Today, there are more than 77,000 licensed Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) in the US alone.
In addition to thousands more who practice in countries around the world.
As one of the most popular types of alternative treatment approaches (that is, those that are not medical), millions of people each year seek chiropractic care.
Since its official inception more than 100 years ago, chiropractic education and care have come a long way.
While certain physicians would not have spoken positively about chiropractic in the past, speculating that chiropractic adjustments were not necessarily as effective as treatments such as drugs or surgery, today, things are different.
Many GPs often refer their patients to chiropractors for help with various symptoms, from migraines and joint pain to constipation and visual problems.
Chiropractic care is considered an alternative treatment approach to taking pain medication or undergoing surgery.
Many people do not realize that, like physicians, chiropractors spend years in training, learning thoroughly about anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and holistic health.
What can a chiropractor do to help with complaints like lower back pain, organ dysfunction, or other symptoms of chronic diseases?
Evidence shows that the influence of a chiropractic adjustment goes beyond back discomfort. Many unwanted symptoms suffered by children and adults today can be helped through the neurological impact of an adjustment.
As a supplement to adjustment, many chiropractors today also offer their patients more than manual spinal adjustments; they are also well versed in a variety of:
- Nutritional therapies.
- Herbal supplements.
- Spinal physical therapy.
- Control of the stress.
They also work with other professionals, such as massage therapists or acupuncturists. Meanwhile, chiropractors offer one of the best ways to prevent disease rather than just treat it.
What is a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are trained physicians who specialize in detecting and reducing misalignments in the spine called vertebral subluxations that interfere with the function of the central nervous system.
Subluxations can cause inflammation of the joint and nerve root and lack of movement that can cause degeneration of the joint.
Chiropractors work in complementary or alternative medicine, treating patients by performing practical chiropractic adjustments to help with postural restoration, spinal alignment, nervous system function, and health maintenance.
Chiropractic physicians are trained to use their hands as their “instrument,” carefully adjusting the body’s joints, especially the spine.
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that is considered manual therapy. Rolfing, integrative manual therapy, massage therapy, and myofascial release technique are also different manual therapies.
What are the specialties of a chiropractor?
You may think that chiropractic adjustments are only helpful in treating problems such as recurring pain (such as back pain) or a stiff neck, but that is not true.
In many ways, chiropractors have a “stress-centered” view of health: the underlying belief in chiropractic care surrounds the fact that the body has an innate ability to heal itself once interference or “roadblocks” (Sources of stress that get in the way of well-being) are eliminated.
Interferences that can adversely affect the nervous system and therefore decrease overall health include the following:
- Bad posture.
- Bad nutrition.
- Physical and emotional stress.
- Muscle tension.
- Illness is caused by several problems, including poor digestive health.
What does a chiropractor hope to do when making adjustments to patients?
Restoring movement and alignment of the spine is the first step in helping the rest of the body self-regulate, maintain and reestablish itself due to the direct neurological influence of the spine on the rest of the body.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that “the benefits of chiropractic care extend to health problems in general, as the structure of our body affects our overall function.”
To simplify a complex process, they harness the body’s recovery capabilities by restoring the relationship between a properly aligned spine and a well-functioning nervous system.
Chiropractors are trained to carefully analyze the spine for the presence of vertebral subluxation, which is when a spinal bone misaligns, causing interference with the nervous system and irritation of the nerves.
In other words, chiropractic care is beneficial because it allows better communication throughout the body, especially between the spine and the brain, also called the Central Nervous System (CNS).
The CNS is the controller of someone’s overall health, considering that it regulates communication and coordination throughout the body that affects all organs, tissues, and cells. You can think of the brain as the primary commander (or control center) of the CNS and the entire body.
The nervous system sends chemical messages to and from the brain through the spinal cord, which is not the actual spinal column but the spinal cord that runs within the bones in the back and contains threadlike nerves that branch elsewhere.
