Chiropractic: Leading Healthcare into the New Millennium
Chiropractic is the leading alternative health therapy available today. In 2000, more people visited alternative health practitioners than medical doctors with more than 30 million people seeking chiropractic care.
Chiropractic health care consistently achieves a 90 percent patient satisfaction rating. Compared to those who sought care from medical doctors, those who visited a chiropractor were more likely to feel treatment was helpful, more likely to be satisfied with their care, and less likely to seek care from another provider for that same episode of pain. Studies show that chiropractic patients are hospitalized less than the general population.
Chiropractic is one of the most effective forms of healthcare today and is also one of the safest forms of treatment available today.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, 2001; Spine Magazine, 2000
What is chiropractic and how can it help me?
Chiropractic health care is based on the scientific fact that our nervous system controls or influences the function of every cell in our body. Interference to the nervous system (caused by the vertebral subluxation complex) will affect how the nervous system relates to the cells to which it travels.
The Chiropractic model of health is centered on the philosophy that the human body is created and equipped to heal itself given the right opportunity and circumstances. Doctors of Chiropractic promote the healing process by minimizing nerve interference through chiropractic adjustments and educating patients on the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and positive mental attitude. The entire body and a person's lifestyle are examined in determining the problem and appropriate treatment.
This holistic, common sense approach to health is the reason more and more people are looking to chiropractic to obtain and maintain total body health.
The benefits of chiropractic go far beyond relieving back and neck pain and can help people of all ages from infants to the elderly. Chiropractic is proven effective in the treatment of many common ailments including:
- Low Back Pain
- Mid and Upper Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder and Arm Pain
- Leg Pain (Sciatica)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Joint Stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
- Numbness and Tingling
- Low Energy
- And many other common health issues
What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Doctors of Chiropractic are primary care physicians who possess the diagnostic skills to differentiate health conditions that are amenable to their management from those conditions that require referral or co-management. Chiropractors provide conservative management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders and related functional clinical conditions including, but not limited to, back pain, neck pain and headaches. Doctors of Chiropractic are expert providers of spinal and other therapeutic manipulation/adjustments. They also utilize a variety of manual, mechanical and electrical therapeutic modalities. Chiropractors also provide patient evaluation and instructions regarding disease prevention and health promotion through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modification among others.
History of Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a natural form of health care with a rich history. Spinal manipulation, chiropractic's primary treatment, is used instead of drugs or surgery to promote the body's natural healing process. One of the earliest indications of soft tissue manipulation is demonstrated by the ancient Chinese Kong Fou Document written about 2700 B.C., which was brought to the Western World by missionaries. Chiropractic became more recognized about 100 years ago when Daniel David Palmer gave an "adjustment" to what was felt to be a misplaced vertebra in the upper spine of a deaf janitor. The janitor then observed that his hearing improved.
The word "chiropractic" is derived from the Greek words "cheir" and "praktkos" meaning "done by hand". From these simple beginnings, chiropractic became more sophisticated as a formal educational program evolved, requirements by the schools were developed, and state and governing laws were established.
Chiropractic now ranks as the second largest of the three primary health care providers in the United States (medicine, chiropractic, dentistry).
Doctors of Chiropractic must meet some of the most rigorous educational standards imposed on any health care professional licensed in the country. Chiropractors receive at least six years of college-level training in the healing arts; many far exceed the minimum. Chiropractors are required to pass national and state board examinations to receive a license to practice.
The chiropractic curriculum includes extensive coursework in anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, pathology, x-ray and techniques in addition to multiple hours of hands on experience with patients within a clinical setting.
An average of 4,485 hours are required for a D.C. degree, as compared to about 4,248 hours required for an M.D. Neuromuscular procedures requires years of training and experience.
Benefits of Chiropractic
Chiropractic gets results. During a chiropractic adjustment, misaligned vertebrae are unlocked and released from their misaligned position. When vertebrae are returned to their proper alignment, normal nerve supply is restored. This allows patients to experience pain relief, greater joint mobility and maximum healing potential.
Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving much more widespread attention. In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research--a federal government research organization--recommended that low back pain suffers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the ONLY safe and effective, DRUG-LESS form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults!
Chiropractic manipulation, also frequently called the chiropractic adjustment, is the form of manipulation that has been most extensively used by Americans for the last one hundred years. Satisfied chiropractic patients already know that DCs are uniquely trained and experienced in diagnosing health problems and are the doctors most skilled in using manipulation for the treatment of many common health disorders. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, please feel free to contact us at Bair Chiropractic Center.
The chiropractic profession has performed rigorous research since its early days. However, at least in one sense, the research within the profession is still very much in its infancy, because the profession "lost" much of its early work for lack of an appropriate forum in which to publish it. Today the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics is the sole chiropractic research publication indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, and Excerpta Medica. However, other journals such as Spine, which is indexed in the major medical data bases, do public chiropractic-related research.
Recent emphasis in research trials has been on manipulation and back pain, manipulation and various organic disturbances, and reliability and validity. In 1984, Brunarski identified 50 trials of spinal manipulation (Brunarski, 1985); the number has increased since then. Studies by Bergquist-Ullman and Larsson (1977), Godfrey et al. (1984), Hadler et al. (1987), Mathews et al. (1987), and Waagen et al. (1986) were all important in establishing a definitive role for manipulation in the management of low back pain. The argument for including chiropractic in British National Health Service coverage was based on recent work by Meade et al. (1990), comparing chiropractic care to hospital outpatient care. The research of Koes (1992) served a similar role in the Netherlands. Further, the RAND report (cited in Haldeman et al., 1992), a recent and large undertaking examining all published literature on the use of manipulation for low back pain, made definitive comments situations.
Research has examined patient perceptual issues in the use of chiropractic care. Notable here is the research of Cherkin and MacCornack (1989), who reported that patients seeing chiropractors for low back pain were happier with the treatment they received than were similar patients seeing medical doctors for similar problems.
Continuing quality research and patient care will negate any opposition to chiropractic. The current processes by which chiropractors are reviewing standards of care and chiropractic procedures should help solidify the public standing of this field.
Source: American Chiropractic Association and WebMD