“A new scientific truth is not usually presented in a way to convince its opponents. Rather, they die off, and a rising generation is familiarized with the truth from the start.” —Max Plank
WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
According to the Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles a chiropractor is one who: “Diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal conditions of the spinal column and extremities to prevent disease and correct abnormalities of the body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system: Examines patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. Performs diagnostic procedures including physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations, laboratory tests, and other procedures, using x-ray machine, proctoscope, electrocardiograph, otoscope, and other instruments and equipment. Manipulates spinal column and other extremities to adjust, align, or correct abnormalities caused by neurologic and kinetic articular dysfunction. Utilizes supplementary measures, such as exercise, rest, water, light, heat, and nutritional therapy.
Chiropractors are the second largest group of America’s licensed primary care physicians, along with medicine and osteopathy. When people think of chiropractic they might think that chiropractors specialize in the biomechanical causes of disease and illness. However, chiropractors are trained to diagnose and recognize when the body’s inherent recuperative powers are compromised and a medical referral for more invasive intervention may be necessary.
HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC WORK?
The nervous system directs and coordinates all of the bodily functions: breathing, digestion, excretion, muscle contraction, and organ function. When the nerves that exit the spine are irritated, the impulses, which travel across these nerves from the brain out to the cells of the body, will be negatively affected. Normal communication within the body can be disrupted, resulting in pain, disease or illness.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct the vertebral misalignments that irritate the nerves. These misalignments are more frequently called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, which involves bone, muscle, nerves, ligaments, and other soft tissues.
The vertebral subluxation complex is often overlooked, but can be a serious threat to health. In natural medicine the focus of chiropractic, is to attain and maintain function rather than the treatment of disease. By removing these interferences the body can be free to heal itself.
HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC EDUCATION COMPARE TO MEDICAL EDUCATION?
Some people consider chiropractic education inferior to medical education. Actually, the two educational programs are very similar. Both require at least two years of college prior to admission to their respective graduate programs. Prerequisites are similar, requiring courses in biology, general and organic chemistry as well as general physics.
Basic sciences comprise 25 – 40% of total contact (class) hours. Chiropractic contact hours average 4,822 hours and medical schools average 4,667 hours. Both courses of study require similar hours in biochemistry, microbiology, and pathology. Chiropractic education requires substantially more hours in physiology and anatomy.
So, the notion that chiropractors are not highly qualified and trained doctors is unfounded.
WHAT KIND OF HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN CHIROPRACTORS HELP?
Chiropractors are most often consulted for musculoskeletal conditions such as headaches, neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle or foot pain as well as for neurological symptoms including tingling and numbness. These symptoms respond very well to chiropractic, in fact, generally more successfully than any other form of treatment. Studies published in scientific and medical journals around the world have proven this, as have studies funded by American, Canadian, British, Italian and New Zealand government agencies, to name a few.
Chiropractic is not for the treatment of disease but rather for the correction of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Even so, people who have some of the following diseases consult chiropractors: Allergies, asthma blood pressure problems, constipation, diarrhea, disk problems, indigestion, neuralgia, shingles, stomach problems and whiplash. These are but a few of the health problems that may respond to appropriate chiropractic care.
The Vertebral Subluxation Complex is a major health interference.
How much treatment is usually required?
Is chiropractic safe for children and pregnant women?