It is estimated that about 27 million Americans visit a doctors of chiropractic each year, and millions more receive chiropractic care throughout the rest of the world. Chiropractic is the third largest primary health care field (after medicine and dentistry).
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body).
"Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment.
It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
The conditions which doctors of chiropractic address are as varied and as vast as the nervous system itself.
We use a standard procedure of examination to diagnose a patient's condition and arrive at a course of treatment. Chiropractors use the same time-honored methods of consultation, case history, physical examination, laboratory analysis and x-ray examination as any other doctor. In addition, they provide a careful chiropractic structural examination, paying particular attention to the spine.
The examination of the spine to evaluate structure and function is what makes chiropractic different from other health care procedures. Your spinal column is a series of movable bones which begin at the base of your skull and end in the center of your hips. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves extend down the spine from the brain and exit through a series of openings. The nerves leave the spine and form a complicated network which influences every living tissue in your body.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion, and countless other factors can result in a displacements or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation to spinal nerves can cause your body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.
We also places an emphasis on nutritional and exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical and mental health. While chiropractors make no use of drugs or surgery, Doctors of chiropractic do refer patients for medical care when those interventions are indicated. In fact, chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and other health care professionals now work as partners in occupational health, sports medicine, and a wide variety of other rehabilitation
Like exercise, proper nutrition provides a wealth of benefits‚ both physical and emotional‚ that contribute to your body's strength and its ability to ward off disease and disability.
A healthy diet translates into a healthy body; the proper mix of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are the best recipe for ensuring that your skeletal, muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems function smoothly.
Following are some dietary tips that will help you keep your spine, joints, and muscles healthy:
- Ample amounts of water are essential from a dietary standpoint. Water keeps your cells hydrated and helps your blood work more efficiently in carrying nutrients throughout your body. Tea, coffee, sodas and alcohol actually have the opposite effect. Drinking excessive amounts of soda and other carbonated beverages could interfere with calcium absorption, which may lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Calcium (in milk, broccoli, salmon, and kale) keeps your bones strong.
- Choose foods rich in fiber. A good rule to follow is an intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Foods rich in fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts and some fruits and vegetables.
- Foods high in Vitamin C (such as broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and strawberries) help ward off osteoarthritis. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue. Fortified dairy products and fish rich in Vitamin D help preserve your cartilage.
- Organically grown foods usually have smaller amounts of toxins in them, so they are arguably safer and healthier.
Raw foods retain vast amounts of minerals and other nutrients, which are destroyed or diminished by the process of cooking (canned tomatoes are the rare exception here). Eat the skins of fruits and vegetables because they often contain more nutrients than what's inside.