People suffering from back pain, neck pain, or problems in their spine are given several treatment options to choose from. These usually include medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Alternative approaches like acupuncture and chiropractic may also be presented as treatment. Among all these options, chiropractic is still a controversial and unfamiliar territory for a lot of people. So, what is chiropractic?
It is defined as “a system of therapy that utilizes the recuperative powers of the body and the relationship between the musculoskeletal structures and the functions of the body, particularly of the spinal column and the nervous system, in the restoration and maintenance of health.” by the American Heritage Medical Dictionary.
The treatment usually involves the manipulation of spine, joints, and soft tissues to correct the spine alignment. This healthcare profession is legally recognized in some countries across the globe. USA, Canada, and Europe are some areas where formal degrees in chiropractic have already been established. Potential chiropractors need to fulfill all the licensing and accreditation requirements before they are allowed to practice. This may include a degree in chiropractic, completion of a 12-month clinical internship program, and passing the national or state board exams. There are chiropractors who prefer to exclusively use spinal manipulation in their treatment while others combine it with massage therapy, nutritional intervention and homeopathic remedies.
Despite the controversy, chiropractic is now an accepted form of treatment for dealing with back pain, neck pain, whiplash, and other problems in the spine but there are also conditions where it may be counter-productive to see a chiropractor. Examples of these are severely degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, fractures, neurological diseases, and others.
It is every patient’s right to choose the treatment that he will avail of. This cannot be done without having a medical professional sit down with you and explain the pros and cons of these treatment options. Chiropractic may have worked well for people you know but the only way to know if it’s the best treatment for you is to consult your physician.
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