What is a chiropractor
A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuro/musculo/skeletal disorders. Chiropractors have at least 8 years of college, and are licensed by the state where they practice, the same as dentists and medical doctors.
We chiropractors focus on the spine and the complex relationships of the bones, muscles, and joints that allow our bodies to move.
The theory of chiropractic is very simple, and chiropractors use an ancient and natural approach to help manage musculo/skeletal imbalances that happen to us every day.
The spinal cord is protected by the spinal bones – the vertebrae. Between each pair of spinal bones is an opening for a nerve bundle, called a nerve root, to pass through. A nerve bundle passes leaves the spinal cord, goes between the vertebrae and travels to a distant destination in the body. Along the way smaller nerve fibers leave the main nerve bundle and connect to tissues in its path.
The nerve bundle gets smaller and smaller as travels, because single fibers leave the bundle to supply connections to the joints, muscles, skin, heart, lungs, digestive organs, kidneys. In fact, every organ, every tissue, every cell in the body has a nerve fiber going to it – the nerve system carries messages between the brain and every part of the body.
The spinal cord, is in the middle between the brain and the body. It is part of the central nerve system, and because it is so important, it is completely protected by the spinal bones. The brain is so important, it is completely protected by bone, as well – the skull.
A chiropractor adjusts the spinal bones, usually by hand, sometimes with help from other tools.
Chiropractors look for the minor mis-alignments of the vertebrae that we create through our daily habits, work duties, and injuries such as car crashes.
Chiropractors Help Manage Daily Stresses
We all have some normal ‘Activities of Daily Living’ that cause us pain or stiffness. Office workers, truck drivers, mothers caring for their kids, warehouse workers – we all have duties that create muscle imbalances. These lop-sided tensions pull on the bones more in one direction than the other, and we end up with muscles that are tight and painful and joints that are stuck.
Chiropractors adjust these mis-alignments of the spinal joints to reduce pain and improve joint function. Along the way, chiropractors teach people how they can do simple things that can improve their health, talking with them about the areas of life the patient can adjust for themselves – choice of beverages, food, exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.
What is Chiropractic – Alternative Medicine?
Chiropractic is generally categorized as alternative medicine or complementary medicine.
For many common problems such as headache, neck and back pain and stiffness, it is an alternative to medicine – that is, chiropractic should be used first for these conditions, drugs and medicine second, and surgery last.
Chiropractic adjustments help restore balance to muscles and joints that are lopsided because of some daily, repetitive activity, usually at work. Muscles get tight, joints get stuck, and pain and stiffness is the result. Pain killers can certainly cover up the pain, and muscle relaxants can reduce the tension – but they cannot restore normal motion and function to the joints.
Chiropractic adjustments are a safe, natural, effective alternative to medicine, with no dangerous side-effects.
Chiropractors: Fundamental Beliefs and Goals
Chiropractors focus on the intimate relationship between the nervous system and spine, and hold true the following beliefs:
- Biomechanical and structural derangement of the spine can affect the nervous system
- For many conditions, chiropractic treatment can restore the structural integrity of the spine, reduce pressure on the sensitive neurological tissue, and consequently improve the health of the individual.
- The treatment concept of chiropractic is to re-establish normal spinal mobility, which in turn alleviates the irritation to the spinal nerve and/or re-establishes altered reflexes.17
- While primarily focusing on treating neuromusculoskeletal disorders, chiropractors are not exclusively limited to problems with the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.When appropriate, chiropractors refer patients to medical doctors or other health practitioners for treatment of lower back pain. Many chiropractors have a local referral network or work together with other spine specialists in a multi-disciplinary or multi-specialty spine clinic.
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