Just as they do with many forms of alternative medicine, some people will dismiss chiropractors because they do not fall under the usual mainstream medical practitioners. And yet chiropractic is another way in which you can chose the natural route when you need help with specific problems in your body.
Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the structure of the body
Usually this is the spine - and how it functions - by performing adjustments to the spine or other parts of the body.
The goal of chiropractic is to correct alignment problems so that the body can then heal itself naturally. Spinal manipulation, joint and soft tissue manipulation are known as manual therapy but a chiropractor will also include exercise as well as health and lifestyle counseling as part of the treatment.
The history of chiropractic
Chiropractic was founded by DD Palmer and his son BJ Palmer in the 1890s when philosophy was rooted in spiritual inspiration and rationalism. However, today most practitioners focus on both the scientific method and alternative therapies. A chiropractor must go through extensive education and training to become a doctor of chiropractic – the professional status of a chiropractor includes DC, DCM, BSc and MSc. "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos meaning "effective treatment by hand" and lays emphasis on the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment.
Why chiropractic is important today
Today, chiropractic manipulation is a recognized and popular pain relief treatment, with an estimated 6% to 12% of the US population seeking chiropractic care each year, according to a 2007 study. With the the current US population of well over 300 million people, this means that there are anything between 18 million to 36 million visits to a chiropractor annually. People will usually seek out a chiropractor because they are suffering from head pain, neck pain, back pain (especially lower back pain) and other physical complaints such as whiplash to the neck area after an automobile accident. Through chiropractic, some people are able to avoid costly and risky spinal surgery. As well as the US, chiropractic medicine is popular and well supported in Canada, Australia, the UK, South Africa and elsewhere.
Short-term and regular chiropractic care have a number of benefits
The healing art of chiropractic uses your body’s innate intelligence to guide you in your healing process, help you move freely and keep your nervous system free of interference.
- Spinal and extremity pain relief
- Relief for headaches
- Increased mobility and range of motion
- Decreased stiffness and muscular spasms
- Joint pain relief in arthritis
- Increased joint health
- Increased performance and energy
- Increased sense of well being and relaxation
- Increased balance and coordination
- Reduced degeneration and risk of injury
- Enhanced tissue healing
- Decreased tissue inflammation