What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a healthcare profession dedicated to addressing issues related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and their impact on overall health. It primarily focuses on common musculoskeletal complaints such as back pain, neck pain, pain in the arms or legs’ joints, and headaches.

With a holistic and patient-centered approach, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) strive to elevate the health and well-being of their communities, empowering individuals of all ages to lead more fulfilling and active lives. By emphasizing whole-person care, DCs play a vital role in promoting wellness and helping people achieve their optimal health potential.

chiropractic careh4Why Choose Chiropractic?

Chiropractic stands as the third-largest primary healthcare profession, with its numbers trailing behind medical doctors and dentists. Approximately 35 million Americans receive treatment from doctors of chiropractic each year, highlighting the widespread utilization and significance of chiropractic care in the healthcare landscape.

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) hold licenses to practice in all 50 states of the United States and the District of Columbia. Additionally, many nations worldwide recognize and permit their practice. To attain this licensure, DCs undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences at institutions accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, ensuring their competence and expertise in the field.

An expanding array of research studies and reviews attests to the safety and effectiveness of services offered by chiropractic physicians. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the natural, holistic, and cost-effective approach of chiropractic care in addressing a wide range of conditions, highlighting its potential benefits for patients.

Chiropractic services are encompassed in the majority of health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, select Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among other providers. This inclusion in various insurance offerings ensures greater accessibility to chiropractic care for a wide range of individuals.

chiropractic careh5Amateur and professional athletes, along with professional dancers and individuals from various backgrounds, extensively rely on chiropractic care. They seek its benefits to prevent and treat injuries while also aiming to attain optimal health and functionality.

What is Spinal Manipulation?

chiropractic careh6Spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment or spinal adjustment, is a manual therapy commonly used by chiropractors and some other healthcare professionals to treat various musculoskeletal conditions, especially those related to the spine. It involves applying controlled and sudden force to specific joints of the spine or other parts of the musculoskeletal system. The primary goal of spinal manipulation is to improve joint function, reduce pain, and enhance overall physical well-being.

During spinal manipulation, the chiropractor or healthcare provider uses their hands or specialized instruments to apply a quick and precise force to the affected joint. The manipulation aims to move the joint beyond its normal range of motion, which can result in an audible popping or cracking sound. This sound is often associated with the release of gas bubbles from the joint, but it is not always necessary for effective manipulation.

chiropractic careh7The underlying principle of spinal manipulation is based on the belief that misaligned or restricted joints can lead to pain and dysfunction in surrounding tissues and the nervous system. By restoring proper joint alignment and movement, spinal manipulation is thought to alleviate pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve nerve function.

Spinal manipulation is commonly used to treat conditions such as:

    • Back pain: Including low back pain, upper back pain, and neck pain.
      Headaches and migraines: Especially those associated with tension or musculoskeletal issues.
    • Neck and shoulder pain: Often related to poor posture or joint dysfunction.
      Certain types of joint pain: Such as hip, knee, or shoulder pain caused by biomechanical problems.
    • Some types of nerve-related pain: Such as sciatica, which can be caused by compression of the sciatic nerve.

It’s essential to note that while spinal manipulation can be effective for some individuals, it may not be suitable for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis, or spinal cord compression, may need to avoid spinal manipulation or seek alternative treatments.

What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?

chiropractic careh8A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is a healthcare professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders, with a primary focus on the spine. Chiropractors use non-invasive techniques to manipulate or adjust the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system to alleviate pain, improve function, and promote overall health.

The core philosophy behind chiropractic care is that the proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, can enable the body to heal itself without the need for surgery or medication. Chiropractors believe that misalignments or subluxations in the spine can disrupt the body’s natural flow of energy or nervous system communication, leading to various health issues.

Chiropractic treatments involve manual adjustments where the chiropractor applies controlled, sudden force to a joint, which can result in an audible “pop” or “crack.” This sound comes from the release of gas bubbles in the joint fluid. While spinal adjustments are the most common technique, chiropractors may also use other methods such as therapeutic exercises, stretches, soft tissue therapy, and lifestyle counseling to support their patients’ overall well-being.

Chiropractors often treat patients suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal conditions. They may also work with individuals seeking to improve their general health and wellness through preventive care.

chiropractic careh9To become a Doctor of Chiropractic, one must complete a chiropractic program at an accredited chiropractic college or university. The program typically takes four years to complete and includes extensive coursework in anatomy, physiology, neurology, radiology, and chiropractic techniques. After graduation, chiropractors must pass national and state licensing exams to practice legally.

It is essential to note that while chiropractors are licensed healthcare professionals, their practice and scope of treatment may vary from country to country.