What is chiropractic? Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body. The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain, and the moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (or “a subluxation”). Vertebral means the bones of the spine. Subluxation means less than a total dislocation. And Complex means consisting of more than one part. Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact tot the nervous system, and the philosophy of helping things naturally. Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is Well Educated. The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction. To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes the demanding National Board Examination. Then, doctors apply to a governmental licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractic education never ends. Most doctors complete post-graduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research. What Do Chiropractic Doctors Do? Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a case history. This gives the doctor a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details affecting your current health. After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, a thorough, orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examination is performed. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural and functional problems associated with the spinal column. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting system deficit. The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of chiropractic adjustments may be recommended. Progress is monitored with periodic examinations and follow-up reports. Since the word “doctor” comes from the Latin word, meaning teacher, regardless of your doctor’s unique clinical approach, he or she has a strong commitment to patient education. How Does Chiropractic Work? Chiropractic works by restoring your inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy. irritated nerves A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bonervesThis can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses. With improved spinal function, there is often improved nervous system function. Your chiropractic doctor can help remove interference that may be impairing normal health. Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as “back” problems. What is an Adjustment? A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health. There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the doctor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow and constant pressure. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches. Are All Patients Adjusted the Same Way? The doctor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Some patients who complain of headaches may actually have a lower-back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull, which affects the nerves going, and up and into the head. Other patients may be experiencing numbness, tingling and or pain in their arms or hands, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient. Is Chiropractic Safe? Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.