Chiropractic care is nonsurgical, drug-free treatment that seeks to treat the "total person." It includes spinal manipulation and non-manipulative therapies, such as electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound.
Chiropractic care may be a treatment option when the patient’s spine is stable and without nerve root impingement. Chiropractic care is not recommended to treat spondylolisthesis, abnormal spinal curvature, or disc herniation.
Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) believe good health is dependent on a normal, well-functioning central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the spinal column, spinal cord, and nerve roots. Other aspects related to chiropractic philosophy include:
Further, chiropractic philosophy emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition, daily exercise, and lifestyle modification to promote good physical and mental health.
Chiropractors perform diagnostic procedures similar to those practiced by medical doctors. A chiropractic consultation includes a thorough review of the patient’s history, current symptoms, physical examination, and x-rays or other imaging studies. In addition, mobility and positioning of spinal joints, muscle function, posture, and overall range of motion are evaluated.
In chiropractic terms, the word subluxation is used to mean joint dysfunction. Chiropractors believe that subluxations can cause pain, numbness, dizziness, pins and needles feelings, and other neurologic symptoms.
Manipulation adjusts the spinal joints to correct subluxation(s). Using their hands, the chiropractor applies controlled and specific pressure directly to a joint or muscle. Successful manipulation may release a joint into correct position and/or alleviate muscle spasms causing spinal nerve irritation.
Flexion distraction combines chiropractic manipulation and gentle adjustments while the patient lies on a special treatment table. The treatment table features allow it to slowly move up and down, side to side, and to rotate. The table movements mimic flexion/extension, lateral flexion, and circumduction (circular movement). Distraction manipulation does not cause pain.
Chiropractic care is growing in popularity and acceptance in the United States. We may recommend chiropractic care for some conditions, especially those that involve soft tissue strains and sprains. However, we do not recommend chiropractic manipulation for disorders that involve spinal instability or significant nerve impingement.