Chiropractic is a complementary healing art that uses manual vertebral adjustments to align the spine. According to chiropractors, the spinal bones can move out of alignment due to injury or even the normal movements of life. When the vertebrae are out of alignment, it is called a spinal subluxation or vertebral subluxation.
The main purpose of chiropractors is to correct these misalignments, creating a clear and strong nerve signal in the spine. This treatment is theorized to optimize general health and provide the body the life energy it needs to stave off injury and disease on its own.
Let's take a more detailed look at what spinal manipulation is all about.
Chiropractors believe that subluxations interfere with the normal and correct nerve signals that travel throughout the spine. A subluxated vertebra can interfere with the nerve signals in the spinal cord, as well as peripheral nerve roots exiting from the spine.
By restoring proper spinal alignment, chiropractors hope to restore full nerve signal to the entire body. This type of treatment can correct individual health problems, but is really intended to create an all around healthier person.
The majority of chiropractors can truly be called holistic healers, at least in terms of physicality. Emotional care is rarely more than an after-thought for most chiropractors, but some do integrate a variety of mindbody techniques into their care practices.
Most chiropractors use manual adjustments of the spinal bones. However, it is common for chiropractors to use many other types of healing modalities including:
Heat and ice therapy is commonly used before and possibly after spinal manipulation care.
Electrotherapy can help to provide pain management before or after an adjustment of the spine.
Reiki is a common treatment offered by many chiropractors and might help to provide psychological soothing more than any direct physical benefit.
Diet therapy is an important aspect of good health and is therefore commonly included in long-term treatment programs.
Most chiropractors are open minded to other healing arts and will integrate other systems into a care regimen designed specifically for each patient.
Chiropractors do not all agree on the best treatment methodology. There has been considerable in-fighting among chiropractors over the years. Some have tried to stay true to Dr. Palmer's original healing system, while others have sought to take this comprehensive system of patient care to a whole new level.
Today there are 4 primary types of chiropractors: traditional straights, objective straights, mixers and reforms.
For many years, I depended on chiropractors as my primary source of back care. I did go to medical doctors, as well, but my ideology mixed much better with the holistic philosophy of my chiropractors.
I have been treated by many different chiropractors all around the world. I have been amazed at the difference in style and effectiveness. I have met a few extremely knowledgeable and talented healers in this profession. I have experienced quite a few mediocre to average spinal manipulators. I also had the displeasure of a few real crazies. These are the ones that truly give the profession a bad name.
Chiropractors have come a long way. They were once considered outside of the medical system and actually frowned upon by most traditional doctors. Now, spinal manipulation therapy has established a real niche in the healthcare market. Medical doctors work closely with chiropractors in order to give the patient the most back pain treatment options available.
I recommend that it is worth considering trying out the services of a chiropractor for many types of back ache. However, be warned. It is very easy to get stuck in a long-term treatment program using a chiropractor as your primary healthcare provider.
One of the main philosophies of chiropractic is that ongoing spinal adjustments are necessary to insure continuing good health. It is also a really good way to insure client retention and continuing economic prosperity for the doctor.