What Is A Chiropractor?
Modern chiropractic started in the late 1800s when Daniel David Palmer, a self-educated teacher and healer, performed the very first spinal manipulation on a patient. Chiropractic is the third largest area of medicine today. The word chiropractic comes from Greek words meaning “treatment by hand”, which is exactly what chiropractors do—they use their hands to manipulate the body and promote healing and wellness.
A doctor of chiropractic (DC), chiropractor or chiropractic physician, is a health professional who is trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractors treat patients of all ages, infants, children, and adults. They believe in a traditional (non-surgical) hands-on method of treating these disorders.
The chiropractic philosophy is dependant on the following belief statements:
- All bodily functions are connected as well as the healing process requires the entire body.
- A healthy nervous system, especially the spine, is the important factor to your healthy body. The spinal cord carries advice throughout the body and is accountable for many bodily functions including voluntary movements (such as walking) and involuntary functions (like respiration). When the systems of the body have been in equilibrium, it is called homeostasis. Disorders of the bones, muscles, and nerves increase the risk of disorder along with other health problems and can disrupt homeostasis.
- When body systems are in harmony, the human anatomy gets the extraordinary ability to keep well-being and treat itself.
They use traditional diagnostic testing strategies (like x-rays, MRI, and laboratory work) along with specific chiropractic techniques that involve hands-on manipulation of the articulations (joints) of the body. Nutrition and healthy lifestyle counseling is also offered by chiropractors. Chiropractors elect not to prescribe medication, plus they do not perform operation; however, many chiropractors work with medical doctors and certainly will refer a patient when needed.
Chiropractors believe among the main reasons for pain and disease is the misalignment of the vertebrae in the spinal column (this is known as a chiropractic subluxation). Through the usage of manual detection (or palpation), carefully applied pressure, massage, and manual manipulation of the vertebrae and joints (called adjustments), chiropractors are able to alleviate pressure and irritation on the nerves, restore joint mobility, and help return the body’s homeostasis.
Some chiropractors dedicate their practices exclusively to finding and removing subluxations. But in addition to using manual adaptations, most chiropractors offer other treatment modalities such as the following:
- Herbal therapy
- Heat/cold therapy
- Electric muscle stimulation
- Manipulation under anesthesia
- Exercise programs and teaching
- Lifestyle and nutrition counselling
- Physical rehabilitation
Additionally, many chiropractors have considerable postgraduate training and become board certified in some specific areas of interest such as:
- Sports medicine
- Physical rehabilitation
- Diagnostic radiology
- Internal Disorders
- Forensic sciences
Chiropractic has come a long way since its beginnings. Due to its success in treating back and neck problems and as a consequence of changing approaches and recent research, chiropractic has become more accepted and is currently considered by many to be a piece of mainstream Western medicine. Actually, many hospitals finally have chiropractors on staff. Chiropractors have also been recognized by the court system as expert witnesses inside their field.
The information herein on "What's Chiropractic?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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