Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself. A doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) focuses especially on the fact that the structure of the body, particularly the spine, has a powerful effect on the nervous system and therefore on virtually every aspect of health. By restoring balance and normal function to the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system (joints and muscles throughout the body), chiropractic treatment helps to relieve pain, speed healing of injuries, diminish stress, and facilitate optimum body function.
The unique chiropractic treatment is called an “adjustment” (also called “chiropractic manipulative therapy”) in which the chiropractor uses his or her hands to release the restrictions in spinal joints that are very common sources of nerve irritation. Adjustments can also be applied to any other joint in the body that may be restricted in its normal motion due to injury or postural stress. Chiropractic doctors also use postural advice (like how to sit at your computer, how to sleep properly and how to breath properly), nutritional guidance (which may include specific dietary advice and/or nutritional supplements), exercise (including designing specific exercise programs to recover from injury, to prevent future injury, and to improve posture), and/or physical therapy to speed healing and promote optimum health in each patient.
What can Chiropractic help?
A growing body of scientific research has documented the effectiveness of chiropractic care in relieving and healing back pain, neck pain, and both tension and migraine headaches. Chiropractic often is helpful in other neuromusculoskeletal problems such as sciatica, knee and foot problems, sprained ankles, tennis elbow, rotator cuff and other shoulder problems, pinched nerves causing arm or leg pains or numbness, and carpal tunnel.
Because of the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system, many other symptoms, including, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, asthma, recurrent ear infections in children, infantile colic, and many more often respond well to chiropractic care, and research in these areas is continuing. One recent study found that, when a patient sees a chiropractic doctor for a specific musculoskeletal problem, there is one chance in three that they will experience some unexpected benefit, such as improved energy or digestion or relief from asthma or allergies. Many patients also visit their chiropractor for wellness care, and find that periodic preventative checkups and adjustments release the stress that accumulates in the body and spine from daily wear and tear before it causes major problems.