Chiropractic treatment is a branch of the healing arts that deals with human health and disease prevention, and with the relationship between the neuroskeletal and musculoskeletal structures and functions of the body. The primary focus of chiropractic is the spine and its relationship to the nervous system, as it relates to restoring and maintaining health. A Doctor of Chiropractic (D. C.) is a chiropractic professional who can treat multiple neuromusculoskeletal conditions during a single visit.
Chiropractors use widely accepted diagnostic procedures to evaluate diseases and adverse health conditions. The primary mode of chiropractic treatment is manipulation or adjustment, which is the application of controlled force to restore normal joint function. The goal of the manipulation is to restore normal mobility and range of motion within the joint. The chiropractor affects the physiology of the body and promotes healing by locating and correcting mechanical joint disorders or joint subluxations.
In chiropractic, the term subluxation is used interchangeably with the term spinal subluxation complex or vertebral subluxation complex. A subluxation can also be referred to as joint dysfunction, joint fixation, functional joint injury, somatic dysfunction, or biomechanical dysfunction. Subluxation has been defined as the fixation, lack of movement or aberrant movement of a joint, which causes physiological changes in the joint that can cause inflammation of the joint and its capsule, which can cause pain, swelling, muscle spasms, nerve irritation, damage to the joint's cartilage and loss of normal range of motion. Nerve irritation can cause pain and spasms that radiate.
Vascular, sensory and motor changes may accompany a spinal subluxation complex. Chiropractors can treat some non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions when they practice within the scope of their licenses. When evaluating the need for chiropractic treatment, both neuromusculoskeletal conditions and any related co-existing non-neuromusculoskeletal disorders should be considered. Chiropractors treat diseases without the use of medications or surgery; when medication or surgery is indicated, they should refer patients to an allopathic or osteopath doctor as appropriate. In addition to manipulation, chiropractors may employ complementary nutritional, hygienic and environmental modalities, physiotherapeutic modalities, rehabilitation, and therapeutic massages for the treatment of subluxation and related conditions. The use of adjuvant modalities should be appropriate for diagnosis and should increase or improve manipulative treatment. The literature indicates that chiropractic treatment during pregnancy may be appropriate; it is often effective in reducing back pain and allowing pregnant patients to function and carry out their activities of daily living.
Some diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are not considered medically necessary or essential for the treatment of illness or injury and are not widely accepted by the chiropractic profession; an example is using manipulation instead of antibiotics for treating suppurative otitis media. Manipulative procedures have not been shown to be an effective substitute for childhood vaccines or for treating infectious diseases; these indications are not contemplated either. The use of chiropractic to correct abnormal spinal curvature in asymptomatic individuals is considered experimental and investigative; this includes biophysical chiropractic technique (CPB), also known as clinical posture biomechanics – a variation of straight chiropractic (based on subluxations) whose general objective is to restore posture – which advocates ascribe to a controversial position that decrease in neck curvature is pathological and requires correction regardless if there are symptoms present or not. In addition, antiretroviral treatment protocols have not been shown to reduce inhibition or increase strength when used in conjunction with manipulative procedures such as ART (Active Release Technique). Overall, it's important to understand your health insurance coverage before visiting a chiropractor so you know what treatments are covered by your policy. Private health funds may cover some chiropractic treatments but Medicare does not generally cover them unless you meet certain requirements under the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program. The cost of chiropractic treatment varies depending on the treatment so it's important to contact the clinic before attending if you are unsure.
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