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The Chiropractic Alternative

Chiropractic care is a health care approach that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure, mainly the spine, and its functioning. Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

The term “chiropractic” combines the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) to describe a treatment done by hand. Hands-on therapy, especially adjustment of the spine, is central to chiropractic care. While some procedures associated with chiropractic care can be traced back to ancient times, Daniel David Palmer founded the modern profession of chiropractic in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer, a self-taught healer, believed that the body has a natural healing ability. Misalignments of the spine can interfere with the flow of energy needed to support health, Palmer theorized, and the key to health is to normalize the function of the nervous system, especially the spinal cord.

Chiropractic care in the United States is considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. The key concepts of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are:
* The body has a powerful self-healing ability.
* The body’s structure (primarily that of the spine) and its function are closely related, and this relationship affects health.
* Therapy aims to normalize this relationship between structure and function and assist the body as it heals.

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, back pain and related conditions are the top reasons adults use CAM. Spinal manipulation can provide mild-to-moderate relief. It appears to be as effective as conventional treatments. Recently, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society said these CAM therapies, like chiropractic care, could serve as an option for chronic back pain that does not improve with self-care.