The Top 7 Benefits of Chiropractic
Does Chiropractic Work? And for what ailments?
According to Dr. Dan Sullivan, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), speaker, author, and one of the most respected holistic health experts in the country:
“One of the biggest challenges chiropractors face is the public perception of chiropractic. Many still believe that the benefits of chiropractic adjustments are limited to the relief of back and neck pain. But that’s only a tiny part of the benefits chiropractic care provides. “
“Some of the most important evidence today shows exactly why chiropractors have been seeing amazing results in their offices every week for more than 120 years, with symptoms and conditions that appear unrelated to the spine.”
It all goes back to how chiropractic positively influences the nervous system.
From improved respiration and digestion to increased immunity, better organ function, fertility, and much more, we now know from a scientific and research point of view how adjustments can have such profound benefits.
Patients who may benefit from visiting a chiropractor include those with symptoms or illnesses such as:
- Back pain.
- Neck Pain.
- Frequent migraines or headaches.
- Asthma .
- Back pain from pregnancy.
- Acid reflux .
- Heart problems, including high blood pressure.
- Bell’s palsy.
- Frozen shoulder (glenohumeral or acromioclavicular (AC) joint.
- Joint pain and osteoarthritis.
- Neurological issues such as epilepsy.
- Brain / central nervous system dysfunction.
- Insomnia/trouble sleeping.
- Musculoskeletal system injuries and disorders involving the muscles, ligaments, and joints.
- Indigestion or upset stomach.
- Dental or visual problems
- Injuries from accidents or trauma.
One of the reasons chiropractic is linked to so many benefits is because it has been shown to help reduce inflammation, the root cause of many different diseases.
Another factor behind why chiropractic can help numerous health problems is balancing the body’s sympathetic/parasympathetic response from the body.
Most people live in a sympathetic “fight or flight” response. A chiropractic adjustment in the upper cervical and sacral regions can stimulate a parasympathetic response that reduces stress and allows specific organs to function higher, including the digestive and endocrine systems.
A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine conducted on 40 participants found that after receiving a cervical adjustment, the pulse rate decreased, blood pressure balanced, and a significantly positive parasympathetic response.
This systematic review shows why many people regularly visit a chiropractor, even if they have no symptoms. They understand the benefits of decreasing ongoing stress and maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system.
Because chiropractic adjustments can help decrease the stress load on the nervous system, chiropractic care sets the stage for recovery and healing.
Contrary to most doctors or other health care providers, chiropractors do not try to cure or eliminate symptoms, ailments, or conditions.
It is important to note that chiropractors focus on eliminating interference from the nervous system so that patients can heal and function as intended.
Chiropractors pride themselves on educating their patients about how the human body is designed to heal and that the body is programmed to strive for health constantly.
A chiropractor can help anyone with altered spinal alignment or movement.
However, because the central nervous system directs all healing in the body, many symptoms and conditions have improved through the chiropractic adjustment.
Here are some of the significant conditions that chiropractic care would help:
- Back pain
Spinal adjustments and other chiropractic techniques have been shown in many studies to help treat neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain.
Back pain, especially in the lumbar spine or lower back region, is one of the most common reasons adults visit chiropractors every year.
Chiropractic for treating back and lumbar spine pain has been so well supported in studies that it is no longer even considered “alternative care.”
According to the National Institute of Health,
“Manipulation of the spine is one of several options, including exercise, massage, and physical therapy, that can provide mild to moderate relief from low back pain.”
“Manipulation of the spine seems to work just as well as conventional treatments, such as applying heat, using a firm mattress, and taking pain relievers.”
- Neck pain
Neck pain is another common problem that can be caused by factors such as:
- Lack of sleep.
- Advanced age.
- Degenerative disc disease.
Chiropractors use techniques for manipulation and use of the neck, including adjustments, mobilization, massage, or rehabilitation exercises to help relieve pressure on the neck.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found strong evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant improvements in pain level after spinal adjustments that lasted at least 12 weeks after treatment.
