The primary focus of Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) is the relationship between the structure of the spine and the function of the nervous system.
What you can expect:
- Personalized care
- Non-invasive, drug-free techniques and treatments to alleviate pain and restore mobility and function
- Improve general health and wellness
- A safe and effective preventative measure for low back pain
Chiropractic care is a health care profession that is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. The primary focus of doctors of chiropractic (D.C.) is the relationship between the structure of the spine and the function of the nervous system and how it affects the general health of people with issues such as headaches, sciatica, and back, neck, and joint pain.
The history and evolution of chiropractic care…
In the 1890s, Daniel David Palmer, the founder of chiropractic medicine, declared the practice “a science of healing without drugs” (1). While the profession has evolved and expanded since then, chiropractors of today still employ non-invasive, drug-free techniques and treatments to alleviate pain and restore mobility and function to the body. In order to become a doctor of chiropractic, one must be accepted into a 5-year, accredited, postgraduate chiropractic program following undergraduate education. Upon earning the D.C. degree, new chiropractors will have accumulated at least 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. The training of chiropractors goes far beyond spinal adjustments; they are qualified to recommend rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises, counsel, and refer patients in the areas of nutrition and general lifestyle habits (2,6).
Common treatment techniques used by chiropractors are manipulative therapy, soft tissue techniques, and exercise prescription (3).
Of the three, chiropractors are most known for their manipulative therapy, which is also called “spinal manipulation” or “chiropractic adjustment.” This type of treatment is a manual therapy in which the physician manipulates or adjusts the spine by applying a controlled force to the affected joints that are causing pain or discomfort (6). The spine is the main focus for our DC’s as it is what protects and houses the spinal cord; the sensory pathway from our brain to the rest of the body. By adjusting the spine, DC’s can influence how the spinal cord and its ability to effectively and efficiently relay messages to and from our brains. Allowing the nervous system to function properly through the effects of spinal decompression and stabilization, the rest of the body can function properly as well.
Two examples of soft tissue techniques are active release and myofascial release. Chiropractors may prescribe exercises to complete at home or during chiropractic care sessions to strengthen muscles.
Of the neuromusculoskeletal disorders that chiropractic care encompasses, low back pain (LBP)—chronic and acute—is ranked as the leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the most common causes of work absence (5,6). In addition to the working American adult, adolescents and pregnant women are two other demographics that are affected by LBP:
- 50-80% of pregnant women experience LBP
- In one study, including 115 pregnant women with LBP/pelvic pain that underwent chiropractic treatments, 85% of the participants were “very happy” or “happy” with the care received after one year (4)
- LBP is prevalent in 34% of adolescents
- If left unmanaged, recurrent LBP in adolescents is highly associated with LBP into adulthood (5)
Chiropractic care is not only for those with existing injuries or musculoskeletal disorders.
If you are seeking general wellness or preventative care, chiropractic treatments can improve and help you enjoy a healthier life. In keeping with a holistic approach at Pacific Coast Sports Medicine, our doctors of chiropractic may work in collaboration with another health care provider who will complement the chiropractic treatments, such as a nutritionist, acupuncturist, or orthopedic surgeon.
- Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic. Accessed October 19, 2014. Modified October 3, 2014.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor Web site. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/chiropractors.htm#tab-1. Accessed October 19, 2014. Published January 8, 2014.
- Clijsters M, Fronzoni F, Jenkins H. Chiropractic treatment approaches for spinal musculoskeletal conditions: a cross-sectional survey. Chiropr Man Therapy. 2014;22(1):33.
- Peterson CK, Mühlemann D, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropr Man Therap. 2014;22:15.
- Schulz C, Leininger B, Evans R, Vavrek D, Peterson K, Haas M, Bronfort. Spinal manipulation and exercise for low back pain in adolescents: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Chiropr Man Therap. 2014;22:21.
- What is Chiropractic? American Chiropractic Association Web site. http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=61. Accessed October 19, 2014.