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What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel D. Palmer as an alternative health care discipline to medical practice. The word “chiropractic” is derived from Greek, meaning “done by hand.”

Chiropractic’s central interest is the relationship between impaired position/movement of spinal vertebrae and the nerve system, and the effect of this on health

The basis of Chiropractic care is premised on the idea of treating the whole body free of drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care is a natural and conservative approach to health care that utilizes a “hands on” active approach. The principle treatment is adjustment/ manipulation of the spine and supportive soft-tissue techniques. There is also a focus on lifestyle counseling, prevention, and patient responsibility for health (for example, in the areas of posture, diet, exercise, stress-reduction, etc.).

Chiropractic care aims to provide normal movement and position of all bones/joints and the appropriate tone and texture of all the connective tissues in the body. This will directly and positively affect well-being of the patient.

What types of chiropractic care exist?

Chiropractic Care- Relief

This is to help immediate relief needed for acute pain and discomfort when a patient is in a lot of pain. The frequency of visits are determined by the amount of damage that needs to be corrected.

Corrective Chiropractic Care

This care typically is required for spinal problems that have occurred over a long period of time without proper treatment. This type of care requires long term treatment.

Chiropractic Care – Maintenance

While the Maintenance Chiropractic Care as the name itself suggests is the line of treatment of their spine which has already been cured by chiropractic treatment. However, once the spine has been injured it becomes weak and therefore regular visits, to the chiropractor are required, say once in 2 to 6 weeks depending on the problem.

The Science Behind Chiropractic

Chiropractic today is the third largest primary health care profession in the western world next to medicine and dentistry.  In Oregon alone there are over 1,800 Chiropractic Physicians.

Chiropractors have always sought to provide the safest and most effective healing methods for their patients. In order to achieve this, the chiropractic profession has been dedicated to conducting scientific studies to improve their diagnostic methods and treatment techniques. In the last 30 years chiropractic health care has established an impressive array of scientific research that demonstrates the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. There are many further studies currently underway, and several have been performed by medical doctors and government researchers in both the U.S. and a number of other countries.

In fact, the chiropractic profession has accumulated a greater number of scientific trials on chiropractic than the medical profession has accumulated for many of the treatments rendered by medical doctors.

And the studies have shown many benefits that patients receive from Chiropractic care. Patients reported Chiropractic care is effective for: pain relief, restored freedom of movement, correction of the underlying problem, return to work and recreational activities, enhanced athletic performance, prevention of spinal decay, and improved overall health.

Treating the Whole Body

Chiropractic physicians believe in treating the whole body, not just specific symptoms. Chiropractic physicians believe their ears are one of the most important tools as a health care provider.

Chiropractic physicians believe that the human body is the most powerful medical tool of all.  By listening to the body and the patient, Chiropractic care addresses the overall health of the patient.

Chiropractic care is safe and natural way of healing the body with a belief in the fact that the body has its own restorative capabilities to heal and can draw on these capabilities whenever in need. It helps patients to avoid chronic pain and can prevent physical problems before they start or get worse.

Chiropractic care involves the whole health of the body. Treatments involve using the internal healing systems in the body to relieve the spinal problems that can interfere with the nerves and cells. Therefore, receiving chiropractic treatments is a way of ensuring that every part of body is functioning as it should.

Chiropractic care is the most recommended form of alternative medicine. It is based on the belief that certain conditions are caused by impairment of your nervous system due to problems in your joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. While chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery, they sometimes do refer patients for medical care when they believe it is necessary.

Myths and Reality

Myth: Chiropractors are not real doctors

Reality: The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people.

Chiropractic education consists of a bachelors of Science with a minimum of two years of university study in pre-med sciences, followed by four years of full time chiropractic school. Chiropractic colleges are recognized and accredited by the U.S. Council on Chiropractic Education (C.C.E.). The curriculum is similar to that of medical school, except in chiropractic the emphasis is placed on the structural and functional analysis of the spine/extremities and corrective adjusting techniques, while in medicine the emphasis is placed on the analysis of body chemistry and pharmaceutical interventions. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice.

Myth:  Chiropractors only treat back problems

Reality: Chiropractors focus on the spinal health as a way of improving and maintaining good health well beyond back pain or problems.    Chiropractic Care has been known to treat a number of conditions including:

•    Asthma
•    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
•    Back Pain
•    Headache
•    Heel Pain
•    Infantile Colic
•    Knee Pain
•    Otitis Media
•    Scheuermann’s Disease
•    Scoliosis
•    Spondylolisthesis

Myth: Chiropractors crack your bones

Reality:Only some chiropractic techniques involve an adjustment, or manipulation, of the spine or extremity joints.  A chiropractic adjustment is the focused mobilization of a target joint in the body which affects the joint’s position and movement. The audible sound sometimes heard during the procedure is created by the opening of the joint space. A chiropractic adjustment does not affect the bones on either side of a joint, it affects the connective tissue that holds the joint together. Sometimes there is no better way to mobilize the deep connective tissue within a joint structure other than to make an adjustment.

Myth: Once you start you have to keep going forever

Reality:If you are being treated for a specific problem, the treatment plan should end when the problem is resolved. If your problem is chronic or recurrent, or you wish to avoid future problems, you may benefit from periodic care to stay ahead of accumulative strain and acute flare-ups. Dental care is often used in this way. Bottom line is it’s your choice.