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
In recent years, evidence has come to light that we are placing our children at risk for debilitating muscle and joint injuries from overloaded backpacksâ€šÃ„Ã®a staple among elementary and high school-aged kids.
- Cause the shoulders to round, leading to poor posture later in life
- Distort the natural curves of the spine, leading to muscle and joint strain, as well as stress the rib cage.
- Force the child to lean forward, losing balance and risking a fall. One study found that as much as 60 percent of children experience back pain from carrying backpacks.
Here are some backpack safety tips:
- Tell your child to avoid carrying the backpack on one shoulder. This can cause a muscle strain from the uneven weight. When children do this, the spine often leans to the opposite side, stressing the middle back, ribs, and lower back more on one side than the other. Excessive weight on one side also pulls the neck muscles and can cause headaches as well as neck and arm pain.
- As a rule of thumb, do not allow your child to carry a backpack that is more than 10 percent of his or her body weight.
- Don't allow the backpack to hang more than four inches below the waistline. This increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
- Choose backpacks with wide, padded straps that are adjustable. Make sure that backpack is snug (but not tight) against your child's back. The shifting weight of the backpack causes strain on the child's neck and back muscles.