Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and their hypothesized effects on the nervous system and general health, with special emphasis on the spine.
Chiropractic treatment emphasizes manual therapy including spinal manipulation and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation, and includes exercises and health and lifestyle counseling. Traditionally, it assumes that a vertebral subluxation or spinal joint dysfunction can interfere with the body's function and its innate ability to heal itself.
D. D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. It has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence, spinal adjustments, and subluxation as the leading cause of all disease; "mixers" are more open to mainstream and alternative medical techniques such as exercise, massage, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture.
Chiropractic is well established in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Vaccination remains controversial among chiropractors. In recent decades chiropractic has gained more legitimacy and greater acceptance among physicians and health plans and has had a strong political base and sustained demand for services, and evidence-based medicine has been used to review research studies and generate practice guidelines. Although spinal manipulation can have serious complications in rare cases, chiropractic care is generally safe when employed skillfully and appropriately.
Chiropractic is defined as a therapeutic system based upon the interactions of the spine and nervous system. It is within the premise that disease is caused by the interference with the nerve function and the method being used to restore normal condition by manipulating the sections of the spinal column.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on the spine as the main method of relieving pain and tension in the body. The spine consists of nerve branches and vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. Because of the everyday activities being performed, the vertebrae shift and move. With this, they can ‘misalign’ and interfere with the nerve messages travelling among them. It is thought that this interference causes problems and mostly pain, throughout the body.
Chiropractic claims that analysis and correction of vertebral subluxation will restore health without the use of drugs or surgery. Chiropractors also say that regular spinal adjustments are essential to maintain normal and good health. Analysis in chiropractic care may include the use of X-ray and other analytical instruments normally used in the practice of chiropractic.
At present, several researches have shown that chiropractic adjustments can be an effective treatment for neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions (such as carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, and sciatic pain). It is also suggested that there are wide variety of systemic conditions (i.e hypertension, diabetes, asthma) that could also be helped with chiropractic treatment.