- Migraines and headaches
Spine, neck, and head adjustments can effectively treat recurring headaches, including tension headaches and migraine headaches.
Neck adjustments and manipulation can help restore head posture and relieve pressure and tension on nerves that contribute to headaches.
A group trial found that 22 percent of people who received chiropractic treatment saw fewer attacks decrease by 90 percent. In this systematic review, 49 percent said there was a significant reduction in pain intensity.
Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can naturally initiate headache relief without long-term medication risks, as chiropractic adjustments can.
Evidence shows that symptoms due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, such as pain when sleeping or problems opening the mouth and chewing correctly, can be controlled with neck adjustments and manipulation that help correct neck posture and the jaw.
One helpful method for TMJ is the activator method, which involves making fine adjustments to the jaw with a small hand-held instrument.
- Injuries to the musculoskeletal system
Many symptoms due to injuries affecting the muscles, ligaments, and joints can be treated with chiropractic care.
Chiropractors use various precise techniques such as adjustments, massage therapy, stretching, exercises, and weights to help relax tight muscles and improve posture.
This helps treat symptoms that include:
- Muscle pain.
- Reduced range of motion.
- Weakness due to muscle compensations and spasms.
Specific hyperactive muscles can be “turned off,” while others that are underused can be “turned on.”
- Digestive problems
Digestive problems can be linked to both stress and spinal misalignments due to how both negatively affect the communication of the nervous system with the organs, glands, and tissues of the digestive system.
After chiropractic treatments, the brain’s connection to the gut can be restored to improve the control and function of the nerves and muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
Chiropractic techniques aimed at evoking relaxation, improving blood flow to the digestive organs, and improving communication between the nervous system and the gut are used to treat a variety of digestive problems, such as:
- Acid reflux.
- Joint pain
According to the Arthritis Foundation, chiropractic is considered one of the safest therapies someone can use to treat joint pain.
Chiropractors can help relieve joint pain, such as those caused by osteoarthritis, by gently manipulating soft tissues and helping improve overall posture and function.
DCS can use active exercises and slow stretches to increase the range of motion in stiff joints, as well as to relieve pressure on specific nerves or to stop muscle spasms that contribute to pain.
History of chiropractic care
DD Palmer first developed the natural healing abilities attributed to chiropractic care in 1895.
According to the records of early chiropractic treatments, it all started when Harvey Lillard, a man who was deaf in one ear, had seen Palmer for help. With your condition.
Mr. Lillard hoped that DD Palmer had something up his sleeve to help his deafness.
When Palmer learned that Lillard suffered a head injury that preceded his hearing condition, he evaluated his spine. He noticed that a vertebra in his upper back appeared to be misaligned.
According to Palmer:
“I had a case of heart problems that were not improving. I examined the spine and found a displaced vertebra pressing against the nerves innervating the heart. I adjusted the vertebra and gave immediate relief: nothing ‘accidental’ or ‘rude’ about this. ‘
«Then I began to reason if two diseases, as different as deafness and heart problems, came from compression, pressure on the nerves, was it not another disease due to a similar cause? Thus, the science (knowledge) and the art (adjustment) of chiropractic were formed.
Palmer coined his manual therapy technique “chiropractic,” which comes from the two Greek words chiros and praktikos (meaning “with the hands”).
While DD Palmer is considered the first chiropractor, records show that similar adjustments have been used to help the body heal itself since Hippocrates.
Since Palmer’s time, millions of people worldwide have benefited from this manual therapy.
In 1897, Palmer helped establish the first chiropractic school in the US, now called Palmer College of Chiropractic (formerly Palmer Chiropractic School and Cure).
Chiropractic Education and Licensing
The International Association of Chiropractors explains that:
“Chiropractic is the second-fastest-growing and growing primary health care profession.”
There are approximately 95,000 doctors of chiropractic (DC) worldwide, and more than 10,000 students are currently enrolled in chiropractic education in the US alone.
