Chiropractic is a natural method of health care that treats the CAUSE of physical problems rather than just the SYMPTOMS. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise: With a normally functioning nervous system and spine, your body is better able to heal itself. That’s because the spinal cord, which is protected by the spine, is the main pathway of your nervous system. It controls movement, feeling, and function throughout your body.
Scientific research is showing what millions of chiropractic patients already know:
- Spinal manipulation is more effective than other treatments for low back pain.
- Chiropractic adjustments take less time and the benefits last longer.
- Chiropractic adjustments are safe.
- Chiropractic care costs less and results in fewer lost workdays.
What is Chiropractic?
The art of chiropractic focuses on adjustments to correct spinal malfunctions, called subluxations, in order to remove interference to the spinal cord and the nerves that exit between the bones of the spine. Science has found that the nerve system controls all other organs and tissues of the body, so a nerve system functioning at its best facilitates the body’s ability to cope with disability and disease. Because of its potential to enable patients to live healthier, more fulfilling lives, chiropractic has been called “The Big Idea.” Chiropractic philosophy begins with the principle that the human organism has an innate power to maintain its own health.
The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall well being. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment and heredity. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining optimal health naturally so that the body is better able to resist disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease. Chiropractors use natural, drug-free, non-surgical health care and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities.
This unique health care approach views the body as having an innate, natural ability to adapt to changes in its internal and external environments and maintain itself in a state of health. Traditional medicine and its allied health fields typically treat symptoms using “medicine” drugs, surgical procedures and traditional medical procedures to decrease symptoms and produce desired results. Both approaches have important roles to play, but they are fundamentally different.
Chiropractors focus on the neuromusculo-skeletal system (NMS) which can be broken down simply as:
Neuro = nervous system, brain and spinal cord
Musculo = muscles, tendons and ligaments
Skeletal = bone placement
The brain sends messages through the spinal cord across a huge network of spinal nerves to deliver information to every cell, organ and system of the body. This information system coordinates the myriad chemical reactions that dictate how well you sleep, how food is digested, your ability to concentrate, physical coordination, the capabilities of the immune system and all aspects of body function.
When bones of the spine become misaligned or move out of their normal position, they can distort the flow of information from the brain to the body. Without the proper information from the nerve system, the body cannot function to its full potential. That’s why chiropractors gently correct these misalignments (or vertebral subluxations) — to correct interference to the nerve system and the body’s ability to control and coordinate its many functions.
The primary means of chiropractic care is the spinal adjustment, a short and painless thrust against the spine using only the doctor’s hands. Spinal adjustments correct vertebral subluxations, which are changes in the position of the spine that do not allow the spine to function properly. When the spine is subluxated, the nerves in that area may behave abnormally and cause pain or other problems. The intent of a spinal adjustment is to restore normal motion, function and nerve impulse flow.
A trip to the chiropractor is much like a trip to the health club — an enjoyable and rewarding activity you do because you value your health. Because people continue with regular care for its long-term benefits, chiropractors also build close relationships with patients over time.
According to Lance Armstrong in his book “Every Second Counts”: “The team wasn’t just the riders. It was the mechanic, masseurs, chefs, soigneurs, and doctors. But the most important man on the team may have been our chiropractor…If you judged the most important man in the Postal team by the foot traffic in and out of the his door, then it was [the chiropractor]. Without him, we knew we’d never make it to Paris.”