From ArticleWorld


Chiropractic or chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that involves adjusting the spine and its vertebrae in order to treat conditions such as headaches, back or neck pain and other types of musculoskeletal conditions. Some chiropractors (specialists in the field) claim to be able to use spinal manipulation to correct or cure diseases of other body areas such as intestinal problems, conditions of the gallbladder or urinary problems.

While the use of chiropractic techniques for the treatment of musculoskeletal or spine conditions is generally well accepted in conventional medical circles, its use in treating conditions unrelated to the spine is held in question.

Historical Perspective

Chiropractic in the US began in the 1880s by Daniel Palmer and actually started with the use of magnetic healing. Further study by Palmer refined his chiropractic techniques and he called his new science “chiropractic” which combines the Greek words “chiros” and “praktikos”, which together mean “done by hand”.

Chiropractic Education

An individual desiring to become a chiropractor today must carry a Bachelor’s Degree and, once accepted to an accredited chiropractic school, must complete another three or more years of education in the area of chiropractic. Students who complete their training receive a Doctorate of Chiropractic (DC) degree and must be licensed in the state in which they practice.

Contemporary Approaches

Chiropractic medicine is made up of two primary schools of thought:

  1. Traditional chiropractors use various techniques to manipulate the spine in order to correct subluxations or “small dislocations” of the vertebrae or pelvis. These practitioners believe that, by using spinal manipulation, conditions not necessarily considered to be part of the spinal system can be affected.
  2. Augmented or “mixed” chiropractic care combines contemporary medical methods of diagnosis and management with spinal manipulation. Those opposed to this type of practice are concerned that, while medical conditions are being diagnosed by traditional means, the treatment for those conditions are solely by means of spinal manipulation in the absence of conventional medical intervention.

The practice of chiropractic, its diagnostics and forms of therapy are varied among its practitioners. Certain aspects of chiropractic care such as spinal manipulation for back pain are generally accepted by mainstream medical providers; many other uses for chiropractic care are usually considered unacceptable and possibly dangerous in the eyes of conventional medicine.