Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied and
as vast as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard
procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at
a course of treatment. Doctors of chiropractic use the same
time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical
examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other
doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural
examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what
makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your
spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of
your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of
spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a
series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated
network which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other
factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal
column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are
often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches
that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause
your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise
programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical
and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery,
Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those
interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors,
physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as
partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of
other rehabilitation practices.
Article reprinted from ChiroWeb