Upon completion of their training, many chiropractors feel that they specialize in a combination of science, art, and philosophy, practicing a holistic system of health that considers the different aspects of their patients’ lives.
Upon graduation from chiropractic school, chiropractic physicians may work in private practice or clinical settings, specializing in workplace safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction, and nutritional counseling.
The formal education required to become a chiropractor focuses on teaching professionals to effectively locate vertebral subluxations in patients and eliminate them through specific adjustment techniques.
Chiropractic education also emphasizes the underlying philosophy of the practice, that the body wants and is capable of healing itself.
How many years of schooling should a chiropractor have?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, “the educational and licensing requirements for medical chiropractic (DC) are among the most stringent of all health care professions.”
DCS must complete four years of postgraduate doctoral study to qualify for the exams passed before licensure.
Before beginning postgraduate studies in chiropractic training, four years of college pre-med studies must be completed.
Undergraduate courses must include:
- Inorganic and organic chemistry.
- She related laboratory work.
How to become a chiropractor
After approximately 4,620 hours of graduate education, lab work, and clinical internships, potential DCs qualify to take exams administered by state licensing boards.
As part of their training, CDs must complete a minimum of a one-year clinical program dealing with patients in a treatment setting.
The exact requirements for practice vary by state, but generally, DC licensing requires the successful completion of a medical license or acceptance of a certificate issued by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE).
Once a DC is licensed in the state in which they wish to practice, they can begin to see patients in various settings.
DCS must continue their education each year, completing ongoing training to stay current on the latest chiropractic treatment approaches and maintain their license.
Many also continue with training programs in other complementary approaches, such as:
- The active release technique.
- Functional medicine.
- Chiropractic neurology.
- Sports chiropractic and neurokinetic therapy (NKT) is a natural therapeutic system that aims to correct learned movements. And muscle functions within the body.
For help finding a qualified and licensed DC in your area, you can search by location on the International Chiropractic Association website. In addition, you can request a recommendation from your GP or seek references from friends, family, and colleagues, among others.
What are some chiropractic colleges/schools?
Today, there are more than 40 chiropractic schools located worldwide, including 20 in the US.
In the US, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and its Commission on Accreditation are the national organization considered the authority when it comes to regulating the quality of training offered by different chiropractic colleges.
The CEE was established in the 1930s and is now recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education and is a member of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA ).
In the 1990s, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges was established to support chiropractic schools and research and help promote chiropractic care for patients and physicians.
If you are interested in a future career as a chiropractor, visit the CCE website to review information on prerequisites, accredited course lists, and college reviews.
Below is a list of some of the chiropractic schools/colleges in the US that meet the requirements for the CCE.
- Cleveland College of Chiropractic.
- Life Chiropractic College East.
- Life Chiropractic College West.
- Logan University.
- Saint Petersburg National University of Health Sciences.
- National University of Health Sciences of Chicago.
- Chiropractic College of New York.
- Palmer Chiropractic College California.
- Palmer Chiropractic College Iowa.
- Palmer Chiropractic College Florida.
- Parker University.
- Sherman College of Chiropractic.
- Southern California University of Health Sciences.
- Chiropractic College of Texas.
- Western States University.
What is the typical salary for a chiropractor?
When looking at chiropractic occupations, the median income for practicing DCs is $ 142,729. Salaries typically range from $ 121,288 to $ 196,758. Salaries vary considerably based on the chiropractor’s experience level, exact location, and specific offerings.
For example, offering nutritional support or other treatments to patients can increase a chiropractor’s salary.
Most practicing DCs are self-employed, and about 65 percent are men.
Those who own their clinics have higher incomes than those who work as associates or employees. For comparison, MDs earn a median salary of $ 195,161, dentists average $ 158,000, and podiatrists $ 119,000.
Traditional Chiropractors vs. Modern Chiropractors
While training for all chiropractors is rooted in the same underlying philosophy and principles, chiropractors today vary widely in terms of how they are specifically educated and how they decide to practice once licensed.
