The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words their (hands) and praxis (practice). As its name suggests, it is a practical therapy. Chiropractic manipulation is the application of pressure to the spine of a person or other parts of their body by a chiropractor or a qualified chiropractor. This pressure allows a chiropractor to adjust and correct the alignment. Chiropractic manipulation aims to reduce pain and improve the mechanical function, or the way a person moves.
The basis of chiropractic manipulation.
Modern chiropractic is based on a model of spinal care. But chiropractic manipulation has its roots in less scientific theories. Historically, chiropractors in Minnesota believed that a misaligned spine could cause illness. It was thought that this happened through the central nervous system and something called “innate knowledge”.
The theory was called “vertebral subluxation complex”. Early practitioners believed that 95 per cent of illnesses were caused in this way. They believed that chiropractic manipulation would correct problems in the musculoskeletal system and, in turn, cure the disease.
Sceptics and scientists found that this belief lacks a scientific basis. The first chiropractors also rejected the theory of the germs of disease and immunization. As a result, chiropractic lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the scientific community.
Chiropractic theory has evolved since then. It is increasingly accepted as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain.
In 2009, a study published in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy explored the theory behind the vertebral subluxation complex. He concluded that there was a lack of evidence to meet the basic criteria of causality. This meant that it was not scientific for chiropractors to claim that the disease was caused in this way.
Types of a chiropractic practitioner
Although the chiropractic profession has evolved, there are still some chiropractors who believe in non-scientific theories.
Chiropractors who hold beliefs that the rest of the profession has left behind are known as “straight.”
Before making an appointment with them, it is a good idea to find out if a chiropractor takes a modern or direct approach. In this way, a person can make an informed decision about the type of treatment he should receive.
People with musculoskeletal problems may also want to consider:
- physical therapy
- exercise therapy
- other medical treatments
It is always a good idea to discuss treatment options with a doctor before deciding which route to take.