finder

Chiropractic

What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
Side Effects/Cautions
Recommended Books


What Is It?
Chiropractic is a therapy involving the manipulation of the spine and other joints to relieve health problems associated with the spinal column and nervous system. Chiropractors use their hands to make "adjustments" to specific vertebrae of the spine or other joints, which stretch muscles, unlock joints and correct problems in other parts of the body that have originated from the spine. This manipulation can relieve pain, help correct postural problems, and can improve the functioning of nerves, joints, and muscles.

The practice of spinal manipulation originated more than 2000 years ago, but it has only developed into a major system of healing in the last 100 years. The founder of modern chiropractic was Canadian-born Daniel David Palmer, who opened the first chiropractic school in Iowa in 1898, after proving to himself and others that manipulation of misaligned bones within the spine could correct a variety of ailments.

How Does It Work?
The spinal cord is a major part of the nervous system, being the central line of communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It is protected by the spinal column, which consists of individual vertebrae separated by cushioning discs. Stress to the spinal column, caused by an accident, years of poor posture, or long-term tension, can cause damage or misalignment of vertebrae which then “pinch” surrounding nerves. The term for this condition is “subluxation”, and it causes interference with nerve impulses between the brain and the body. This can result in symptoms such as backache, tingling in the arms and legs, headaches, fatigue, improper digestion and other system dysfunction.

Chiropractic aims to locate subluxations, and through gentle manipulations and adjustments of the vertebrae and surrounding muscle, tendons and ligaments, can restore the normal functioning of the nervous system and the rest of the body.

top

What Happens During Treatment?
During your first visit your practitioner will take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Your blood pressure, pulse and respiration will be measured and a blood sample may be taken to rule out infections. The practitioner will closely examine the spine, study your posture and search for any damaged or misaligned joints. X-rays may be taken to locate these damaged areas.

For treatment, you may be asked to lie on a padded table or sit on a stool or chair. The chiropractor applies pressure to the spine, making specific adjustments to the vertebrae with the hands. You may feel tingling sensations or hear popping sounds as the adjustments are made, but the treatment is not normally painful and some find it relaxing.

Some chiropractors (known as "straight" chiropractors) use only spinal manipulations to treat problems. Others (known as "mixers") supplement spinal adjustments with other therapies such as nutritional counselling, physiotherapy, massage, heat or ice treatments and rehabilitative exercises.

Your initial visit will last about an hour, with further treatments lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. A course of treatment usually involves three to five sessions each week for two weeks.

top

What Is It Used For?
Chiropractic is considered particularly useful for relieving acute lower back pain, and is often used before surgery is considered. It is also used to treat neck and joint pain, headaches, migraines, hip and knee problems and arthritis.

Side Effects/Cautions
Chiropractic should be avoided by people who have osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone or joint infections, bone cancer and diseases of the spinal chord or bone marrow. It should not be performed on the area around a fracture or dislocation, or where surgery has been performed on the spine.

References

Find a Chiropractor

top

 

Recommended Books

Prices are in US Dollars

 

The Chiropractic Way : How Chiropractic Care Can Stop Your Pain and Help You Regain Your Health Without Drugs or Surgery
Michael Lenarz

Chiropractic has become America’s most popular form of alternative health care, offering lasting relief from pain--and many other health benefits--to more than 25 million patients annually. Yet many people still wonder exactly how chiropractic heals, and even experienced patients may be able to get more from their treatments. In this accessible and fascinating book, Dr. Michael Lenarz illuminates the basic principles of spinal health, showing how the body naturally lets go of stored pain and disease once the flow of vital energy has been restored. He also explains:
• Why adjustments keep the communication flowing clearly, quickly, and cleanly
• Why the billion-plus nerve pathways carried by the spine can be the key to a wide range of health problems--from arthritis, headaches, and back and neck pain to chronic fatigue and digestive ailments
• Why many of the health complaints we associate with aging may in fact be the result of old injuries and therefore treatable
• The different techniques of chiropractic, and how to choose the best chiropractor for you.
PLUS--complete chapters on the diet, exercise, and stress-relief programs that will help you achieve a healthy, vibrant, energized, and pain-free lifestyle--the chiropractic way.

 Learn more...

 

 

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition
Clair Davies

Trigger point therapy is one of the most intriguing and fastest-growing bodywork styles in the world. Medical doctors, chiropractors, and alternative health practitioners are all beginning to use this technique to relieve the pain of individuals suffering from undiagnosable soft tissue pain - a condition that studies have shown to be the cause of nearly 25 percent of all doctor visits.
The technique involves applying short, repeated massage strokes to trigger points, places in the muscle tissue where lack of oxygen causes referred pain. These points are easily located by general readers and create pain throughout the body in predictable patterns characteristic to each muscle, producing discomfort ranging from mild to severe. The stimulation of the point causes an increase in the oxygen level in the area and produces often instant relief. The first edition of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook has made a huge impact in the use of this dynamic technique. This is the first major revision of the overnight classic - a complete update that includes new information specifically for massage professionals as well as a detailed discussion of systematic muscle relaxation techniques that can reinforce the therapeutic power of trigger point work.

 Learn more...

 

 

Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner's Manual
Craig Liebenson

Practical how-to manual for chiropractors integrates fields of chiropractic, myofascial therapy, and exercise into a cost-effective approach for treating spinal disorders. Thoroughly covers functional assessment, manual resistance techniques, stabilization exercises, and patient education. Identifies and discusses psychosocial factors that might predispose patients to a disability, chronic pain, and treatment dependency. Contributors are practitioners from various disciplines.

Learn more...  

 

 More Chiropractic Books

top

<< Natural Therapies Index