Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.
Writings of spinal manipulative therapy can be traced back as far as ancient cultures where manual treatments were used to treat various spinal conditions. From Hippocrates in 400 B.C. to 16th century in Europe, spinal manipulation was commonly associated with people who called themselves 'bone-setters.' These were tradesman and women who learned the craft through family teachings.
The Chiropractic profession was founded around 200 years later in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer upon 'adjusting' the spine of a deaf janitor and have claimed to restore his hearing. Soon after, Palmer founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic where he taught his methods to the first chiropractors.
The central nervous system controls all functions of living cells, tissues and organs and controlled by the brain and spinal cord. The spinal column encases the spinal cord and nerve roots for protection before nerves are sent off to supply the muscles and joints of the body with sensation and function.
Due to intimate relationship between the spinal column and nervous system, biomechanical and structural changes to the spinal column can locally irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This irritation can result from inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or from direct mechanical pressure. When this occurs, the cells, tissues and organs supplied by these affected nerves can be negatively influenced resulting in decreased function.
Using highly refined skills, a chiropractor is trained to check the patient's body and spine for changes in joint mobility and in the surrounding soft-tissues for any of these biomechanical changes. Chiropractors may apply a gentle force in a corrective manner to the affected spinal area in efforts to help restore function.
Many individuals assume that because treatments are primarily applied to the spinal region that chiropractors only treat the back and neck. Chiropractors take a holistic approach and also treat every joint in the body including: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles and how these areas are related to the nervous system. In doing so, chiropractors jobs are to identify and attempt to correct the biomechanical cause of the patient's health ailment.
Chiropractic care has been shown to help people affected by: