Chiropractic care is a safe, natural alternative to the medical approach to health problems. It is drug-free and non-invasive, and patients often find it significantly reduces their pain and improves their overall quality of life. For many, chiropractic is a complement to the healthcare they receive from their primary care physician.
Rather than using prescription drugs that can be habit-forming and cause other problems, chiropractors use hands-on techniques to correct misalignments of the spine and joints and to restore proper spinal biomechanics. This allows the nerves to operate correctly and allows the body to function at its optimum level.
The origins of chiropractic can be traced to the late 19th century when Daniel David Palmer founded this holistic healing approach. He believed that misalignments of the spinal vertebrae, scientifically termed subluxations, were the underlying cause of many health issues people experience. Palmer developed a revolutionary technique called spinal manipulation, now known as chiropractic adjustment, to correct these alignments and restore the proper functioning of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.
To become a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), students must complete a four-year graduate school program. They undergo a minimum of 4,200 classroom, laboratory and clinical practice hours. During their education, they are trained in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, endocrinology, the biomechanics of the body (how bones and joints move), diagnostic imaging, nutrition, exercise and rehabilitation. In addition, they must pass four national board exams and state licensing requirements.
Chiropractors often incorporate soft tissue therapy into their treatment, which is a hands-on technique that manipulates muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. This helps to relax tense muscles, reduce inflammation and increase blood flow in the treated area. It also aids in muscle flexibility and speeding up the recovery process from sports-related injuries. Chiropractors may also employ traction, which involves the use of a device that applies a controlled force to the spinal joint to decompress it.
Maintenance care is a common aspect of chiropractic, and studies have shown that patients with chronic conditions benefit from routine spinal manipulations. In a survey of chiropractor in Atlanta found that more than 90% of those who reported maintenance care in the past year considered it medically necessary for their optimal health.
In addition to spinal manipulations and adjustments, chiropractors also use other manual techniques such as soft tissue therapy, traction, mobilization and nutritional and exercise counseling. This type of care is not only beneficial for those with chronic conditions, but can also prevent future recurrences or exacerbations. For example, the traction technique used by chiropractors can help to decrease the frequency of asthma symptoms. It is estimated that a patient receiving regular traction can cut their reliance on prescription medications by half, and this has the potential to significantly reduce costs to patients and insurance companies. In addition, chiropractic can help people with respiratory issues like asthma by straightening the spine and allowing the lungs to function properly. This is achieved by reducing the blockage of nerve impulses to the lungs which results in improved lung function and reduced pain.