About Chiropractic

Chiropractic is an Art, Science, and Philosophy dedicated to the detection and correction of biomechanical, neurologic, and musculoskeletal dysfunction within the human framework. A basic view of chiropractic might describe the profession as specializing in the proper structure, function and movement of the body. Chiropractors are trained in the composition, function and physiologic characteristics of every articulation or “joint” in the body. In addition to orthopedic, neurologic, imaging studies (x-ray, MRI, CT scan), blood studies, and electro-diagnostic testing, chiropractors utilize engineering principles when evaluating and treating neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions. For this reason, many people envision chiropractors as “Body Mechanics” or “Body Engineers.” The ultimate focus for the chiropractor is the “Central Nervous System,” comprised primarily of the brain and spinal cord. When it comes to the hard wiring of the human body, the central nervous system controls the function and operation of every cell, tissue, and organ. This is the essential networking system of the human body. For this reason, it is detrimental to leave “road blocks” and obstruction along the pathway of the neurologic system. As a result of the importance of the neurologic system and its role in the body, it is of paramount importance to maintain correct function within the framework and leveraging structures that enclose and protect this system. This is the role of the chiropractor in the collective healthcare system. The chiropractic triad is comprised of Physical, Chemical, and Emotional balance. Complete “well-being” and optimal health necessitate an integrated blend of these categories in order to remain symptom free. Alterations of this balance result in fluctuations collectively described as “dis-ease” or disease. This is a foundational tenant in the philosophy about chiropractic health.

What do Chiropractors do?

Chiropractors deal primarily with mechanical pain issues. These types of problems tend to involve the elements of structure and leveraging of the human framework, and are generally classified as “musculoskeletal” in nature. These include, but are not limited to: back and neck pain, certain types of headache pain, sciatica, disc compression syndromes, cervical-brachial entrapment syndromes, peripheral entrapment syndromes, sprain-strain issues, facet syndromes and TMJ dysfunction. Chiropractors utilize orthopedic, soft tissue and neurologic examination techniques to evaluate the level of bone, muscle and joint involvement with musculoskeletal complaints in order to make a diagnosis and determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

Chiropractors are generally considered to be spinal specialists although they are trained in the biomechanical function of every articulation of the human framework. The hallmark of chiropractic treatment is centered on the “adjustment” process, or manipulation, addressing the manual re-setting of the movement pattern and biomechanical, neurologic and vascular function of a particular joint. Most modern day chiropractors utilize a full compliment of physical therapies and therapeutic modalities in the treatment of musculoskeletal complaints. Common forms of treatment may include the use of ice, heat, electronic muscle stimulation, ultrasound, cold laser treatment, traction, flexion-distraction, spinal decompression, and a variety of soft tissue techniques including active release technique (ART), myofascial release, and massage. Many chiropractors incorporate rehabilitative exercise protocols as a part of their treatment for an individual patient. This can range from low tech flexibility and stabilization methods, to very advanced physical training in a complete gym setting. Often this will include an in depth physiologic assessment and nutritional consultation.

It is not unusual for chiropractors to refer out to other specialists, or to “co-treat” with other medical providers in addition to the general practitioner. Chiropractors will commonly send patients out for advanced imaging, blood work, orthopedic and/or neurosurgical consultation, pain management, acupuncture and massage therapy. As portal of entry providers, many chiropractors will additionally send out narrative reports to the primary care physician detailing their examination findings and treatment plan. In this regard, chiropractors are well positioned to assist in the complete care needs of an individual patient.

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