Patient Education

Chiropractic Philosophy
Doctors of chiropractic believe in natural and conservative methods of health care and have a deep respect for the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication.  Chiropractors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

Chiropractic Science
All cells and parts of the body are under the direct influence of the nervous system.  The spinal column, comprised of 24 movable segments, plays an integral part in human functioning as it protects the spinal cord.  The spinal cord together with the brain forms the central nervous system (CNS).  The CNS controls and coordinates all bodily functions by sending large nerve roots to the organs and body structures through small openings (foramen) between the vertebrae. 

Doctors of Chiropractic are uniquely trained in the detection and correction of "vertebral subluxations" which impede vital nerve impulses.  For this reason, the spinal adjustment plays a crucial role in the recovery of a patient.  Thus, chiropractic is a health care science that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. 

Doctors of chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments.  Doctors of Chiropractic 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. 

Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient's condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as "spinal manipulation" also called "chiropractic adjustment". The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury.  Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time.  In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer.  

Adjustment of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.  It may be delivered painlessly and safely by hand or with modern technologically advanced adjusting instruments.

History of Chiropractic Care
The roots of chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time.  Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain.  Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases".

In the United States, the practice of spinal manipulation began gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa.  Palmer was well read in medical journals of his time and had great knowledge of the developments that were occurring throughout the world regarding anatomy and physiology.  In 1897, Daniel David Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which has continued to be one of the most prominent chiropractic colleges in the nation.

Education of Doctors of Chiropractic
Doctors of chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited chiropractic college.  The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.  Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about adjustive techniques and spinal analysis in colleges of chiropractic.

Those intending to become doctors of chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice.

An individual studying to become a doctor of chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects.  The intention of the basic chiropractic curriculum is to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease.  The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry.  Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients and are thus Primary care Providers.