Chiropractic is neuromusculoskeletal manipulation, especially of the spinal column, and is used for diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating physical problems or diseases caused by or related to the neuromusculoskeletal system. It is generally accepted as one of the treatments of choice in cases of back pain. One of the fundamental principles of chiropracty is subluxation. Chiropractors believe that most of the ailments they treat are related to the misalignment of the spine.
Chiropractic is based on the concept that the human body has an innate self-healing ability and seeks homeostasis, or balance. According to general chiropractic theory, the nervous system plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis-and hence health. But "subluxations" (misalignments of bones within joints) or "fixations " ( abnormalities of motion) interfere with the flow of nervous impulses and diminish the body's ability to stay healthy. Through manipulation of the bones and their associated muscles and joints, particularly the spine, chiropractors work to correct these misalignments, thereby improving the function of the neuromusculoskeletal system and restoring homeostasis.
The word "chiropractic" comes from the Greek words cheiro, meaning "hand," and praktikos, meaning "doing" -so the term means, literally, "doing by hand."
Today's chiropractors are divided into two major camps. On one side are the straights-traditional chiropractors who
believe that subluxations are at the root of disease and that manipulation is the best treatment. On the other side are the
so-called mixers, whose approach represents a mix of traditional and progressive techniques.
A March 1998 article in Business and Health magazine observed:
Another study found that median work time lost for employees with back injuries who used chiropractic care was only 9 days as compared with 34.5 days for workers who used medical care.
In a recent Gallup poll, 90 percent of all people who visited a chiropractor agreed that their care was effective. Successful outcomes in both effectiveness and patient satisfaction, have paved the way for chiropractors to enter the mainstream of health care services. Some chiropractors have begun to collaborate with medical doctors in integrated health care practices.
May/June 1998 issue of Health magazine reported that the prestigious Texas Back Institute (TBI) at one time included only surgeons and other M.D.s. Then, about ten years ago, when TBI's medical doctors discovered chiropractic's success with lower back pain, they hired their first chiropractor. Now about 50 percent of the Institute's patients see a chiropractor first when beginning their treatment.
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