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
Walking is one of the most elegant, simple, and affordable means of providing your body with a host of fitness benefits. Because it calls into play so many different muscles groups as well as kinds of exercise, it's one of the best things you can do to help ensure good spinal health, an efficient metabolism, and strong immunity.
Surprisingly, walking burns about as many calories as running or jogging, yet carries less risk of cardiac overexertion or risk of injuries, such as shin splints. A brisk 15-minute walking mile can do wonders for you.
Simple tips on walking
- Allow your arms to move naturally; don't keep them rigid. The key is to relax while you are walking.
- Avoid carrying weight equipment, such as small dumbbells.
- Be mindful of the kind of surface on which you walk. The most ideal kind of surface is cushioned or rubberized, although it is hard to find anywhere except an indoor track or fitness facility. Grass is another semi-ideal surface because it "gives" to your weight. Concrete, tile, stone or linoleum floors are among the worst kinds of surfaces on which to walk.
- Experts generally agree that you should start out walking about 20 minutes several days a week, gradually increasing that to 30, 40, 50 minutes, and so on.
- In colder months, layer your clothing. This will allow your body to trap heat that it needs and shed heat that it doesn't need.
- Invest in a good quality pair of walking or running shoes that give you plenty of support in the heel, ball, and arch. Uppers should be composed of breathable materials, such as nylon or leather. Keep your head and chin up at all times. This not only ensures a neutral spine, but also keeps you alert to dangers, such as cars or other hazards.
- Walk briskly.