Understanding Chiropractic

Popularity of Chiropractic

Chiropractic as we know it today was founded in Iowa in 1895 by Dr. David Palmer. Chiropractic care is now one of the fastest growing types of health treatment. More than 30 million Americans visited a chiropractor in 2003 alone. Due to its effectiveness and reasonable costs, most insurance company plans and government insurance (such as Workman’s Compensation and Medicare) provide coverage for chiropractic treatment.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the science and art of restoring good health by restoring and maintaining a properly functioning nervous system. Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine.

How Chiropractic Works

Accidents, falls, overexertion, stress, tension and other factors can result in displacements, misalignments or imbalances of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the rest of the body. Chiropractic reduces or eliminates this irritation to spinal nerves causing your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably. Chiropractic treatment focuses on the spine, bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues.

Chiropractic doctors use a procedure called an “adjustment” to help restore misaligned vertebrae to a more normal position. An adjustment is carefully directed and controlled pressure to bones. It is safe and gentle. This allows your body’s nerves to properly communicate and allows your body to heal itself safely and naturally. Chiropractors do not prescribe medicine or perform surgery.

In some instances your chiropractor may determine that chiropractic is not the best treatment for a particular condition. In this case your chiropractic doctor will refer you to a relevant specialist.

Training & Licensing Required for Chiropractic Doctors

Chiropractic doctors complete rigorous professional education including both academic and clinical training, similar to other types of physicians and primary care providers. Chiropractic training includes at least two years of undergraduate education followed by four or more years of specialty training at an accredited chiropractic college. Most chiropractic doctors complete as many or more hours of classroom education as physicians do in medical school. In addition to earning a doctorate degree, chiropractic doctors must pass national and state board exams in order to treat patients.

For more information about chiropractic see the answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

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