Information on Chiropractic
The word Chiropractic came from the Greek words cheir and praktikos, which means “done by hands”. Even though chiropractic treatments have been practiced for thousands of years, it never became a valid, written science until the latter part of the nineteenth century. However, manipulative therapy was still continuing in various forms throughout the centuries in between. The therapy began as a way of treating diseases by manipulating the bones of the spine and people who practiced this art of manipulation in Europe were called “bonesetters”. The only problem was that the education and practice was haphazard, and no one came forward to define this healing art or even put it on a legitimate level with the accepted medical theories and treatments of today. In the early 1900's there were no real doctors who treated the sick in the sense that we have them today, a person who practiced healing was considered a healer or a physician. Their basic skills and knowledge of healing consisted of various healing aspects including blood letting, bonesetting, herbal medicine, magnetic healing, purging and religious healing. Eventually D.D. Palmer entered into this profession and changed some of the ways of doctoring and he was also considered to be the father of modern Chiropractic. Modern chiropractors treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems and people who suffer from joint problems such as back pain often report good results after chiropractic treatment.
Video of chiropractic in sports:
This form of treatment is based on certain accepted scientific and biological principles. The Central Nervous System is composed of the brain and spinal cord and this is the body’s “master system”, which controls and monitors all body functions. Obesity, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, dangerous chemicals, contaminated food, air and water, stress, germs and musculoskeletal imbalance can affect the way this “master system” works.
Chiropractic philosophy believes that a healthy, strong, flexible and aligned spine is necessary for an uninterrupted communication between the various body parts and systems, and the brain itself. This is why chiropractors are more concerned with the restoration of the spinal bio-mechanical balance, as these directly affect the musculoskeletal, neurological and vascular health systems of the human body. The body’s nervous system should also function at its maximum to help restore the patient to a healthy state. The main form of treatment is manipulating the spine to remove mechanical stresses that could be affecting the joints, discs, nerves, supportive and connective structures, and even the spinal cord itself. A malfunction of the nervous system may be caused by the displacement of the vertebrae of the spine, resulting in what is known as classical subluxation.
Muscular compression syndromes occur when the vertebrae has been compressed due to an injury or over used muscles that have gone into spasm, which hold the vertebrae in a vice-like grip. A swollen disc could also cause pressure on the nerve as it exits from the spinal canal. Pressure and irritation to these parts could build up tremendous pain that could cause the local muscles to go into spasms or sustained contractions, and if this was allowed to continue over a long period it could cause irreversible degenerative changes to all the structures involved. Because of this neurological chaos, a destructive electrical charge could also be responsible for affecting internal organs and other body systems.
A chiropractor will not use drugs or surgery on you to correct this problem, he merely uses his hands to gently move the spine and unlock the jammed vertebrae. Some chiropractors will work on the muscles first and then the spine, while others may use different physiotherapies to release muscle tension and spasm, reduce swelling, or increase the circulation to the areas that are being worked on. He will also try to free abnormal spinal positions so as to let the body get back to its normal healthy condition. He will also consider other predisposing factors such as obesity and advise the person to lose weight, so that the spine is not carrying excess weight. Some conditions which are treatable are sports injuries, arthritis, pins and needles, numbness, migraine, whiplash, disc degeneration, stiffness, muscular cramp, insomnia, sprains and strains and work injuries.
When first visiting a chiropractor, he will examine you thoroughly. He will feel your spine and test for mobility of the joints, he may also take x-rays of your spine and check your blood pressure. He may then use gentle manipulative techniques on your joints, massage your muscles and recommend that you exercise regularly to help encourage joint mobility. Some patients will feel relief from pain immediately while others may experience aching, soreness, and stiffness later that day or the next day. Chronic, long lasting conditions need more treatment then acute, severe or sudden cases and sometimes it can take 4 or more sessions before relief is felt.
Taken from the Encyclopedia of Alternative Health and Natural Remedies, Curing Everyday Ailments and Natural Medicine.