What is chiropractic medicine?
Chiropractic medicine is based on the link between the alignment of the spine and the function of the body. A core tenant of chiropractic medicine is the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself if given proper support. The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir and praxis meaning hand and practice. The words refer to treatment done by the hands or hands-on therapy.
With use of manual manipulation of the spine, chiropractors believe they can improve a person's health without surgery or medicine. They believe most illnesses are due to blockages along the nerve bundles in the spinal cord. These blockages are found through physical exam and X-rays. Some chiropractors also prescribe exercises to do at home. Chiropractors may do lab testing, diagnostic imaging, and other testing. Some also practice nutrition and complementary medicine.
Treatment may involve lying on your stomach on a special table, while the chiropractor uses his or her hands and elbows to realign the spine.
Chiropractic treatments have proven to be effective in treating certain lower back pain symptoms and muscle and other bone pains.
Chiropractic training is not equal to the training licensed medical doctors receive, but it is extensive. Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine have had at least 3 years of college with an emphasis on biology or basic sciences. This is followed by a minimum of 4 years of training at an accredited chiropractic college.