Quite simply, chiropractics is a healthcare profession that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and management of neuro muscular skeletal conditions that are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and muscles.
Chiropractics means “done by hand”. It is a natural, complementary/alternative, hands-on, drug free, surgery free approach to health. Chiropractic has a very long history dating back to 1895 when the first official manipulation/adjustment was given. Since its inception, Chiropractics has risen to become the third most used primary healthcare profession in the world after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractics works on the premise that good health is partially dependent on a normally functioning spine and nervous system.
As a natural and complementary healthcare solution, chiropractic works first to understand the cause and source of your complaint. Chiropractic treatment involves safe, gentle and specific manipulation of the spine and other areas of your body to unlock joints that are not moving correctly, to ensure greater and improved movement and to relieve pain. Allowing your body to use its own healing ability correctly and effectively. Creating a healthy balance for a physically fit future.
A Chiropractors main concern is your spine and nervous system and how well both are functioning. The spine is made of 24 individual moveable vertebrae. Its starts just below the base of your skull and ends in the centre between the hips. Although each vertebra is separate, they are all connected together by ligaments and muscles, which enable the entire spine to function as one dynamic unit. There are 7 neck (cervical) vertebrae, 12 mid back (thoracic) vertebrae and 5 low back (lumbar) vertebrae with a cartilaginous disc in between each vertebra.
This disc is there to help cushion and absorb shock, reduce friction between the vertebrae and to allow increased movement to occur within the spine. A pair of spinal nerves exits between each vertebra. Each one of the 31 pairs of nerves comes from the spinal cord, which runs the entire length of the spine, and extends outwards to form a complex network which ultimately supplies and influences every organ, tissue and cell in the body. It is a chiropractors task to evaluate the biomechanical structure of the spine to ensure that each one of the individual vertebra are moving freely and are not displaced or fixed in any way. Any such displacement or jammed vertebra can cause the spinal nerve that exits from the intervertabral foramen/opening to become irritated either through direct pressure or through indirect stimulation/irritation. Therefore any problem in any one of the vertebral joints can affect the related part of your nervous system, which in turn can lead to such symptoms as pain in the back or neck as well as many other spinal problems. It is a chiropractor’s task to evaluate and identify any problem that might exist within the spine and to correct any dysfunction that might be present.
An everyday action, such as a fall or an accident, lifting of heavy objects or even high stress levels, can cause any of the movable vertebrae to lose its normal motion. This causes the joint to become fixed or jammed which in turn can lead to further irritation of both the joint and nerve. Irritation of the joint may result in spasm of the surrounding muscle which can lead to a trigger point developing within the muscle. Irritation of the nerve can lead to pain in the vicinity of the joint or it may cause a referral of pain elsewhere in the body. Alternatively the nerves functioning may be altered causing either an increase or decrease in nerve sensitivity.