According to the American Chiropractic Association, Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Chiropractors use a drug-free, hands on approach to health care. A chiropractic practice can include nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling, along with therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises.
The most common care given by a chiropractic physician is a spinal adjustment. The purpose of an adjustment is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have restricted movement as a result of a tissue injury (ACA).
Tissue injuries have many causes such as a single traumatic event, improper biomechanics or repetitive stresses. When an injury occurs, physical and chemical changes occur in the tissue causing inflammation, pain and diminished function. The chiropractic adjustment restores mobility of the affected joint and tissues, thus relieving pain and muscle tightness, which allows tissue healing.
Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.