Different Theories on How it Works
Chiropractors understand that there is a relationship between the structure and function of the body. Seemingly unrelated conditions may be related to subluxations of the spine. This is because when the spine is at all impaired in movement or when the nerves are irritated, their correlating body parts will function suboptimally until the subluxation is repaired. Chiropractic may not be appropriate for all diseases or physical conditions. The chiropractor evaluates a patient to see if there is indeed a clinical basis for treatment; there must be evidence of an adjustive impairment in order for therapy to be prescribed.
Adjustive impairment is evaluated based on the PARTS model: Pain; Asymmetry; Range-of Motion abnormality; Tissue tone, texture and temperature abnormality; and Special tests, a method used to identify and treat subluxations.
Chiropractic adjustments to the spine improve mobility and correct alignment. An adjustment is a direct force on the spine executed by the hand. The practitioner uses a series of hand manipulations to adjust the spine properly, such as palpation, active motion where the patient moves their body, and passive movement (mobilization) where the chiropractor moves the patients body.
Conditions it Works Best For
Chiropractic is the most frequently used alternative health care in the United States. Government clinical guidelines confirm that chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment for acute low back pain.
Clinical research further suggests that chiropractic may also be clinically effective to treat back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, migraine, neck pain and premenstrual syndrome. Current federally funded research projects are being conducted on the use of chiropractic for low back pain and for the management of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, particularly in children and the physically disabled. Other research in progress includes chiropractic for asthma, low back pain and neck pain.