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.
Doctors of Chiropractic often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. To learn more avout chiropractic, check out a video featuring Dr. Oz discussing chiropractic princibles.
The main chiropractic treatment technique involves manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment also includes exercises and health and lifestyle counseling. Traditional chiropractic assumes that a vertebral subluxation interferes with the body's innate intelligence, a vitalistic notion ridiculed by the scientific and healthcare communities. A large number of chiropractors want to separate themselves from the traditional vitalistic concept of innate intelligence.
D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s, and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. It has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence and spinal adjustments, and consider vertebral subluxations to be the cause of all disease; "mixers", the majority, are more open to mainstream views and conventional medical techniques, such as exercise, massage, and ice therapy.
Chiropractic is well established in the U.S., Canada and Australia and is the "third largest of the doctored health professions (behind only medicine and dentistry)". It overlaps with other manual-therapy professions, including massage therapy, osteopathy, and physical therapy. Most who seek chiropractic care do so for low back pain.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." - attributed to Thomas Edison.