Understanding Chiropractic Care

Like dentists, there are jokes about how chiropractors are not really doctors, but that is insulting to the profession and the individuals who dedicate their lives to such treatments and therapies. True, doctors of chiropractic do not have the same privileges for prescribing medications or performing surgeries, but nor do they want them. Chiropractors undergo similar schooling and training, but they graduate with a different understanding of medicine and health, one stipulated in holistic care. What exactly are chiropractic therapy and holistic medicine? Why is spinal manipulation the foundation of the practice? Is it safe?

What is Chiropractic Therapy?

As stated, chiropractic therapy is a holistic approach to treating certain spinal conditions. However, as hypothesized by Daniel Palmer in 1895, doctors of chiropractic believe that spinal health is a precursor to overall health and therefore encourage its use for several chronic and sudden conditions. As a holistic treatment, chiropractors cannot prescribe medications or perform surgeries. Although, if they suspect or discover a reason for such intervention, then they may suggest seeking treatment from an osteopath or other qualified professional.

What is Spinal Manipulation?

The primary tool in a chiropractor’s toolbox is spinal manipulation, which is the process of quick, sudden and gentle movements that relieve tension and help to realign the spinal column. Most people are familiar with spinal manipulation because of the popping or cracking sound, wrongly associating it with bones cracking or grinding together. The popping sound is actually the release of air or gas pockets that build up in the fluid surrounding your joints.

Is it Dangerous?

Because of misinformation, many people believe that chiropractic treatment is dangerous. While that may be true if you seek treatment from unlicensed practitioners, doctors of chiropractic go through rigorous training and requirements before receiving a license, meaning they know how to perform manipulations safely. Therefore, to ensure your safety, verify the license and certification of any chiropractic professional you intend to visit before receiving adjustments from them.

Chiropractic therapy is an old practice. While there is a fair amount of misinformation around holistic therapies, chiropractic care is a recognized and regulated medical practice. If you have never gone to a chiropractor, then it is fair to assume you may experience some anxiety over your spine or neck being manipulated by someone else, but take comfort in knowing that the someone else is a licensed and practiced medical professional. If you still are nervous about an upcoming chiropractic visit, then call your local chiropractor and discuss any issues you are having.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia, Chiropractic Care

Ameriwell Clinics, Chiropractor Wheaton, MD

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