Some practicing Chiropractors have a more conservative/traditional approach, adhering to the fundamentals of chiropractic care based on vertebral subluxation techniques that have been practiced for decades.
Others are more “modern,” combining different treatment approaches to offer their patients a more comprehensive range of alternative therapies.
Even various chiropractic colleges and institutions differ in terms of how they are traditional vs. modern/liberal (or “straight vs. mixed), influencing the types of physicians graduating from different colleges.
To describe how different chiropractors fare along a spectrum and to distinguish between the different types (traditional and more modern), the labels “straight” and “mixer” are often used to:
- Straight chiropractors vary in terms of their exact beliefs and patient offerings but generally adhere to spinal adjustments as their primary offering and avoid the use of rehabilitation, nutrition, and other therapies in their clinics.
- Mixing chiropractors are more likely to work with other healthcare providers, practice multidisciplinary care, give dietary advice, prescribe supplements, teach spinal rehabilitation exercises, and perform other treatment techniques, such as acupuncture and massage.
Large chiropractic organizations, including the International Chiropractic Association (ICA) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), take different positions on specific issues related to chiropractic care.
There are inevitable conflicts between the two associations, as they have different perspectives regarding how chiropractors should practice, and in general, all chiropractors usually take one side or the other.
As Dr. Dan Sullivan explains:
“There has always been a division in the profession between the more traditional ‘direct’ chiropractors and the more far-reaching ‘mixing’ chiropractors. Both types of chiropractors help their patients overcome health challenges and uniquely improve function for all ages through the localization and correction of vertebral subluxation.”
“And the continuing advancement of the chiropractic profession centers around the fact that the body is self-healing and that chiropractic adjustments remove interferences to allow better function and health for children and adults of all ages. Both types of chiropractors agree on this central approach. And the best part is that scientific evidence now explains and supports the general practice of chiropractic like never before.
The ICA states that they are “committed to the rights of the chiropractor and his patients as it was nine decades ago.
The ICA welcomes all chiropractors who believe in and desire: advancing the distinctive identity of chiropractic as a drug-free art of healing, full integration of chiropractic with other health care professions, not subordination, and other Benefits.
The ACA states that they are “The largest national association in the US dedicated to promoting the chiropractic profession.” The ACA emphasizes the need for evidence-based research to support the field of chiropractic.
They support lobbyists for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, seek to promote a positive public image of chiropractic, provide ongoing professional and educational opportunities for chiropractic physicians, and offer leadership for the profession’s advancement.
Additionally, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) covers chiropractic-related news, including recent studies, events, and education, among other topics.
Chiropractors vs. Doctors
Is a chiropractor a doctor?
Yes, as mentioned above, chiropractors have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree. They are not medical doctors (MD) because they do not write their patients’ prescriptions or perform surgeries.
Chiropractors uniquely help their patients heal by natural means by eliminating interference from the central nervous system.
The education that DCs receive focuses on all the basic sciences, anatomy, and physiology, with a particular emphasis on the health and function of the spine and central nervous system.
Two effective alternative health care systems practiced in the US and elsewhere today are osteopathy (osteopathic manipulative therapy) and chiropractic care.
These two approaches are closely related and require similar training, but osteopaths perform more global manipulations of the spine, whereas chiropractors perform more specific spinal adjustments.
Chiropractors are holistic, non-invasive professionals who focus on disease prevention and symptom management.
DCS specializes in vertebral subluxation or the elimination of nervous system interference due to misalignment and abnormal movement of the spinal vertebra.
When vertebral subluxation is left untreated, it leads to improper communication between nerves, muscles, and tissues. This contributes to widespread problems with control of function and can cause symptoms in any or all body parts.
Chiropractic is the art of restoring the body to its natural state using many different techniques, including manual adjustments and stress reduction, inflammation reduction, and diet improvement.
