The definition of Chiropractic
The word “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and on general health.
Chiropractic history and education
Chiropractic has a very long history dating back to 1895 when the first official adjustment was given. Although relatively small in South Africa, chiropractic has, since its inception, grown to become the third largest healthcare profession in the world after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractic education and training is extensive, and in South Africa a Masters Degree in Chiropractic is awarded after a six year program.
The uniqueness of Chiropractic
What truly differentiates Chiropractors from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of dysfunction of the spine. Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in dysfunction or derangements of the spinal column, which results in irritation to the nervous system. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic treatment reduces or eliminates this irritation to spinal nerves, thus allowing your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably. Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health.
The Chiropractic adjustment
While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for specialist medical care when those interventions are indicated. The unique therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is spinal manipulation or the chiropractic adjustment. The purpose of the adjustment is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement. The adjustment enables the body to start the healing process. In addition to the adjustment, massage, muscle trigger point therapy, stretching exercises and strengthening exercises are done to facilitate this process. In the Chiropractic world preventing the reoccurrence of the problem is just as important as the initial remedy.