The concepts which provide a foundation for chiropractic are really very simple. Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism and that the nervous system is essential to all bodily processes, even stimulating your immune system. The nervous system is the driving force behind all of life’s activities. Some examples of activities which the nervous system controls are walking, food digestion and disease defense.
The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and a network of nerves. The spinal cord is encased within 24 movable bones called vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. A network of nerves branch out from the spinal cord, then travel through spaces between the adjacent vertebrae to control and communicate with all muscles, blood vessels, organs and other tissues of the body. When two adjacent vertebrae become misaligned, the space between the vertebrae becomes constricted. Just as less water would flow through a hose which is partially kinked, fewer electrical impulses flow through the nerve due to the vertebral misalignment. This decreases the ability to fend off diseases, digest foods or engage in any other activity that requires normal nerve flow. Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. (Vertebral, meaning the bones of the spine. Subluxation, meaning less than a total dislocation. And Complex, meaning consisting of more than one part.)
Chiropractors use spinal adjustments to re-align the vertebrae. Realignment allows the flow of these electrical impulses to return to normal. Chiropractic care, therefore, directly addresses the problem at its point of origin rather than just treating the resultant symptoms.
Misalignment of the vertebrae often occur very early in the disease process, well before the onset of pain or other symptoms. Chiropractors work to prevent disease and maximize health through regular spinal evaluations and adjustments. "Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and the philosophy of all things natural."
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 nervous 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.
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 or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice.
Compare Chiropractic Training to Medical Training:
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A chiropractic education never ends. Most doctors complete postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research.