dr martin mcintosh, what is chiropractic, what does chiropractic mean

Five Definitions of Chiropractic

What does chiropractic mean?

| ky·row·prack·tick |

  • Used as a noun: “She practices chiropractic.”
  • Used as a adjective: “He had a chiropractic adjustment.”

From chiro – ‘hand’ + Greek praktikospractical,’ from pratteindo.’

:: By Hand
:: Practical
:: To Do
:: To Practice

By joining these two concepts — chiro and praktikos — we recognize the relationship of doing something practical with the hands.

The word ‘chiropractic’ was created by Daniel David Palmer in 1895, to describe using his hands to adjust relationships of spinal bones.

Muscles connect one bone to another, and when the muscle is tensed the bones can move. Sometimes the muscle tension used to move the bones doesn’t completely relax after doing its job, and this puts slight but constant pressure on the joint surfaces between the two bones. People commonly feel this as pain and stiffness.

Chiropractors adjust the bones. Adjusting the bones and joints of the spine, by hand, releases muscle tension and reduces the pressure on the joints, and improves joint function.

It really is very simple: As the joints move more freely, there is less pain. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and effective way to achieve relief of common pain and stiffness.

Five Definitions of Chiropractic


  • 1

    The WHO definition World Health Organization, Guidelines on Chiropractic, 2005

    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. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation with a particular focus on subluxations.

  • 2

    WFC Dictionary Definition World Federation of Chiropractic, 2001

    A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. And the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.

  • 3

    The ACC definition Association of Chiropractic Colleges, 1996

    Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.

  • 4

    Med-Terms Medical Dictionary

    A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous system coordinates all of the body's functions, and that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function.

  • 5

    Chiropractic Physicians' Board of Nevada - State of Nevada

    “Chiropractic” is defined to be the science, art and practice of palpating and adjusting the articulations of the human body by hand, the use of physiotherapy, hygienic, nutritive and sanitary measures and all methods of diagnosis.


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