Different Theories on How it Works
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 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 that influences every living tissue in your body.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patients condition and choose an appropriate course of treatment. The most well known form of treatment is the spinal manipulation or adjustment.
Chiropractic adjustments to the spine improve mobility and correct alignment. An adjustment is a direct force on the spine executed by the hand. Spinal manipulation restores joint mobility by manually applying a gentle, controlled level of force into restricted joints. Manipulation combined with soft tissue adjustment in and around an affected joint, restores mobility alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal. 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.
In many cases, as in acute or chronic neck and back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care complements and supports other methods of alternative and standard medical treatment.
Clinical research further suggests that chiropractic may be clinically effective to not only treat back pain but also 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.