What Is Chiropractic?
According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, "Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and 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."
The Goal of Chiropractic
The overarching goal of chiropractic care is to treat the underlying cause of a whole range of health issues and restore optimal health in a natural, non-invasive way.
How Chiropractic Care Works
Spinal care optimizes human health because of the complex and intricate relationship between the spine and the nervous system.
Your nervous system is responsible for all of your body's functions, from the most basic to the most complex. The spinal column encloses the nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots) and is responsible for protecting it.
Because of this relationship, biomechanical and structural problems (subluxations) in the spinal column can irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This negatively impacts the nervous system and the functioning of the cells, tissues, and organs that are supplied by the affected nerve(s). Correcting spinal abnormalities which irritate the nervous system can lead to relief from a variety of conditions.
What Chiropractors Do
Chiropractors are primarily concerned with locating and treating vertebral subluxations, which are misalignments of the vertebrae.
Chiropractors perform a physical exam and x-rays to check the patient's spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities. If any abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally follow up with an adjustment, which is an application of pressure on the affected area to heal it.
Chiropractors may also recommend complementary therapies such as massage, at-home exercise, nutrition, and acupuncture.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Both short-term and ongoing chiropractic care provides a number of benefits including:
- spinal and extremity pain relief
- headache relief
- increased mobility and range of motion
- decreased stiffness and muscular spasms
- arthritic joint pain relief
- 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