also may apply supports such as straps, tapes, and braces to manually adjust the spine. Chiropractors counsel patients about health concepts such as nutrition, exercise, changes in lifestyle, and stress management, but chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.