Chiropractic therapy is holistic health care that concentrates mainly on the musculoskeletal structure of the body and how it relates to body function and the central nervous system. A chiropractor manipulates the musculoskeletal structure, especially the spine, to alleviate pain and help the body heal. Medical professionals who practice chiropractic therapy adhere to the belief that poorly aligned vertebrae cause blockages along the nerve bundles within the spinal column. These poorly aligned vertebrae are called subluxations. These subluxations are considered a mechanical disorder of the spine, even if they cause no pain to the body.
When a body experiences a mechanical disorder, the disorder interferes with messages nerves send to the brain. This causes the nerves to function improperly. Most of the body depends on the central nervous system in order to work smoothly, so when the spine is plagued with subluxations, the theory is that a person's overall health deteriorates.
Chiropractic therapy can improve the function of nerves within the body and contribute to better health. Patients seek this particular type of treatment when they have back and neck pain or migraine headaches. Chiropractic therapy may also help people who suffer from recurring colds or joint pain within the jaw, shoulders, and knees.
Asthma sufferers or women with PMS may also benefit from chiropractic therapy. Accidents, stress, tension, and other factors may cause displacement to the spinal column. When a patient experiences any of these problems, she may wish to consider chiropractic therapy.
When a patient visits the chiropractor for the first time, she is evaluated. The chiropractor asks her questions about her medical history, lifestyle, and whether or not she exercises regularly. Next, the chiropractor will conduct a physical exam on the patient. After the patient receives a diagnosis, treatment begins.
The patient lies face down on a bed-like table as the chiropractor uses his hands or a special tool to manipulate the spine. The chiropractor uses precise, gentle thrusts against the lower back and body. During this process, the patient may hear cracking or popping sounds. In addition to spine manipulation, chiropractors may opt to use other therapies involving water, heat, massage, ultrasound, or electrical methods in order to help the patient.
Chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgeries on patients. This is due to their belief that the body has the power to heal itself without the interference of outside factors. Despite this belief, they will often encourage patients to embark on an exercise routine or make changes in the diet in order to achieve a healthier body.