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.”

All 50 states and many countries recognize chiropractic as a health-care profession. Today, there are more than 50,000 chiropractors in the United States alone, and there are 26 chiropractic colleges worldwide. Chiropractic is one of health care’s fastest-growing fields simply because it’s safe, natural, drugless, non-invasive, and effective.

The writings of Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.), Galen (130-200 A.D.), and even ancient manuscripts of the Egyptians, Hindus, and Chinese reveal some principles common to chiropractic. Its place in modern health care is largely attributed to Dr. Daniel David Palmer, who founded the first chiropractic college in Davenport, Iowa, in 1895.

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort- it may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring- and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own. Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. 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.

Of course, the type of correction or adjustment employed by the chiropractor depends on the condition being treated, but you get the main idea. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.

Because helping the body heal itself involves many facets, chiropractors also provide lifestyle advice to help prevent illness and injury. Diet & nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, and other areas in your life contribute, or diminish, your overall health. By making the right choices, one can live a life full of wellness and vitality.

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