What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a healing discipline firmly grounded in science. Although its main focus is the relationship between the skeleton (particularly the spine) and the nervous system that runs through it, chiropractic is concerned with the care of the entire body. Chiropractors use various diagnostic methods, including X-rays, to understand the state of your health, paying particular attention to your spine and bone structure. The profession specific terminology of "adjustment" involves the spine as one of the primary procedures of care.
The word chiropractic comes from a combination of the Greek words "chiro" and "praktikis", meaning "done by hand". "Treatment by hand" was an accepted form of therapy in ancient Greece. Hippocrates, who is regarded as the founder of medical inquiry, made the first recorded references to spinal manipulation. 1995 marked the 100th anniversary of the evolution of modern chiropractic. In recognition of this milestone, centennial celebrations were held across Canada and throughout the world. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in recognition of the centennial of the profession, and to honour its Canadian Found, Dr. Daniel David Palmer.
How does treatment help?
Chiropractic helps to remove postural imbalances and structural misalignments that can accumulate in our bodies over time. Our spines change and develop problems just like our teeth, eyes and heart. Left unchecked for a long time, these changes may lead to pain, stiffness or other more serious problems. A common example is the progression of lower back symptoms which may progress down a leg as pain, numbness, or tingling. This example of leg symptom can result over time from an earlier finding including only simple stiffness and sore muscles of the low back.
The nervous system is a key part of your body. It is the communication system between your brain and all of your body's muscles, organs and tissues. For your body to remain healthy, your nervous system must function well. For your nervous system to function well, it must be free of interference. The spine is the most common site of nervous interference because nerves travel from the spinal cord through openings on either side of the spine to get to all of your cells and organs.
Each of us is born with the ability to heal and recover from illness. Our bruises heal, cuts mend and common colds are overcome. Your nervous system regulates this inborn healing ability.
Think of your brain as a central message centre sending and receiving information through your nerves, which branch out to connect all areas of your body. Problems associated with the spine, including nerve tissue, can interfere with your ability to self-heal and may prolong injury or illness.
The customized care you receive from your chiropractic doctor may help to improve your posture, muscle balance and mobility. It can also restore the integrity of your nervous system and get rid of pain quickly, so you can recover and get back to feeling good… today!
Spine and related chiropractic care is safe and effective. Scientific evidence proving that the chiropractic care works is overwhelming and easily found today on the internet. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for spine and related conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine*. Based on these scientific studies, the consensus is that chiropractic care is the treatment of choice for most spinal problems.
* The extent to which a person can benefit from care varies, depending on their problem and how long it has existed.
Health Care Utilization
According to current research, approximately 60% of the BC population recognizes the benefits of care associated with spine and related conditions. The non-surgical, drug free healing nature of chiropractic provides benefit to the health of millions of people worldwide each year. Most chiropractic patients experience real relief and general well-being and continue to make regular visits a part of their healthy life choice.
When should I see a chiropractic doctor?
From professional athletes to homemakers, engineers to electricians, youth to seniors, spine and related conditions are responsible for an estimated 1/3 of all daily health care/medical care office visits. Many people see a chiropractic doctor for common back, neck or joint problems, while others may seek relief from the discomfort caused by headaches or other symptoms. Still others find that regular visits to their chiropractor support their health promotion.
Regularly a dentist checks our teeth, an optometrist checks our eyes and a medical doctor checks our blood pressure and heart. Yet, we take the spine – a crucial component of our body – for granted. Call your family doctor of chiropractic today because checkups of your spine can help you maintain better health.
FAQ provided courtesy of the BC Chiropractic Association.