What is Chiropractic?
For many years, Chiropractic has been credited as an efficient treatment particularly on lower back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, repetitive strains and Arthritic pain. However, Chiropractors are not exclusively limited to the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system only. Chiropractors have used a variety of non-surgical treatments for treatment of patients with mechanical disorders of the neuro-musculoskeletal system and related disorders.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic or chiropractic care is an old medical profession dating back to many years, although some medical records put it as old as the 1890’s. Chiropractic is derived from a Greek word meaning “performed by hand”. It is a treatment that emphasizes on hands or manual therapy and it is regarded as an alternative medicine for treatment of mechanical disorders of the neuro-musculoskeletal system.
Daniel David Palmer, a self-taught chiropractor from Davenport, Iowa is credited with the development of chiropractic in the 1890’s and the Palmer School of chiropractic. Although modern chiropractors now integrate conventional medical techniques such as massage and exercise, Palmers’ initial chiropractic care was through body manipulation using the ancient art of moving the body with the hands.
Chiropractic care has a close resemblance with other manual-therapy professions such as physical therapy, massage therapy and Osteopathy. Chiropractors in their treatment maintain a unique emphasis on spinal manipulation and treatment of surrounding structures. The treatment is more recommended for low back pain and in fact, studies have shown that chiropractic is an effective treatment for neck pain and lumbar herniated disc for Radiculopathy.
Who is a Chiropractor?
In chiropractic, a chiropractor is a health care professional involved in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. The emphasis taken by chiropractors is treatment through manipulation and adjustment of the spine to reduce back pain and improve the functionality of patients including health education on ergonomics, exercise and other manual therapies. Chiropractors, though with a wide diversity of ideas, share a common belief that the spine and health are fundamentally related through the nervous system.
By examining spinal bio-mechanics, functions and structure, a chiropractor can determine the effects on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and their role in health and related illnesses, such as asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. In order to qualify as a medical practitioner, chiropractors are required to complete a relevant university degree with adequate skills – preferably acquired through internships through chiropractic laboratories.
Until the late 1980’s, chiropractors and health professionals have been battling on integration of chiropractic as an alternative treatment in-line with other mainstream medicine. Only in recent decades that chiropractic has started to gain medical recognition amid mainstream medicine and now chiropractic is well established in the US, Canada and Australia. In most parts of the world, chiropractic is accepted and recognized as a medical treatment within the current Care Guidelines.
Studies on chiropractic show that the treatment is not only practical but also a cost-effective treatment for many cases of lower back pain. Chiropractic treatment re-establishes normal spinal mobility which can greatly alleviate the spinal irritation caused by altered reflexes. Although there have been reports of mild to seriously adverse effects, health practitioners consider spinal manipulation to be safe when appropriately delivered.
The chiropractic care also focuses on exercises which are essential in the management, strengthening and improvement of the lower back, including prevention of acute and chronic low back pain. Chiropractic care is usually combined with cardiovascular and strengthening exercises as treatment for low back pain. More often, patients with a history of heart problems are referred to chiropractors for specific instructions on cardiovascular fitness-promoting activities.
The most common form of chiropractic care is spinal manipulation, also called chiropractic adjustment or spinal adjustment. It involves a passive manual man-oeuvre where a 3-joint complex is taken past the normal range of movement without dislocating or damaging the joint. The goal is to increase the joint’s range of motion through audible release by way of a dynamic thrust using a sudden force. The spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is also common in chiropractic care where hands are used to massage, mobilize, manipulate and stimulate the spine and related tissues.