I know there is so much controversy between chiropractic and medical care, but if it were not for chiropractic I would still be in pain. A car accident left me with constant lower back pain. I tried everything from painkillers to preparing to have surgery. I heard stories from my friends who had surgery and to this day wish they never had it. So I decided to go to a chiropractor before the surgery and I am so thankful that I did. My back pains are gone and I am living my life to the fullest and pain free.

Jeffrey Harris
Chiropractic History Print E-mail

The word chiropractic is derived from Greek and means "to perform with the hands". Paintings from ancient Egypt and Greece have shown chiropractic was used a thousand years ago.  However, David Palmer in the U.S. brought chiropractic to the forefront of health care when he restored a man's hearing with a chiropractic manipulation. 

Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperation power of the body to heal itself without drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the spine and nervous system and how the relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Therefore, the chiropractic belief on healing and health differs from the traditional medical view. A chiropractor will evaluate the entire patient as a whole as opposed to focusing on only one symptom or specific part of the body. Although there is certainly a place for medical intervention and treatment in cases of emergencies and some surgical interventions, the chiropractic physician believes that in most cases the body can maintain and heal itself without chemicals or the cutting out of certain tissues if the nervous system and spine are kept in alignment, and it is given proper nutrition and exercise. Ultimately, it is the body that controls and manages the healing process.

Along with medicine and osteopathy, chiropractic is one of the western world's three major healing professions. Chiropractors specialize in treating biomechanical causes of disease that result from misalignments of the spine and poor posture.

The following are the three fundamental principles of chiropractic.

  • Importance of the nervous system: Chiropractic doctors recognize the overriding importance of a properly functioning nervous system in the body's maintenance of its own health.
  • Spinal subluxations (misalignments): Chiropractic doctors recognize that pinched or otherwise irritated spinal nerves due to vertebral subluxations, misalignments or other structural impairments alter normal nerve impulses and thereby cause pain and disease conditions - not only in the back - but all over the body.
  • Chiropractic adjustments: Chiropractic doctors recognize that when spinal nerve irritations are cleared by means of chiropractic adjustments and other chiropractic care, the nervous system's normal flow of impulses can resume and direct the body's own efforts in recuperation from pain and disease and help in the continuing maintenance of the body's health.

A chiropractic manipulation is the art of introducing a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a vertebra that is subluxated or out of place. The Chiropractor identifies the location of the subluxation, determines the exact direction and the best way to correct the positioning. The adjustment itself is done either by hand or with a instrument in a very quick movement. The adjustment assists the vertebra back into the normal alignment which restores proper motion to a joint and relieves nerve pressure.

There are approximately 40 different ways to analyze and adjust the spine, so the actual adjustment will vary depending on the patient and the technique used by the doctor. Dr. Nelsen has found the Activator Methods technique to be the most effective chiropractic manipulative technique for his patients. It is the most widely used low-force technique in the world and is the primary manipulation technique used in his practice. He is rated "Advanced Proficient" in this technique.

Once conditions have been relieved, chiropractors educate their patients on prevention of reoccurance, nutrition, exercise, proper stretching,and healthy lifestyle choices.

Numerous conditions or symptoms which frequently result from subluxations and often respond positively to chiropractic treatment are further discussed in our Why Chiropractic section.



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