What is Chiropractic care?
Chiropractic focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, with special emphasis on the spine, under the hypothesis that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system.
Chiropractic is a complementary and alternative medicine which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment.
It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which chiropractic practitioners address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself. All chiropractors use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Chiropractic practitioners use the same time-honoured methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
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 centre of your hips. Thirty-one 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 which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Chiropractic practitioners do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation practices.
ANTA's Scope and Standards of Practice
To view ANTA's commitment to the delivery of quality health care, public safety and promoting informed choices in Chiropractic Medicine read our Scope and Standards of Practice.
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The Natural Therapist
Issue: 29 No. 1 | Mar 2014
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