Chiropractic is a type of alternative and complementary medicine. However, many chiropractors would reject this statement. Chiropractic is basically a field of medicine that helps in diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal disorders. They emphasize on spine and think that the general health could be affected by musculoskeletal disorders via the nervous system.
The origin of Chiropractic medicine could be track back to the 19th Century when Daniel Palmer researched about healing of illness of other cultures and races. He was surprised to learn that Egyptians in the ancient time used spinal manipulation to relief a wide variety of problems. He then began to develop his own unique methods in this field and later on set up a training institute to promote Chiropractic medicine.
Palmer thinks that misalignment of vertebral joints could interfere with the body’s function and its ability to heal.
Today, Chiropractic treatment uses manual therapy, exercises and counseling. Manual therapy would include manipulation of soft tissue and spine. The main aim of this therapy is to maintain a good health through neuromusculoskeletal manipulations. Modern apparatus and technology is used to diagnose the patient such as skeletal imaging, tactile assessments, neurological and orthopedic evaluation of the patient’s neuromusculoskeletal status. X-rays and CT scans are used to help in diagnosing spinal misalignments.
Spinal manipulation is the most common treatment used. It is a passive maneuver when the joint is taken past normal range of movement. Dynamic thrust is the main defining factor is a spinal manipulation. It is a sudden force which causes a release and thus increasing a joint’s range of movement. Other than that, the hands are used to massage, mobilize, and adjust related tissues so that it could influence the spine.
Other techniques are also being developed. For example:
• Diversified technique (manipulation of the spine and extremities),
• Activator technique (treatment using a tool to adjust the spine precisely),
• Flexion-distraction (an adjusting procedure with the help of specialized tables),
• Sacro-occipital technique and etc.
Some other kinds of treatment which is used by the chiropractors are:
• Physical exercises
• Corrective exercises, postural advices
• Recommendation and counseling on unhealthy lifestyle
• Dietary recommendations
• Stress reduction recommendations
• Early screening for oncological diseases
The main aim of Chiropractic manipulations is to restore the full amplitude of joints movement of the spine, to relax the muscles and tendons and to relieve pain. Soft tissue techniques like massage and kneading are also used. A session of such treatment would usually last for 10 to 30 minutes. Even thou the efficacy of chiropractic manipulations is still lack of proof, it is known to be effective for the treatment of low back pain, Whiplash, neck pain, headache, muscle stiffness and radicular leg pain.
Chiropractic manipulations are contraindicated to patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Some complications could be cause by Chiropractic manipulations which could lead to permanent disability, for example vertebrobasilar artery stroke. However, such complication could be explained by referring to the preexisting conditions.
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