Rather than using medications to accomplish this, DCs focus on eliminating irritating interference in the central nervous system (subluxations) that causes the body to break down and become dysfunctional.
DCS is somewhat different from primary care physicians or MDs because they emphasize a “whole person approach” to treatment and care.
And instead of just focusing on alleviating symptoms once the patient is no longer feeling well, chiropractors try to find the root cause of their patient’s problems to fix the underlying problem.
DCS often know their patients well, taking time during visits to discuss their symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, stress level, diet, and sleep.
Chiropractors need to understand their patients in a holistic sense truly, not only to develop a treatment plan but also to help prevent symptoms from returning in the future.
Seeing a chiropractor is not intended to replace visits with your regular doctor. Most chiropractors have a working relationship with local medical doctors, who jointly manage a patient’s care to provide the best possible results.
A written referral is not needed to see a chiropractic doctor (DC) because they are primary care physicians.
Like seeing an MD, chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical procedures, workers’ compensation, Medicare, Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.
Different Approaches to Chiropractic Care
DCs use hundreds of different approaches in chiropractic practice, some (but not all) involving thrusting techniques. The difference between most chiropractic techniques is the degree of force applied.
Most adjustments are made quickly, which involves high speed to help realignment. Sometimes an instrument is also used in addition to the hands.
Spinal adjustments are among many chiropractic techniques, but they are not the only offered types.
Below you will find a brief overview of some of the more common chiropractic treatment techniques developed over the past decades that address abnormalities in the spine, neck, head, pelvis, joints, and muscles.
When you visit a chiropractor, you can be treated with any number or combination of techniques, depending on your specific anatomy and needs:
Trigger – A hand-held instrument that applies an impulse and is used to help release tension from the joints and muscles. It performs quickly with a gentle, low force, making it suitable for sensitive patients.
Applied Kinesiology – Helps assess the nervous system by utilizing changes in muscle strength as different sensory stimuli are applied to the body. This allows the DC to determine which nerves are “talking” to the muscles.
It is often used to help determine what treatments are needed.
Orthogonal Atlas (AOT): aims to restore the structural integrity of cervical vertebral malposition. Use a percussion instrument to correct the postural restoration without manipulation or surgery.
Focus your attention on the Atlas, the upper vertebra of the spine that supports the head. It implies a very soft touch, reducing the misalignment of the cervical spine and its related symptoms.
Blair Technique: Adjust the upper cervical area, focusing on correcting misalignments in the first bone of the spine (Atlas), where it connects to the head (Occiput).
Biophysical Chiropractic (PBC) – Corrects incorrect spinal curvatures using a combination of traditional chiropractic manipulation, rehabilitation exercises, spinal traction, and stretching to reshape the spinal tissues.
Cox Flexion Distraction – Uses an adjustment table with moving parts and a rocking motion to stretch and decompress the tissue around the spine (spinal decompression).
Diversified – Includes hand thrusts focused on restoring normal biomechanical function, including those to the limb joints.
Gonstead: It is a specific method of analysis using nervoscopes, complete spinal x-rays, and fine-tuning techniques.
It helps correct the torque of the spine to take pressure off certain intervertebral discs.
Palpation with movement: This method helps localize joint dysfunction within the spine and extremities. Palpation is the most widely used diagnostic tool in chiropractic, allowing the CD to feel subluxations in the vertebrae.
The patient’s joints are mobilized, bent, and flexed or moved in different planes of motion to test a range of motion on palpation of motion.
Network Chiropractic – Also called spinal analysis (NSA), this method involves viewing the body as a complete, integrated system.
A light touch is used on the spinal cord to help activate receptors and increase the ability of the nerves and spinal cord to communicate clearly. This is associated with improvements in the brain-gut connection, increased self-awareness, and reduced stress.
Pettibon – Uses specially designed head, shoulder, and hip weights that patients use for up to 20 minutes daily until the spine is corrected, along with specific exercises.
