What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the science which is concerned with the relationship between structure, primarily the spine, and function, primarily the nervous system, of the human body as that relationship may affect the restoration and preservation of health.




Educational background of a Chiropractor

A minimum of six years of education to become a Doctor of Chiropractic is required by law in all states and most places around the world where chiropractic is practiced.

The Doctor of Chiropractic first spends at least two years in pre-chiropractic studies at a college or university. Then he attends a college of chiropractic for four more years. Besides the rigorous classroom studies during his last two years, he must serve as an extern at an outpatient clinic where he experiences results from thousands of chiropractic treatments with hundreds of patients. At the satisfactory completion of these six or more years of education and extern training, the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is conferred.

The Doctor of Chiropractic studies all the basic sciences and must pass the State Board of Examiners' basic sciences examination. This is the same basic sciences examination other doctors, including MDs, are required to pass. In addition, a Doctor of Chiropractic must then pass the rigid State Board of Chiropractic examination. The Doctor of Chiropractic receives a license to practice only after all studies and training requirements have been scrupulously met, and the state's examinations have been passed.

How can the Spine be a Cause of Illness?

The spine is made up of 24 individual movable bones called vertebrae which sit on top of the sacrum. This spinal structure is the major support for the body and encases the entire spinal cord. Billions of nerves form this spinal cord, and then branch off to form the spinal nerves that extend through the small openings between these vertebrae, carrying vital, life-controlling nerve impulses from the brain to every part of the body. These nerve impulses or messages from the brain coordinate and control all the body's organs and parts (GRAY'S ANATOMY).

A misalignment of one or more of these vertebrae can irritate or cause pressure or pinching on spinal nerves and result in a serious health-robbing, damaging interference (irritation or blockage) to normal nerve control of your body. Since the brain controls all parts of your body through the nervous system, this nerve interference can cause pain and many specific health problems. It can also lower your body's resistance so that you become even more susceptible to contagious and infectious illness and disease.

Do Chiropractors ever use Drugs in Patient Care?

No drugs or medications are ever used, or prescribed, in chiropractic care. Chiropractic recognizes the possible benefits from drugs with contagious or infectious diseases, but most drugs only temporarily block pain which merely masks or distorts symptoms.

Covering up symptoms, in turn, is misleading and may keep you from getting the proper treatments needed to correct the underlying cause of your pain. Turning off a fire alarm doesn't put out the fire! Chiropractic searches for, finds, and corrects causes. Your Doctor of Chiropractic understands that only nature heals and will use only natural means to restore health.

What should I expect from my First Visit?

There are usually two phases to a chiropractic examination. First, a detailed case history will be taken during the first visit. Then a preliminary examination will be conducted by your doctor. The results of these indicate to your doctor whether or not your condition is likely to respond to chiropractic care. Additionally, there may be a need for certain other examinations, such as:

  • Orthopedic: To find bones and joints out of place
  • Neurological: To find nerve pressures or irritations
  • Physical: To determine general health vitality
  • Spinal: To find specific misalignments or subluxations of vertebrae
  • Kinesiological: To find abnormal muscles holding bones and joints out of place which can produce nerve pressures and irritation
  • Radiological: To evaluate X-rays for specific misalignments and subluxations, as well as other health determinations
  • The results of the total examination identify the cause(s) of your condition(s) and allow your Doctor of Chiropractic to determine the appropriate treatment necessary to obtain the fastest relief and the most permanent correction possible.

    What do Chiropractors Treat?

    Basically, chiropractors remove subluxations (misalignments of bones, producing nerve pressure or irritations) by adjustments (a precise method of realigning misaligned body structure, particularly the spinal vertebrae). This method is especially helpful in correcting:

  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Pain & stiffness in neck
  • Pain between shoulders
  • Pain in hips or legs
  • Pain, numbness in hands, feet Pain in shoulders or arms Muscular pains in chest, abdomen
  • And much more
  • Every function in your entire body is under the control of the nervous system and subluxations can interfere with this control, so chiropractic is often very helpful in correcting many other conditions. Only a chiropractor is qualified to determine if your condition can be helped by chiropractic method. Of course, if yours is not a chiropractic case, chiropractic will not help you and your chiropractor will tell you so and refer you to another specialist. But if yours is a chiropractic condition, nothing else is likely to ever really help you.

    How would an Adjustment feel?

    Most spinal adjustments are not painful at all and, as a matter of fact, patients feel very good and often pain free almost immediately. Adjustments are also very safe with no harmful or dangerous side effects.

    To give an adjustment the chiropractor locates a vertebra, or any other bone, which has slipped from its normal position and is causing nerve pressure and irritation and carefully and skillfully moves that vertebra or back bone into its position. In most cases this is done by making contact in a very special manner, usually with the hands, directly over the affected vertebra or other bone, and making a gentle movement.

    You can be sure that the great benefits you will receive from chiropractic adjustments will more than offset any momentary discomfort you may experience.

    How Permanent are the results? How does regular Chiropractic help Prevent Illness?

    Chiropractic locates and corrects the nerve interference causing many health problems. When the correction is completed and the nervous system is restored to normal function, the body will cure itself: that's the chiropractic premise. Therefore, complete correction is usually permanent. However, you must recognize the possibility that a repetition of the same or similar habits, occupational hazards, falls, accidents, or other traumas can cause a recurrence of the condition.

    Your conscientious compliance with your doctor's recommendations, especially between adjustments, and your follow-through with maintenance care and periodic spinal examinations after your initial, concentrated, intensive care is completed, will contribute greatly to the permanence of the correction and your future good health.

    Your body can have nerve pressure and irritation that will produce subclinical (unnoticed) problems. This means that your body is not working right, but you are not aware of it...yet! By eliminating nerve interference, chiropractic care can prevent conditions from developing, and enable the body to maintain its natural resistance to illness and disease. Chiropractic advocates this basic formula for continuous good health: regular adjustments, proper nutrition, adequate exercise, sufficient rest, good posture, and a positive attitude.

    How much does Chiropractic Care cost?

    Cost will vary depending on the severity of the condition and the type of care needed. However, with chiropractic treatment there will be no prescription drugs to repeatedly purchase, no costly surgery, and no expensive hospital bills to pay. Therefore, comparatively, chiropractic care should prove relatively inexpensive. Moreover, most insurance companies cover chiropractic care.