F.A.Q Regarding Chiropractic Treatments

What Is Chiropractic?

 

According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health

What Are The Goals Of Chiropractic?

 

Because chiropractic treatments are primarily applied to the spinal region, many individuals incorrectly assume that chiropractors treat only back and neck ailments. While we do quickly and effectively eliminate back and neck pain, it’s not the only goal. The objective is to restore and optimize human health. In fact, according to a statement from The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “The purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health.

How Does Chiropractic Work?

 

You may be wondering… how can the same chiropractic treatment which effectively treats my back pain also optimize my health? The answer can be found by looking into the relationship between the spine and the nervous system.

As you may already know, the nervous system is the master controller of all living cells, tissues and organs; orchestrating and coordinating all cellular functions. The spinal column encases the nervous system (spinal cord and nerve roots) and is responsible for its protection.

Because of this intimate relationship, biomechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This irritation can result from noxious inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or may result from direct mechanical pressure. In either case, the functioning of the nervous system is negatively influenced as is the functioning of the cells, tissues and organs which are supplied by the affected nerve(s).

The resulting ailment(s) depends on the cells, tissues and organs affected as well as the extent of nervous system compromise.

In short, because the body’s innate recuperative powers are affected by and integrated through the nervous system, correcting spinal abnormalities which irritate the nervous system can lead to a number of favorable results in patients suffering from various, seemingly non-spinal health conditions.

What Do Chiropractors Do?

 

Practically speaking, chiropractors are primarily concerned with locating and treating vertebral subluxations.

A vertebral subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular (joint) changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.

Using a number of unique and highly refined skills, the chiropractor checks the patient’s spine for any misalignments, fixations or other abnormalities (vertebral subluxations). If subluxations or other abnormalities are detected, the chiropractor will generally apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area.

Chiropractors use many specialized techniques to identify and treat these spinal abnormalities and optimize overall health. In addition to spinal adjustive techniques, soft tissue techniques such as massage, dietary and nutritional counseling, physical therapies, and lifestyle modification programs are commonly employed.

How Does Chiropractic Differ From Other Treatment Types?

 

There is a significant and very important difference between the way chiropractors and medical doctors approach health ailments.

When evaluating and treating patients, chiropractors take a holistic approach which includes identifying and correcting the cause(s) of the patient’s health ailment. In contrast, the medical approach tends to focus more on the treating the symptoms of a condition rather than focusing primarily on the actual cause(s).

Chiropractors believe that correcting the cause of the problem provides significant long-term benefits over only treating the symptoms.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Chiropractic?

 

Short-term and regular chiropractic care have a number of benefits including:

  • spinal and extremity pain relief
  • headache relief
  • increased mobility and range of motion
  • decreased stiffness and muscular spasms
  • arthritic joint pain relief
  • increased joint health
  • increased performance and energy
  • increased sense of well being and relaxation
  • increased balance and coordination
  • reduced degeneration and risk of injury
  • enhanced tissue healing
  • decreased tissue inflammation

What Is The Philosophy Behind Chiropractic Treatment?

 

Chiropractic has a philosophy on healing and health which differs from the traditional medical view.

Chiropractors approach health in a holistic manner. In other words, chiropractors evaluate the entire person as a whole when assessing and treating a patient’s health ailment or disease, rather than focusing solely on a symptom or specific area of the body.

Chiropractors know that the body is able to maintain and heal itself in most cases. We also know that true health is not achieved through the ingestion of chemicals or the cutting away of diseased tissues. Instead, health is something that comes from within and is inherent to our body.

The chiropractic doctor understands that circumstances occur which may require medical intervention, but ultimately, it is the body that conducts and manages the process of healing and not the doctor or externally applied forces.

When the chiropractic doctor corrects spinal abnormalities and eliminates spinal and nerve irritation and interference, pain is alleviated and the body’s inborn healing capabilities are set into motion.

F.A.Q About A Chiropractors Education & Credentials

The education received by chiropractors is extremely thorough and demanding. Aspiring doctors of chiropractic receive extensive teachings in the structure and functioning of the human body, the disease processes, and how health is achieved and maintained. There is an emphasis placed on the management of spinal disorders and their role in the overall health and wellness of the individual..

Do Chiropractors Have Undergraduate Degrees?

 

Similar to the requirements of medical schools, prior to entering chiropractic college students must first complete 2-4 years of premed undergraduate studies – depending on the chiropractic college and state one wishes to practice in. During this time there is an emphasis on basic sciences including organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology.

What Type Of Advanced Degree Does A Chiropractor Have?

 

Upon successful completion of the undergraduate studies, those students who are accepted to a chiropractic college enter a 4-5 year academic program, which is similar in content to medical school. Course work includes an in-depth study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, biomechanics, spinal adjustive techniques, including a variety of other health-related areas.

The primary focus of the chiropractic education is to teach the student how to recognize and effectively treat a wide variety of soft tissue disorders in order to reduce pain and discomfort, allow for effective and proper healing, restore normal body biomechanics and improve overall health. In order to treat such conditions, students are taught a number of different techniques and methods including chiropractic spinal adjustive techniques. Through chiropractic spinal adjustments, the students are taught how they can positively influence the body through the nervous system using specific spinal adjustive techniques. An emphasis is also placed on other aspects of health including diet, exercise, nutrition and wellness. Moreover, students receive thorough training aimed at identifying those conditions which are beyond the chiropractor’s scope of practice and which require outside medical referral.