Weights help alter the alignment of the head, spine, and pelvis, correcting sensory input to the nervous system and forming new muscle patterns.
Sacral Occipital Technique (SOT) – Focuses on the relationship between the sacrum and occiput (back of the skull) and is a form of sacral cranial therapy.
This technique pays close attention to the bones of the skull and sacrum that work to normalize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and improve organ function.
CLEAR Scoliosis Correction – A technique that combines adjustments, spinal exercises, and vibration treatments to reduce scoliosis curves in the spine.
5 to 10 percent of the population has scoliosis, and this condition can cause pain, joint degeneration, and organ malfunction if not appropriately managed.
Thompson – Involves using an adjustment table with a weighing mechanism, which helps add a precise amount of tension and holds the patient in an exact upward position before the push is given.
Torque Release – Directs attention to the source of spinal tension by testing your posture from the feet up. It helps determine what treatments are needed to relieve stress on the spine and spinal cord, which causes abnormal muscle patterns.
It uses relatively small force corrections to achieve alterations in the spine and correct structural distortions using mechanical devices including the “Integrator” and the “Activator.”
Toggle Recoil – A technique in which the hours are placed lightly on the joint restriction area, and then a quick, light push is applied. Hands are quickly withdrawn from the point of contact.
Upper cervical chiropractic – focuses on the relationship between the upper cervical spine (neck) and its influence on the central nervous system. It uses X-rays of the head and neck to determine what kind of precise, non-invasive, and gentle contact will help return the neck bones to a normal position.
Webster: Involves sacral analysis and diversified adjustments used to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation / SI joint dysfunction. It aims to improve neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis to reduce stress and strain on the entire torso.
It is often used throughout pregnancy in preparation for a safer and easier birth and recovery.
Chiropractic care safety
Is it safe to visit a chiropractor?
The short answer is yes, very sure. You might be thinking that chiropractic adjustments sound risky, considering the sensitivity of the spine and spinal cord to overall health and function.
But in fact, chiropractic is one of the safest treatment approaches in healthcare today. Chiropractic adjustments are exact and careful, so CDs need extensive training to ensure safety.
The National Institute of Health explained that:
‘A 2007 study of treatment outcomes for 19,722 chiropractic patients in the UK concluded that minor side effects (such as temporary pain similar to that experienced after training) after cervical spine manipulation were relatively common but that the risk of a serious adverse event was ‘low to meager’ immediately or up to 7 days after treatment.
Another study found that no evidence visiting a chiropractor puts people at higher risk than a primary care physician.
While chiropractic treatment is generally very safe, it is still possible to experience some potential adverse effects. The risks are low but may include some temporary pain, stiffness, or tenderness after adjustments. Mild side effects usually go away on their own in about 24 hours.
Also, keep in mind that one of the main advantages of visiting a chiropractor for help with pain or other symptoms is that you will not be treated with medications, which often cause several side effects.
You can also avoid unnecessary surgery, which is not always effective and may present risks.
In recent years, there has been some concern in the media about whether chiropractic care could increase the risk of more severe side effects, such as stroke, neurological problems, internal bleeding, or vertebral artery dissection.
Several studies have found no evidence of any link between chiropractic adjustments and suffering from a stroke.
Final thoughts on chiropractors
A chiropractor is a trained physician who specializes in the detection and reduction of vertebral subluxation or misalignments of the spine that interfere with the ability of the body’s nervous system to send and receive messages to and from the body.
They also practice other holistic treatment approaches, including nutritional counseling, stress relief, and soft tissue mobilization.
Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) must complete formal training similar to the medical school required for primary care physicians.
Becoming a DC involves four years of undergraduate study and an additional 4-5 years of graduate school, including internships and passing exams.
Chiropractic has been practiced since the late 1890s. It is considered one of the safest approaches to treating patients available today and a good option for people with conditions that include:
- Back or neck pain
- Digestive problems.
- Neuromusculoskeletal complaints.