What is Chiropractic?
Simply put, chiropractic emphasizes care of the human frame. Chiropractors contend that the human frame, particularly the spinal column must be symmetrical, flexible, and properly aligned in order for the body to function at an optimum level. Keeping a properly aligned, flexible spine helps improve posture and mobility, which are important to health.
Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make chiropractic professionals unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term “adjustment” refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally. The vertebrae are like building blocks in that each one is stacked on one another. In viewing the spine from behind, these blocks should be aligned one on top of the other. The strongest the spine will be in this view will be straight up and down. Scoliosis (crooked spine) wrecks havoc on the spine due to the weakness it possesses by not being straight.The objective of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and improved function. Breathing, strength, muscle group coordination, and energy expenditure are directly influenced by spinal alignment. If you have a rotated spine, high hip, or high shoulder, you will need to expend more energy doing everyday, simple tasks like walking and lifting. As a result, you'll feel fatigued and will be prone to developing back pain. It is therefore no surprise that elite athletes whose jobs require peak efficiency body mechanics depend on chiropractic to help them get an edge over the competition.
Also, a poorly aligned spine is more susceptible to degenerative changes and injury due to uneven body weight distribution, which can erode discs and joints over time. In addition, abnormal spinal alignment and abnormal individual vertebral motion can degrade the function of tiny nerves called proprioceptors, which are responsible for back muscle coordination and reflexes. Research shows this to be a cause of lower back pain and degenerative joint disease.
The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas in the spinal joints that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes surprises people the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the person tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible “cracking” does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or the person having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. Some adjusting techniques are designed to move the spine in a way that does not produce the audible sound at all. Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.
Ultimately, the goal of receiving adjustments should be to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, we use and recommend a variety of natural healing methods to compliment the adjustment such as, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, supplements and counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. The primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s natural normal healing ability.
History of Chiropractic
Chiropractic was developed in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer restored the hearing of Harvey Lillard by manually adjusting his neck and something told him that he was on to something good. Two years later, in 1897, Dr. Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, which continues to train doctors of chiropractic to this day. Throughout the twentieth century, the profession of chiropractic has gained considerable recognition and scientific support. Research studies that have clearly demonstrated the value of chiropractic care in reducing health care costs, improving recovery rates and increasing patient satisfaction. In fact, one very large study conducted in Canada, the 1993 Manga Study, concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in work disability payments and direct health care costs. Several major studies conducted by the U.S. Government, the Rand Corporation and others, have all demonstrated the incredible value of chiropractic care.
Today, chiropractic is recognized as a mainstream healthcare discipline and is covered by many health insurance plans. In California, chiropractic is regulated by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Chiropractors, whose professional degree is "D.C" -Doctor of Chiropractic- are required to complete four academic years of training at an accredited chiropractic school, pass a national board exam, and take 12 hours of continuing education each year to keep their licenses current.