What is a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are trained doctors who specialize in detecting and reducing misalignments of the spine called “vertebral subluxations” that interfere with normal central nervous system function. Subluxations can cause inflammation of the joint and nerve root as well as lack of motion which can eventually cause joint degeneration.
Chiropractors work in the field of complimentary or alternative medicine, treating patients by performing hands-on chiropractic adjustments in order to help with postural restoration, spinal alignment, nervous system function and maintenance of health. Chiropractors are trained to use their hands as their “instrument,” carefully adjusting the joints of the body, especially the spine.
Chiropractic college programs are rigorous and thorough. To attend, applicants must have a minimum two years undergraduate study at a university. Their chiropractic college education lasts four years, meaning they graduate with at least six years of full-time university-level education. Doctors of Chiropractic are not only trained in problems dealing with the spine, but are formally educated in clinical examination and diagnosis of the entire human body. They have training comparable to medical or osteopathic doctors in the basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. In their fourth year, students must also do a clinical internship of approximately 1,000 hours.
When that's done, graduates face one more trial. To practice in the US, they must pass comprehensive national and state licensing exams, similar to those for other professionals like lawyers and medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic must regularly attend post-graduate seminars and read up-to-date scientific journals to maintain their qualifications. They can be considered a generalist in the provision of primary health care services and a specialist in the use of chiropractic treatment methods. The method of practice is similar to the M.D. or D.O. who provides generalist primary care services and is a specialist in internal medicine.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a natural non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical approach to health based on the fact that dysfunctional vertebral segments (Vertebral Subluxations) can change the way in which your powerful central nervous system interacts with your body. This system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system in the human body.
Spinal adjustments are the tools which chiropractors employ to restore spinal stability and function to enable more efficient control of the body. They provide a stimulus to the body’s receptors to create changes in central neurological activity. Chiropractic care can benefit everyone from the young to the elderly, pregnant women, and sports people looking to enhance and maintain peak performance.
Chiropractic is a conservative drug-free approach to better expression of health that has helped millions of people since its development in 1895.
When a chiropractor takes an x-ray of a patient, they are looking for things in several very specific areas. The first thing they check is to make sure that there are no dislocations, fractures, cancer, infections, tumors, or other potentially dangerous conditions. They then look for disk height and other signs of disk degeneration, bone density, bone spurs, joint spaces, and alignment. This allows them to identify conditions like scoliosis and other conditions that may require specific forms of treatment.
Many chiropractors prefer that the patient is in a weight bearing position when taking spinal x-rays. This differs from the majority of medical facilities which have the patient lie down. The advantage of a weight bearing x-ray is that it allows for measuring such as with leg length deficiency, scoliosis, and the narrowing of joint space. It can also show that certain bones, such as the tibia and fibula, are separating which can be an indication of a torn tendon or problem with the joint. A non-weight bearing x-ray simply cannot provide the same perspective and vital clues to a patient’s condition may be missed.