Chiropractic is an alternative treatment, based on the idea that an incorrect position of the spinal vertebrae is the source of all diseases, and that these are remedied by putting the vertebrae back in the right position again. This restores blocked nerve impulses and heals the patient.
Chiropractic literally means ‘doing with the hands’ and is applied to symptoms that mainly relate to the spine. Due to the misalignment of a vertebra, the entire health can be affected, where a person suffers especially from neck, shoulder and back problems. The chiropractor loosens joint blockages with precise and quick pressure movements by hand on the spine or on the joints. Performing quick corrections of a joint is also known as ‘cracking’.
Those who have been walking around for some time with pain in the neck, back and shoulders and cannot be helped in regular health care, are often referred to a chiropractor. By pushing back the crooked position of the vertebra, the blocked nerve will be able to recover and transmit impulses again. Chiropractic is a holistic method, which looks at the human being as a whole and not only the symptom itself. Many people have already benefited from this treatment method. The most common symptoms of patients who come to a chiropractor are:
- Neck pain.
- Low back pain.
- Arm pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Migraine and headache.
- Tingling in limbs.
The chiropractor manipulates the spine by carrying out manoeuvres. These manoeuvres are short and quick movements that aim to get a certain joint back in place. In addition to these manipulations, the chiropractor also gives postural exercises.
The average number of treatments at a chiropractor varies from six to ten. The treatments usually last very short (about fifteen minutes). Subsequent maintenance treatments are often recommended.
Chiropractic can relieve severe neck- and headaches and other pain symptoms. Possible side effects are fatigue or stiff muscles. It’s also possible that the problems temporarily increase. This is usually a sign that the treatment is succesful.
- In countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries, chiropractic is a recognized profession and chiropractors have the same status as doctors and dentists. Unlike the Netherlands and Belgium, where chiropractors are seen as alternative healers. Occasionally, the debate about the dangers of chiropractic resurfaces, even in countries where it’s a recognized profession.
- Research shows that particularly the ‘cracking’ may entail risks. In some people, this causes more symptoms.
- The founder of chiropractic is the Canadian-born grocery and fishmonger Daniel David Palmer. His theory from 1895 is based on that of Hippocrates, who stated that the cause of diseases can be sought in the spine.
- The term ‘chiropractic’ is derived from the Greek words cheír (hand) and praxis (action).