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Chiropractic care, as we know it today, was founded by U.S. citizen Daniel David Palmer in 1895. Palmer, who resided in Davenport, Iowa, taught himself the practice of healing. His train of thought was that good health depended on how well energy could flow through the body. He also gathered from his experiences as a healer that misalignments of the spine hindered the functionality of the nervous system and that this was the cause of a number of bodily ailments.

Chiropractic literally means “hand action” in Greek and refers to therapy done using the hand. Chiropractic care in the modern world is often though of as an alternative to traditional medicinal practices. It is fast becoming known as a complementary treatment to be used in conjunction with conventional medicine practices.

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care involves using pressure to reposition the bones of the spine back to their rightful places. This manipulation is called vertebral subluxation. When these vertebrae are out of their proper position, they can bother the spinal nerves. This pressure on the spinal nerves causes obstructions with the signals moving over those nerves. When nerve signals cannot travel freely, functions of the body become limited and problems arise. People with misaligned spinal bones may experience chronic pain, difficulty breathing, and other health ailments.

What is Chiropractic Used For?

Doctors of chiropractic use vertebral subluxation as a means of treating numerous health ailments in their patients. The chiropractor manipulates the bones of the spine so that the full functioning of the patient’s nervous system is restored. This restoration allows nerve signals to work properly and relieve specific problems that the patient is experiencing. Chiropractic care today is used by millions of people around the world. Most commonly, people who seek chiropractic care are looking to relieve back and neck pain. Of course, there are many reasons why people get vertebral subluxation. A pregnant woman may get adjusted to relieve back ache from the pressure caused by her growing belly. Parents might bring their child to see a chiropractor periodically in order to realign the spine after bumps and jostling from everyday play.

What are the Benefits of Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care offers its patients numerous benefits. Spinal adjustments have been known to relieve pain and other health issues concerning the body. Young and old alike can reap the benefits of chiropractic care, from newborns to the eldest of senior citizens.

Newborns receive a modified form of chiropractic adjustment. This method used is gentle and involves minimal manipulation. It focuses on restoring spinal misalignments caused by the birthing process.

Babies, and children in general, do not receive any sort of neck rotation during their adjustments. Babies and children who have frequent ear infections can sometimes find relieve with the help of chiropractic care. Subluxations help prevent an ear infection from reoccurring by correcting misalignments. Maintaining proper alignment of the spinal allows fluid in the middle ear to drain as needed.

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that children suffering from nocturnal enuresis, more commonly referred to as bedwetting, were able to stay dryer with the help of chiropractic adjustments. On average, test participants went from bedwetting every night of the week to only four times per week shortly after receiving chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractic care also provides benefits for the body’s respiratory system. In 1996, the Michigan Chiropractic Council (MCC) conducted a study to assess how chiropractic care affects children who have asthma. Prior to this study, test participants were experiencing, on average, four asthma attacks per month. After one month of chiropractic care, this figure went down to only one asthma attack per month. The director of this study, Dr. Bob Graham, stated that medications the children had used prior to the study had been reduced by almost 70 percent after one month of chiropractic care.

The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research reported on several case studies that suggest a link between chiropractic adjustments and fertility. The case studies each involved women clinically deemed as infertile. Shortly after receiving subluxations specifically designed to restore proper functioning of the reproductive system, the women were all able to conceive.

Athletes can benefit from chiropractic care. Getting a chiropractic adjustment releases interferences within the nervous system, thereby allowing the nervous system to do a better job of coordinating bodily functions. Various studies have reported that athletes attain higher levels of performance after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Some of the advantages include better balance, power, speed, and agility.

What are some Safety Concerns and Risks of Using Chiropractic?

There is some controversy surrounding the use of chiropractic care. Neck manipulations, in particular, are suspected of inducing strokes in unfortunate patients. It has been estimated that anywhere from one in 40,000 and one in 10 million adjustments of the neck have resulted in complications such as stroke. Nothing is known for certain, however; not enough data has been complied to accurately say for sure. Some speculate that the occurrence is higher when the neck adjustment is performed by a doctor other than a licensed chiropractor.

What is it about the manipulation of the neck that makes it a riskier action? The answer lies in the stretching of the vertebral artery to the brain. This stretching may cause the artery to become blocked or even burst. The rapid rotary motion of the head that comes with manipulation of the neck is to blame for this potential damaging of the artery. Once again, the occurrence of stroke due to adjustment of the neck is thought to be a rarity.

If you are thinking of joining the millions of people who find relieve under the care of a chiropractor, check to make sure that potential practitioner is qualified. A chiropractor who is licensed has undergone years of vigorous training and has passed national and state exams. It is unwise and dangerous to receive vertebral subluxation treatments from someone who does not have credentials specific to chiropractors, even if that practitioner holds the title of medical doctor.

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