(BlackDoctor.org) — Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that originated at the end of the 19th century and involves the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of various musculoskeletal and related complaints. Although not always widely accepted as a legitimate form of medical treatment (and still criticized by many mainstream physicians to the present day), chiropractic is a widely utilized and popular form of treatment for many physical conditions.
Chiropractors undergo rigorous training at special schools of chiropractic medicine and are certified and licensed under individual state licensing boards. Chiropractors carry malpractice insurance and many health insurance plans now include chiropractic as a benefit for their insured customers.
How Does It Work?
When most people think of chiropractic, they think of the spine. Chiropractors work with the spine due to the fact that it houses the spinal cord, which, together with the brain, makes up the central nervous system. (CNS). From the spinal cord, hundreds and thousands of nerves travel to every portion of the body, creating an interconnected web of nerve fibers originating from the CNS.
Chiropractic is based on the notion that misaligned (or “subluxated”) vertebrae in the spinal column cause malfunctions in other parts of the body, leading to a variety of conditions that can be corrected through spinal manipulation. In fact, every important physiological function that occurs in the human body is somehow triggered or controlled by the central nervous system, thus chiropractors believe that spinal adjustments can have far-reaching effects on myriad organ systems and processes within the body.
What Do Chiropractors Treat?
Chiropractors are specially trained medical professionals best known for treating back and neck pain, but chiropractic has also been found to be helpful for leg and arm problems, whiplash, chronic headaches and migraines, arthritic changes, jaw problems, vertigo, digestive disorders, and scoliosis. Still, the majority of patients who seek chiropractic care do so related to back pain, neck pain, or pain in the limbs or joints.
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors are trained to perform a variety of assessments of the human body, including the testing of muscle strength, joint health, flexibility, nerve conduction, and other functions. On a first exam, patients can expect a doctor of chiropractic to request a complete and detailed health and medical history. The chiropractor will then perform a very thorough physical examination that may or may not include X-rays and other tests. A chiropractor may wish to be in contact with your primary care physician about the care that you are receiving (or perhaps your doctor will refer you to a chiropractor for specific treatment). Many doctors and chiropractors collaborate regarding patient care, deciding as a team on the course of evaluation and treatment.