It is estimated that about 27 million Americans visit a doctors of chiropractic each year, and millions more receive chiropractic care throughout the rest of the world. Chiropractic is the third largest primary health care field (after medicine and dentistry).
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body).
"Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment.
It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself.
We use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Chiropractors use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
We also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation
When the muscles supporting the lower spine need to be strengthened, lumbar stabilization may be used in your chiropractic treatment as a form of physical therapy. Lumbar stabilization helps you develop strength, flexibility, and endurance and also has been shown effective in alleviating lower back pain.
The key to lumbar stabilization is achieving a "neutral spine" position. The neutral spine position is that which is the least painful but most sound posture for your lower back.
When your spine is in a neutral position:
- The discs and vertebrae are able to absorb shocks and other forces acting on the spine in an optimal way.
- There is less tension on the ligaments and joints of your spine.
- Your posture is centered.
Once you learn how to go to your neutral spine position, lumbar stabilization teaches you how to maintain that position through a technique called "proprioception." Proprioception teaches you how to know where your joints are at any given time.
Lumbar stabilization helps you:
- Better control the movements affecting your spine.
- Heal muscle strains, sprains, and damaged ligaments.
- Know how to avoid future injuries.
- Reduce pain in your lower back.