What is Chiropractic?
The word "chiropractic" comes from the Greek words kheir (hand) and práxis (action). It simply means "done by hand."
Chiropractic relates to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical defects of the musculoskeletal system, by focusing on the entire nervous system, in conjunction with all other systems of the human body, be they healthy or sick.
Chiropractic appeals neither to drugs or surgery: the methods used are mainly manual. The chiropractor makes adjustments of the spine and extremities: hips, ankles, wrists, shoulders, etc. These adjustments allow the body to correct its imbalances by releasing muscle tension, allowing to heal faster and withstand stress more effectively.
When Chiropractic Can Help?
You can consult a chiropractor in case of pain, whatever its origin, after a shock, traumatic or not, in times of stress, or simply to check the condition of your spine.
Chiropractic is for everyone, from newborn to the elderly through athletes and pregnant women.
Chiropractic is extremely beneficial for athletes of all disciplines and levels. The strain on the body during intense training or during competitions can often cause pain and imbalance. Chiropractic allows athletes to resist injury and help the body stay balanced for optimum performance.
Chiropractic care can prevent some effects on the body related to pregnancy and childbirth. There is no risk for both the mother and the unborn child.
Chiropractic is also very suitable for children from birth to adolescence. During growth, the body is constantly changing and regular chiropractic care help to prevent some of the imbalances of the body. Chiropractic can also help solve some common disorders of childhood such as chronic ear infections, colic or spit.
As an adult, whether you are active or not, chiropractic helps you eliminate imbalances in the body created by stress or injury. This also prevents the reappearance of some injuries.
Chiropractic is also a very good way to keep seniors active and mobile. Aging joints naturally lose their flexibility. By remaining active and regularly ensuing chiropractic care, the elderly maintain flexibility of joints along with mobility and independence.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors are medical professionals who consider the human being as a whole and take account of its natural recuperative powers.
Where conventional medicine focuses on treating illness through surgery and pharmaceuticals, the goal of chiropractic is to optimize health with a non-invasive approach that does not use drugs or surgery. Chiropractic's primary avenue of care is manipulation of the spine and the framework of the body.
After a first meeting devoted to examination, interview, and neurological and orthopedic tests, in order to have a clear picture of your medical condition (take any X-Ray, MRI or scanner you possess), the chiropractor will process the information he gathered and give you a personalized treatment program. This program varies greatly according to the pathology of each patient. Some problems may be solved in a few spaced sessions, while others will need you to come twice a week for several months.
Further treatment takes place in three stages, each session lasting 20 to 30 minutes. The first sessions are intended to provide rapid relief, followed by the correction of the problem itself (what your chiropractor calls "adjustments"). The program ends with a final phase of stabilization, which can spread over time. The goal is simply to maintain the body, in order to prevent the problem from resurfacing.
Is Chiropractic Safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized and integrated into healthcare systems worldwide. It is the second health profession in the United States, where 15 million of adjustments are made every day.
After a session, you may feel soreness, pain or an exaggeration of symptoms. These disorders are relatively minor and are related to a normal physiological reaction of neurological and muscular work. It generally does not exceed two days. Most patients will feel immediate relief, and a feeling of lightness.
Chiropractic is indicated both for infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and the elderly. However, there are some contraindications:
- Bone malformation
- Cancer, tumor, hematoma, fracture, infection
- Osteoporosis and any disease weakening the bones, tendons, ligaments or veins
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Severe disc herniation
- Congenital hypermobility
- Symptoms related to compression of the nerves constituting the terminal part of the spinal cord
Your chiropractor is a professional, specifically trained to work with patients under medical care. He/she will let you know during the first consultations if chiropractic may or may not be appropriate for your specific case.