- Author Dr Ben Baker
- Published July 4, 2012
- Word count 538
How a qualified chiropractor can help
Chiropractors are among the most valuable health care practitioners there are. The term comes from the Greek word χειρο, meaning hand, but chiropractic refers more specifically to the practice of treating illnesses by manually manipulating the patient’s spine. It is a very ancient practice— the Greeks and Romans of classical times may have used it— but it was not until 1895 that the principles of modern chiropractic were laid down by the American physician Daniel David Palmer, who later opened the first school for training chiropractors. The essential premise on which chiropractic is based, is that if the bones in the spine or other part of the skeleton are in proper alignment with one another, then there will be no need to use drugs or surgery to correct a particular disorder. Such treatment can thus save a patient thousands of dollars worth of expensive prescriptions and complex procedures.
The majority of chiropractors confine their treatment to pain and structural disorders in the joints and muscles. However, there are those who treat a wide variety of diseases. One is back pain, specifically that in the lower area: About four out of every five human beings experience it to some degree at some time in their lives. In fact, almost all persons seeking alternative forms of treatment for this type of ailment, go to a chiropractor. Chronic back pain, however, should be treated elsewhere. Neck pain and headaches have also been shown to get better when treated by a chiropractor. Upper back and neck malfunction can result in a headache, as blood vessels leading to that area can be affected by bones being out of position.
A neuropathic condition of the median nerve of the fingers known as carpal tunnel syndrome, characterized by numbness and loss of strength in the hand, is another reason why people often seek the aid of a chiropractor. It can spread to the wrist, up the arm, and down the neck to the spinal cord. The cause of CTS is the collapse of one or more of the wrist bones. Adjustment of these bones can restore their function.
But with all the things that these practitioners can do, it is a big mistake to think of chiropractic as a cure- all. Most physicians do not believe that spinal manipulation is an effective treatment for cancer, advanced infections, kidney disease, or other diseases. Likewise, chiropractic should never be sought by people who are suffering from serious ailments of the joints and muscles, like inflammatory arthritis, osteoporosis, or compression of the spinal cord. Sometimes a disk slips as a result of chiropractic treatment, but this is rare. It is important in any case to give a full description of the problem, so that proper treatment may be applied; and also to inform the practitioner of any medications one is currently taking, prescription or otherwise.
Nor are chiropractors legally allowed to prescribe medicines or perform major surgery in any state or in most countries. A chiropractor is, in fact, not a licensed medical professional. But they do frequently provide diet and exercise counseling to their clients. And on some occasions, chiropractic is used in combination with the treatment given by such a practitioner.