What is a Chiropractor and what do they do? Unfortunately, many people have very little information or knowledge about chiropractic and the value that this alternative form of medicine can provide to them. Here is a broad and technical definition (from Wikipedia):
“Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, under the belief that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system. Many chiropractors reject being characterized as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It is a healthcare profession, and although chiropractors have many similarities to primary care providers, they are more similar to a medical specialty like dentistry or podiatry. The main chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy, especially manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment may also include exercises and health and lifestyle counseling. Traditional chiropractic assumes that a vertebral subluxation or spinal joint dysfunction interferes with the body’s function and its innate intelligence. A large number of chiropractors want to separate them from the traditional vitalistic concept of innate intelligence.”
More information is provided by Spine-health.com:
“A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.
Most chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.”
History and Facts About Chiropractic
A man named D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s and a renowned chiropractic college bears his name today. The practice of “Chiropractic” was largely chastised by the medical profession until scientific advancements brought it closer to the mainstream of medical science. Unfortunately, even today, many physicians continue to criticize and belittle its benefit.
In recent decades, however, it has achieved greater legitimacy and acceptance among medical physicians and health plans in the U.S. One study found that an average of $3.9 billion is spent annually on chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation. And, in athletics, almost all major college and professional sports teams use a chiropractor for the treatment of their athletes.
How Can a Chiropractor Help You?
Back pain is the primary ailment that causes people to seek out their chiropractor. Other painful conditions such as headaches and arm, neck, or shoulder pain are common reasons that people visit a chiropractor for relief. One recent study found that chiropractic was easily the most popular form of therapy for these types of ailments. A survey of patients revealed that over 70% had been treated by a chiropractor and over 65 percent derived a ‘great benefit’ from the treatment.
As most people know, millions of nerves run through every part of our bodies. And, all nerves are connected to our brain which tells us when and where we hurt. The basic premise of chiropractic is that the nervous system in our bodies can be negatively affected by structural and biomechanical problems in our spine. A misaligned spine, or a ‘defective’ disc, can pinch or stress nerves resulting in pain to the parts of the body that the nerve controls. The end result is that certain areas of our body (such as arms and legs) can experience extreme pain even though the pain is being caused by a bulging or herniated disc in our spine that is geographically unrelated to the area of the pain. Simply stated, a bad back can cause pain in many other parts of the body.
Thankfully, these spinal abnormalities can usually be corrected through chiropractic treatments. By performing ‘manipulations’ or ‘adjustments’ of the spine, the chiropractor can obtain relief by reducing the pressure on the nerves and tissue causing the pain. Once the pressure on the nerve is eliminated, the pain will subside and the overall health of the person can be improved.
A chiropractor can often be your most important health care professional. If you are experiencing pain, contact a Charleston chiropractor for an initial consultation. They can use a variety of different treatments, including spinal decompression therapy, to provide both immediate and long term relief from your back pain.
Check out this video of a professional fitness instructor getting a chiropractic adjustment: