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Overview of Chiropractic Care

A Brief History of Chiropractic

The first recorded chiropractic adjustment was performed on September 18, 1895, by Dr. Daniel David Palmer, a Canadian-born teacher and *healer*. Dr. Palmer was, at the time, studying the cause and effect of disease. His patient was Harvey Lillard, a janitor working in the same building as Dr. Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Lillard, who had complained of hearing problems for over 17 years, allowed Dr. Palmer to examine his spine. Dr. Palmer discovered a “lump” on Mr. Lillard’s back and suspected that a vertebra might be out of place, which he then repositioned the vertebra with a gentle thrust. After several such treatments, much of Mr. Lillard’s hearing was restored.

Since Dr. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment, the art and science of chiropractic has progressed significantly. Today, advanced diagnostic procedures, sophisticated equipment, scientific research, and the growing acceptance among other health care professionals makes chiropractic a popular health care choice.

Chiropractic Philosophy

The chiropractic perspective on health and disease emphasizes two fundamental concepts:

  1. the structure and condition of the body influences how the body functions and its ability to heal itself; and
  2. the mind-body relationship is instrumental in maintaining health and in the healing processes.

Although chiropractic shares much with other health professions, its emphasis and application of philosophy distinguishes it from modern medicine. Chiropractic philosophy gravitates toward a holistic (“total person”) approach to healing which combines elements of the mind, body and spirit and maintains that health depends on obedience to natural laws, and that deviation from such laws can result in illness.

Widespread Use of Chiropractic Care

The increasing interest in alternative forms of care has caught the attention of several health associations and government agencies. A 1993 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that “The estimated number of visits made in 1990 to providers of unconventional therapy was greater than the number of visits to all primary care medical nationwide,” and chiropractic was among the most frequently used non-medical therapies. A follow-up report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that the use of non-medical treatments had increased significantly since the 1990 survey, with “overall prevalence of use increased by 25%, total visits by an estimated 47%, and expenditures on services provided by practitioners of alternative therapies by an estimated 45%.” Of the survey respondents, one in nine (11%) had used chiropractic care within the previous year.

Healthy Tips for a Healthy Spine

STUDY SHOWS CHIROPRACTIC IMPROVES NON-MUSCULOSKELETAL CONDITIONS

A new international analysis looks into the visceral or non-musculoskeletal benefits of chiropractic care.

The experiment surveyed 5,607 chiropractic patients cared for by 385 doctors of chiropractic in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

The patients were asked if they had experienced improvement in allergies, asthma, breathing, circulation, digestion, hearing, heart function, ringing in the ears, sinus problems, urination and other non-musculoskeletal concerns.

According to the report “positive reactions were reported by 2% to 10% of all patients and by 3% to 27% of those who reported to have such problems.”

“Most common were improved breathing (27%), digestion (26%), and circulation (21%).”

Patients were slightly more likely to report non-musculoskeletal improvement if they had been told they might have such reactions, if they received adjustments to the upper cervical spine, if they received adjustments to the lower thoracic spine or if they were female.

The study’s authors conclude that “a minority of patients with self-reported non-musculoskeletal symptoms report definite improvement after chiropractic care, and very few report definite worsening.

Future studies should use stringent criteria to investigate a possible treatment effect and concentrate on specific diagnostic subgroups such as digestive problems and tinnitus.”

The following tips can help you take better care of your spine:

  • Make sure you have a firm mattress that keeps the spine aligned and supports the spine’s natural curve. The best sleeping positions are on your back or side.
  • When standing for extended periods, rest one foot on a small stool to maintain spinal curvature and relieve pressure. The knees should be bent when bending forward. Low-heeled shoes may help by maintaining spinal curvatures and cushioning your weight.
  • Use chairs that promote good posture and support your back. Placing a lumbar support in the lower portion of your back may help support your spine’s natural curve. Readjust the seat of your car so that y our knees are level with your hips.
  • When bending forward, bend at the knees and hips, but keep your back straight. This will help to keep your spine’s curvature in proper alignment. When lifting, keep your spine straight while using your legs to do most of the work. Hold the objects being lifted close to your body to keep the weight on your spine to a minimum.

The ABC’s of Subluxations – Vertebral subluxations are displacements of the spinal bones (vertebrae) that can cause stress to your spinal cord and nervous system. Subluxations may be caused by poor sleeping habits, poor posture, strenuous exercise, injuries, auto accidents, sports, slips or falls, and in some cases, the birthing process itself. Chiropractic adjustments are very helpful in correcting subluxations and restoring optimal health.

VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION CHART

The Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) is a chiropractic model depicting the components of the spinal column. One of the components is called neuropathophysiology which describes how the Vertebral Subluxation Complex produces interference to normal function of the nervous system.

The chart below illustrates which organ systems can be affected by a subluxation at a given spinal level.

Note – exact spinal levels may not exactly match symptoms – the nervous system is extremely complex. For more information, please ask Dr. Hennie.

subluxation-chart4

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