It is estimated that about 27 million Americans visit a doctors of chiropractic each year, and millions more receive chiropractic care throughout the rest of the world. Chiropractic is the third largest primary health care field (after medicine and dentistry).
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.
We use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Chiropractors 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.
We 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
The act of birth is both a joyous and traumatic event. Few people realize how traumatic birthing can be on an infant's spinal cord. Even under the best of circumstances with highly trained and competent physicians, a baby's nervous system can incur damage while traveling through the birth canal. Often, this damage manifests itself in the form of mild "subluxations," or misalignments of the tiny vertebrae.
An infant's spine is a delicate, yet sophisticated system of muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, discs, a spinal cord, and nerves. When pressure is applied on a nerve in your spine, the nerve energy is interrupted, and sometimes this can profoundly affect the function of other systems or organs in your body.
Subluxations create pressure or irritation on the various nerves in the spine, and can cause a wide variety of problems in a newborn. Possible injuries include breathing problems, brain bleeding and swelling, spinal cord and brain stem injuries, and neurological deficits.
Some experts believe subluxations are ripe for occurance during the birthing process because of the position the mother is in when giving birth, as well as the manner in which the newborn is sometimes "pulled" by the head and neck from the birth canal.
Subluxations are generally not life threatening, and many of us go through life with a mild subluxation. Left untreated, subluxations in later adolescent and adult life can cause a variety of problems, including pain, soreness, irregularity, and weakness. Subluxations also can contribute to a whole host of maladies, such as immune system disorders, learning disabilities, headaches, and visual and hearing problems.
Infant subluxations also have been linked to immune system problems, learning disabilities, headaches, and visual and hearing problems.