Chiropractic is defined by The Association of Chiropractic Colleges as “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.”
How It Works
The nervous system is the master controller of all living cells, tissues and organs in the human body. It orchestrates and coordinates all cellular functions. The spinal column encases and protects the nervous system, including the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Due to this intimate relationship, biomechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can irritate sections of your nervous system. This irritation can develop from the release of toxic inflammatory biochemicals due to tissue injury or direct mechanical pressure. In either case, the functioning of the nervous system - cells, tissues and organs - is negatively effected.
The resulting pain is dependent upon which cells, tissues and/or organs were affected or compromised.
In summary, because the nerve system acts as the control center for recuperative powers, correcting spinal problems which aggravate the nervous system can lead to a number of positive results in patients suffering from an array of seemingly non-spinal health conditions.
While chiropractic treatments are primarily applied to the spinal region, eliminating back and neck ailments are not the only goal. The objective is to restore and optimize human health. As stated by The Association of Chiropractic Colleges: “The purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health.”
Chiropractors are primarily tasked with locating and treating vertebral subluxations. What is a vertebral subluxation? It’s a complex of functional, structural and joint changes that compromise neural integrity and may hurt organ system function and general health.
The chiropractor checks the patient’s spinal column for any fixations, misalignments or other abnormalities. If subluxations are suspected, the chiropractor generally applies gentle, concentrated force to correct the affected spinal area.
Outside of spinal adjustments, chiropractors also employ massages, nutritional counseling, physical therapies and lifestyle modification programs to improve overall patient health.