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
Abstinence from the kind of activity that caused you pain in the first place is a necessary first step in treating pain symptoms. But in some cases of mild pain, it pays to return to normal physical activity when you can without enduring severe pain. The reason is simple: strained muscles, while painful, can restore themselves quicker when they are conditioned.
It has been shown that in general, physically fit people tend to heal faster from mild sprains and other kinds of musculoskeletal injuries. This is especially true when it comes to avoiding back injury. A strong and healthy back is much better equipped to handle the stresses and strains of modern life.
A good form of exercise helps your body stay flexible and strengthens the muscles of your low back, abdomen, pelvis, and thighs.
In addition, mild forms of aerobic and strength exercises may help you on the road to recovery, once you can safely get back on your feet. If exercise is too painful, try a brisk walk or swim.
Forms of aerobic exercise such as swimming, fast walking, or cycling (including stationary) are recommended because they work your body's large muscle groups. Of course, any form of aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate for at least 30minutes, three times a week, is beneficial. Caution: Do not undertake any form of physical exercise if you are feeling pain unless your doctor advises.
Avoid exercises such as weight lifting or climbing as a remedy for pain or a form of rehabilitation after an injury. These kinds of activities generally do more harm than good to a strained muscle.
Robin McKenzie, a New Zealand physical therapist, endorsed the repeated flexing or extension of the lower back as a way to treat a wide variety of back, or more specifically, spine, problems. McKenzie based his notion on the fact that a healthy spine was one that stayed mobile and flexible. Many health care professionals involved in spine health believe the "McKenzie Method," as it has come to be known, can be an effective self-treatment plan for lower back pain.
Another form of therapy is called Pilates, an exercise program named after Joseph Pilates, who developed the resistance-training regimen in the early-20th century to rehabilitate soldiers injured during the World War I. He incorporated springs into machines that later became the foundation of the famous Pilates equipment used today.
Pilates centers on rehabilitating and strengthening key muscles involved in posture. At the heart of the Pilates program is the belief that keeping the spine in its natural, or neutral, position can help mitigate and even prevent back pain.