Over 18 million American patients rely on chiropractic care for their health and wellness. This type of alternative medicine is regarded as a safe and natural option for pain management. Chiropractic provides a viable way to diagnose disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as back and neck pain. It is also commonly used to help improve sports performance and deal with a number of other health-related issues.
The profession is well established in many countries around the world, including South Africa, Australia, Canada. It enjoys strong political support and the demand for services continues to grow. The same applies to acceptance by qualified medical practitioners and healthcare insurance companies.
What is Chiropractic?
The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as a healthcare profession, which concentrates on problems associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. The practice also places emphasis on the impact of these disorders on overall health and wellness. It is a form of alternative medicine that works through the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractic recognizes the fundamental link between health and the spine. The profession views the nervous system as a mediation medium for the relationship. For this reason, many practitioners are convinced that spinal manipulation can help treat ailments like asthma, infant colic and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as, pain management due to accidents.
How Chiropractic Works
The primary treatment method for chiropractic entails the use of manual therapy. Practitioners use hands to manipulate joints and soft tissues. They apply controlled pressure on different parts of the body with the aim to alleviate pain and restore mobility. The techniques are inspired by pseudoscientific principles like innate intelligence and subluxation.
Chiropractors also provide advice on a number of health-related issues, such as rehabilitation, lifestyle, exercise and diet. Some extend services to include alternative treatments like acupuncture.
This profession’s techniques overlap with various forms of manual therapy, including osteopathy, massage therapy, sports medicine and physical therapy. Chiropractic diagnosis employs several methods, such as orthopedic and neurological evaluation, skeletal imaging as well as observational and tactile assessments.
How Chiropractic Differs
Conventional medicine and chiropractic have considerable differences when it comes to treatment methods. The medical approach is centered on treating the symptoms of an ailment instead of concentrating on causes. Conversely, chiropractors prefer a more holistic approach that involves dealing with the causes of a condition. They offer drug-free solutions to pain and discomfort.
The benefits of chiropractic
Chiropractic care provides a broad range of benefits, including;
- Enhanced tissue healing
- Improved joint health
- Enhanced physical performance and energy
- Relief from chronic injuries
- Spinal and extremity pain relief
- Improved immune system
- Headache relief
- Decreased tissue inflammation
- Increased balance and coordination
Stages of care
Chiropractic comes with three stages of care: relief, corrective and wellness care. Relief care entails the provision of symptomatic relief as the first stage of the treatment process. Practitioners employ the most effective therapies and techniques to reduce pain faster. Patients are encouraged to engage in moderate activities to avoid straining the body.
Corrective care is the second stage in the treatment process. It involves the correction of ailments and rehabilitation of injured tissues. On the other hand, wellness care revolves around ongoing spinal checkups following full recovery from the nagging conditions. The regular checkups may be conducted annually, monthly or more.
Chiropractors can detect and treat subluxations, which contribute to various spinal and extra-spinal disorders. When a vertebra loses its motion or positioning in relation to an adjacent vertebra, the condition is known as vertebral subluxation. This leads to mechanical stress that undermines the well-being of surrounding spinal tissues, joints, and spinal muscles.
As a result, an individual is faced with increased inflammation, pain, hypertonicity, palpatory tenderness and other complications.Vertebral subluxations are also known to impair proper nerve functioning. The condition has five elements, including:
- Kinesiopathology – loss of motion and positioning
- Myopathology – deterioration in the spinal musculature, which leads to spasming and fibrosis
- Neuropathology – injury or irritation affecting spinal nerve roots
- Histopathology – deterioration of spinal tissues
- Pathophysiology – biochemical changes in the spinal region