Chiropractic focuses on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of mechanical issues affecting the musculoskeletal system and the effect of these problems on the nervous system and general health, with special emphasis on the spine. Chiropractic treatment is viewed alternately as a complementary therapy, or as a mainstream therapy depending on who you speak to.
Chiropractic philosophy contains many diverse viewpoints, however they all share a belief that general health is fundamentally related to spinal health because of the effect on the nervous system a healthy or unhealthy spine can have.
Straight vs Mixer Chiropractic Viewpoints
Straight chiropractors believe that vertebral subluxation a primary underlying risk factor for almost any disease as it effects the bodies nervous system, and thus its innate ability to determine something is wrong and put itself to work fixing the problem. Rather than taking a medical approach to the treatment of the patient, addressing issues of lifestyle, diet, disease symptoms, the straight chiropractor will focus primarily on detection of thus vertebral subluxation with the aim that fixing this will address the symptoms of the patient. Such chiropractic treatment is now in the minority.
Mixer chiropractors view a broader picture when seeking to diagnose and treat a patient, including considering naturopathic, osteopathic and medical approaches combined with detecting and treating vertebral subluxation. Treatments are likely to be more varied and may include acupuncture, massage, dietary, naturopathic, and other options. Vertical subluxation is treated as one of the many causes of disease, rather than the primary cause. Mixer philosophy is far more popular and mainstream, likely because it is more accessible to a majority of people who would have difficulty accepting that all their health problems relate to a back issue.
The most common treatment effected by Chiropractors is spinal manipulation which involves maneuvering the spine past its normal range of movement, but within the possible range of the movement. The sudden force required to make this manipulation will often result in an audible release sound or “crack”.
Chiropractors will also often perform other more gentle manipulations, massages, and provide advice on diet, exercise and posture. (Editors note:- If have seen two chiropractors in my life for a sore lower back. In both case, the lower part of my spine had “frozen” limiting my range of movement. The first chiropractor performed a rather vigorous series of manipulations on my back which was a little frightening, very loud, but very effective. My back was “fixed” in one session. 5 years later after getting slack at work(sitting in one position for 10 hours at a time) I suffered the same condition and went to a different chiropractor. He treated me in a very different way, making me perform a series of exercises and maneuvers on my own spine under his supervision. The method was as effective as the first method.
Safety and Treatment
Chiropractic though considered by some as an alternative, complementary medicine is the third most health based treatment, after traditional medicine and dentistry. Training and accreditation in all western countries is very strict, and it is generally accepted that though not without some risk, chiropractic when implemented by a trained professional is usually very safe.
Whilst the philosophy that the spine holds the key to our overall health is a concept not accepted by everyone, certainly the majority of people believe a chiropractor is the best person to go and see if you have problems with your back and neck – thus its popularity as at some point in time most people suffer back and/or neck pain.