Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or 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. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.

-Association of Chiropractic Colleges 1996

Chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings dated back to 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. from China and Greece mention spinal adjustments to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of what is now known as chiropractic care. He once wrote, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”. Many indigenous cultures have also been said to use the art of “bone setting” to help restore movement, replace bones to their natural alignment and were even said to cure certain ailments by doing this.

In 1895, Daniel David “DD” Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa. He was well read in medical journals and had great knowledge of anatomy and physiology. In 1897, DD Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, the first chiropractic school.

DD_Palmer

The Science: Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that the nervous system (your brain and spinal cord) controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. Our body is much like the Internet: our brain is the computer, our spinal cord is the information highway, unfortunately our body has not yet evolved to be wireless and needs the spinal nerves to link the brain to the body. Our spinal vertebrae protect the spinal cord, and the nerves are the links to our organs (such as heart, lungs, intestines, reproductive organs, hormonal glands and even the immune system).

The disruption of the function of the tissues of the spine, spinal column, spinal cord and spinal nerves and thus nerve control is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Chiropractic is the science of finding these areas of subluxation and correcting them.

The Art: The adjustment and the way it is performed (chiropractic has over 200 techniques which is why you can have very different experiences with each chiropractor) is the “art” of chiropractic. This includes a comprehensive evaluation, a complete review of health history, diagnosis and a recommended specific treatment plan customized to your needs. This includes specific spinal adjustments. An adjustment is described as a directed and controlled pressure to restore spinal segments to a more normal position and range of motion, aiding in increased flexibility, increased immunological function and increased life energy.

The Philosophy: Chiropractic philosophy recognizes that the power that created our magnificent body can also heal our body – as long as there is no interference to this healing process. Our doctors do not heal you, they are the catalyst that can help create the correct environment for the body to heal itself. The main purpose of the chiropractor is to reduce interference to your inborn, innate healing ability by removing the interference in the brain body communication at the level of the spine.

The philosophy is both vitalistic and holistic. Holistic means we view the body as a whole, not individual parts or even the sum of its parts. The systems of the body are complex, interactive and have a powerful ability to self-correct provided functional integrity is maintained. Vitalism is the understanding and principle that all living systems are self-organizing, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing. We have a specific intelligence that guides our development, interactions with the environment, and responses to daily challenges. In chiropractic we refer to this intelligence as innate intelligence. This intelligence uses the brain and nerve system to control and maintain the body in health. Interference to the nerve system can lead to changes in health which can result in disease or loss of function. But more than that, this interference can affect performance on multiple levels, some easily observed while others are more subtle.

Chiropractic is not a cure or treatment for any disease or condition in the medical sense. When the functional integrity of the nervous system is restored the body can then resume its job of adapting to its environment and regenerating itself. Although chiropractic has a comprehensive effect on the health of the body, the following is a list of specific disorders that have shown improvement with correction of vertebral subluxation and more specifically of the upper cervical vertebral subluxation.

Musculoskeletal Complaints

● Neck pain/dysfunction 1-9

● Cervical herniated disc 10-13

● Cervical curve distortion 14-18

● Cervicobrachialgia 19-22

● Motor vehicle trauma 23-25

● Scalenus anticus syndrome 26

● Torticollis 27-35

● Headaches 2,8,36-44

● Low back pain 3,45-55

● Postural distortion 41,44,55-59

● Scoliosis 60,61

● Knee pain 62

Whole Body Health Complaints

Peer reviewed studies, case reports, and research presentations have documented direct or indirect improvement from upper cervical care of various health related issues such as:

● Ageusia 63

● Anosmia 63

● Arnold-Chiari malformation 11,64

● Asthma 41,65-68

● Athletic performance 69

● Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 18,23,41,70

● Autism 71-73

● Bell’s palsy 74

● Bone density 75

● Bowel dysfunction 76-78

● Cerebral palsy 79

● Chronic fatigue syndrome 80,81

● Clonus 82

● Cystic hygroma 83

● Diabetes type II84

● Febrility 85

● Health enhancement 86-90

● Hearing loss 91

● Hepatocellular carcinoma 92

● HIV 93,94

● Hypertension 95-98

● Infantile colic 99,100

● Meniere’s disease 101,102

● Mental disorders 41,43,103-105

● Multiple sclerosis 106-109

● Nocturnal enuresis 110

● Otalgia/otitis media 7,111

● Parkinson’s disease 108,112

● Pulmonary function 113

● Reflex sympathetic dystrophy 114

● Scheuermann’s disease 54

● Seizure disorders 43,110,115-118

● Sleep disorders 8,41,43

● Stomach problems 119,120

● Tinnitus/vertigo 91,121,122

● Tourette’s syndrome 41,123

● Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) 124-32

● Visual acuity 133

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140. Kessinger R, Boneva D. Changes in visual acuity in patients receiving upper cervical specific chiropractic care. J Vertebral

Subluxation Res, 1998; 2(1):43-9.

Information taken from the Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology website.

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