What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, and how these disorders can have an effect on one’s general health. Chiropractic care is used to treat a variety of conditions, most notably neck and back pain, headaches, arm and leg joints, spinal injuries, and postural complaints.
Doctors of Chiropractic, or chiropractors, utilises a non-invasive, drug-free, and hands-on approach to health care that promotes healing. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as provide nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counselling.
The most common treatment method a chiropractor employs, is known as “spinal manipulation” or “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement as a result of tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.