During the academic 4-5 year program, students must successfully complete a number of national board examinations which are required for licensure. In addition, students must spend several hundred hours of internship in which they treat patients suffering from true health ailments while under professional supervision. Some schools actually begin introducing and training students to the clinical setting in just their second year of studies. This ensures that the graduating doctors of chiropractic will have all the necessary education, skills and clinical experience to provide exceptionally safe and effective chiropractic health care. Many colleges have additionally employed externship programs in which student interns assist field doctors in their private practices prior to graduation.

What Type Of License Does A Chiropractor Hold?

 

Upon graduation and the passing of all national board exams, students undergo state board examination for the state which they wish to practice in. If successful, the new doctor of chiropractic will receive his or her license for the practice of chiropractic in that state.

How Does A Chiropractors Education Compare To That Of An MD?

 

You may be surprised to learn that chiropractic doctors receive more class and study time in many important subjects compared with their medical counterparts.

Subjects
Class Hours
Chiropractic Students
Class Hours
Medical Students
Anatomy
540
510
Chemistry
165
325
Diagnosis
630
325
Microbiology
120
115
Neurology
320
110
Obstetrics
60
150
Orthopedics
210
155
Pathology
360
400
Physiology
240
325
Psychiatry
60
145
Radiology
360
150
HOURS
3,065
2,710
Additionally Required Studies
Spinal Manipulation
Nutrition
Physiotherapy
Advanced Radiology
Pharmacology
Immunology
General Surgery
Total Hours
4,485
4,250

What Is The Philosophy Behind Chiropractic Treatment?

 

Chiropractic has a philosophy on healing and health which differs from the traditional medical view.

Chiropractors approach health in a holistic manner. In other words, chiropractors evaluate the entire person as a whole when assessing and treating a patient’s health ailment or disease, rather than focusing solely on a symptom or specific area of the body.

Chiropractors know that the body is able to maintain and heal itself in most cases. We also know that true health is not achieved through the ingestion of chemicals or the cutting away of diseased tissues. Instead, health is something that comes from within and is inherent to our body.

The chiropractic doctor understands that circumstances occur which may require medical intervention, but ultimately, it is the body that conducts and manages the process of healing and not the doctor or externally applied forces.

When the chiropractic doctor corrects spinal abnormalities and eliminates spinal and nerve irritation and interference, pain is alleviated and the body’s inborn healing capabilities are set into motion.

What Is The Philosophy Behind Chiropractic Treatment?

 

Chiropractic has a philosophy on healing and health which differs from the traditional medical view.

Chiropractors approach health in a holistic manner. In other words, chiropractors evaluate the entire person as a whole when assessing and treating a patient’s health ailment or disease, rather than focusing solely on a symptom or specific area of the body.

Chiropractors know that the body is able to maintain and heal itself in most cases. We also know that true health is not achieved through the ingestion of chemicals or the cutting away of diseased tissues. Instead, health is something that comes from within and is inherent to our body.

The chiropractic doctor understands that circumstances occur which may require medical intervention, but ultimately, it is the body that conducts and manages the process of healing and not the doctor or externally applied forces.

When the chiropractic doctor corrects spinal abnormalities and eliminates spinal and nerve irritation and interference, pain is alleviated and the body’s inborn healing capabilities are set into motion.

F.A.Q Regarding Adjustments

What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?

 

The adjustment is a safe, natural, noninvasive procedure used by the chiropractor to restore and improve health. Learning the art of adjusting is a skill that requires years of study and practice. Chiropractic doctors are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic adjustment. Spinal adjustments by any other individual or health care professional have been shown to be dangerous and less effective.

What Is A Spinal Adjustment?

 

In basic terms, the spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation refers to the process in which the doctor of chiropractic skillfully applies controlled force into one or more “subluxated” vertebrae of the spine. The adjustment is also frequently used in the pelvic region to normalize the sacroiliac joints. The adjustment is usually delivered using the hands or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool.

When Should Spinal Adjustments Be Given?

 

Spinal adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine which are no longer in their proper position or where functioning has become impaired. Vertebrae which lose their normal position or proper motion are commonly termed vertebral subluxations. The chiropractor uses a number of unique tests and procedures to determine which, if any, vertebrae are subluxated. If subluxations are found, immediate correction is generally indicated. Since like cavities subluxations are not always painful during the initial stages, even those who are not experiencing back or neck discomfort should receive periodic spinal checkups.

What Do Spinal Adjustments Do?

 

Adjusting helps correct vertebral subluxations. Correcting subluxations reduces pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and tension, normalizes spinal biomechanics and more importantly, can remove nerve irritation and interference which can improve overall health and wellness of the individual. Chiropractic adjustments are the only way to eliminate vertebral subluxations and only the chiropractor is trained to detect subluxations and deliver the chiropractic spinal adjustment to correct subluxations.

What Are Non-Spinal Adjustments?

 

In addition to adjusting the spine and pelvis, almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by the chiropractor. This includes the joints of the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips, ribs and the jaw. In fact, some chiropractors are even trained in techniques to adjust the joints (sutures) of the skull.

Like the joints of the spine, joints in the extremities can also become misaligned and fixated. Chiropractic adjustive techniques can restore and enhance extremity joint functioning which can increase the life of the joint and keep wear and tear to a minimum. This is of special interest to athletes who generally demand optimal joint performance from highly stressed joints. Adjusting provides an immediate increase in joint range of motion and also supplies the joint with nutrients, as motion is the only way to bring nutrients into the joint cartilage and flush wastes products out.

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