Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches, just to name a few.
Doctors of Chiropractic practice use a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
The most common procedure performed is a “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” This procedure can be manual as well as nonforce adjusting. The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility, and stimulate the Nervous System, by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, stimulates the Nervous System, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, improving communication to the Nervous System, and allowing tissues to heal.