About Chiropractic

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health.

Chiropractic means “done by hand”. It is a natural alternative, hands on, drug free, surgery free approach to health. Chiropractic has a very long history dating back to 1895 when the first official adjustment was given. Since its inception, Chiropractic has risen to become the third most used primary health care profession in the world after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractic works on the premise that good health is dependent on a normally functioning spine and nervous system.

What truly differentiates doctors of Chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through Chiropractic care. The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “somewhat or slight” (sub) and “to dislocate” (luxate). So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight misalignment of the bones in the spine. When a subluxation occurs, a Chiropractor corrects the misaligned bone and allows it to return to its proper position.

This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The Chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple of times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. However there are equally effective “non-force” Chiropractic techniques that exist where this sound is not heard. Either way the Chiropractic adjustment is still important. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises or strengthening exercises. In the Chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.

Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxations have on all the tissues and structures of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations.

History of Chiropractic

Manual manipulation of the spine and other joints in the body has been around for a long time. Ancient writings from China and Greece dating between 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the manoeuvring of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. In fact, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published a text detailing the importance of manual manipulation. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”. Evidence of manual manipulation of the body has been found among the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Japan, the Incas, Mayans and Native Americans.

The official beginning of the Chiropractic profession dates back to 1895 when Daniel David Palmer restored the hearing of Harvey Lillard by manually adjusting his neck and something told him that he was on to something good.

Two years later, in 1897, Dr. Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, which continues to train doctors of Chiropractic to this day.

Throughout the twentieth century, the profession of Chiropractic has gained considerable recognition and scientific support. Research studies have clearly demonstrated the value of Chiropractic care in reducing health care costs, improving recovery rates, overall wellbeing and increasing patient satisfaction.

How Does It Work?

A Chiropractors main concern is your spine and nervous system and how well both are functioning. The spine is made up of 24 individual moveable vertebrae. It starts just below the base of your skull and ends in the center between the hips. Although each vertebra is separate, they are all connected together by ligaments and muscles, which enable the entire spine to function as one dynamic moveable unit.

There are 7 neck (cervical) vertebrae, 12 mid back (thoracic) vertebrae and 5 lower back (lumbar) vertebrae, with a cartilaginous disc in between each vertebra. This disc is there to help cushion and absorb shock, reduce friction between the vertebrae and to allow increased movement to occur within the spine. A pair of spinal nerves exits between each vertebra. Each one of the 31 pairs of nerves comes from the spinal cord, which runs the length of the spine, and extends outwards to form a network which supplies and influences every organ, tissue and cell in the body.

It is a Chiropractors task to evaluate the biomechanical structure of the spine to ensure that each one of the individual vertebra are moving freely and are not displaced or fixed in any way. Any such displacement or jammed vertebra can cause the spinal nerve that exits from the intervertebral foramen/opening, to become irritated either through direct pressure or through indirect stimulation/irritation. Therefore any problem in any one of the vertebral joints can affect the related part of your nervous system, which in turn can lead to such symptoms as pain in the back or neck as well as many other health problems. It is a Chiropractors task to evaluate and identify any problem that might exist within the spine and to correct any dysfunction that might be present