Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems. Licensed in all 50 states and most countries in the world, they are recognized providers of Medicare and other agencies. Chiropractors in the United States hold what is known as an ‘advanced primary degree’, as do dentists and medical doctors.
Chiropractors use the spine as a tool to help restore normal function to the nerve system. Chiropractors locate and adjust vertebral subluxations, removing interference to the nerve system where the spinal cord leaves the protection of the spinal column.
Vertebral misalignments called subluxations disrupt the normal flow of nerve energy in terms of both quality and quantity. (Luxation = dis-location. Sub-luxation = less than a dislocation, a minor misalignment that causes less than normal function.)
An impaired nervous system caused by subluxations – misaligned vertebrae – is a liability that interferes with the control and coordination of the body, detracting from normal function of the body parts. In order for a sick or diseased body to have an opportunity to express optimum health, locating and adjusting vertebral subluxations must be one of the things corrected to restore normal function of the body.
Adjusting the spine, and removing the interference, allows the body to function better. Muscles can relax and balance, and joint function improves. Most importantly, adjusting the spine helps restore communication between the brain and the body, and allows malfunction or ‘dis-eased’ organs, tissues, and cells of the body to return to more normal function.
From Gray’s Anatomy: “The nerve system controls and coordinates every function of the body.” Interference with the nerve system at any level impairs the body’s normal functions and lowers its resistance to disease.
The brain is protected by the skull, and the spinal cord is protected by the spinal vertebrae.
The spinal cord is the extension of the brain that connects the brain with every part of the body. Every organ, tissue, and cell in the body sends and receives messages from the brain. All functions of the body are controlled and coordinated by the messages transmitted over the nerve system.
The vertebrae allow for movement of the body and provide protection of the central nerve system, the spinal cord, at the same time.
Misalignments and malfunctions of the spinal vertebrae often interfere with the transmission of the nerve impulses from the brain to the body, and from the body to the brain.
In addition, vertebral misalignments and malfunctions also cause problems with the muscles and joints of the spine.
Injuries to the muscles and joints of the spine can restrict normal movement and function of the spine at one or more spinal segments – two or more vertebra may be involved. These spinal or vertebral dysfunctions can alter normal body functions by affecting the nervous system, interfering with the normal transmission of messages from the body to the brain, and from the brain to the body.
In addition, dysfunction of the spinal joints and muscles of the back can cause pain and restricted movement. Commonly, it is the abnormal joint function that shows up as the muscle spasm, stiffness, and back pain that causes people to seek help from chiropractors.
The nervous system includes the brain, the spinal cord, the spinal nerves that exit the vertebral column through openings on the sides of each vertebra, and all the peripheral nerves that branch off to connect the brain with the organs, tissues, blood vessels, muscles of the body. Every cell communicates with the brain through the nerve system.
Information from the environment, both external and internal, goes through the spine to get to the brain. In the same manner, information and decisions made in the brain go through the spine to effect certain outcomes. It is a two-way flow of information.
If the master system, the nervous system, is healthy and has normal function without interference, then all the systems under its control will function in an optimal fashion.
Chiropractors adjust the spine, using the spinal bones as tools to reduce and remove vertebral subluxations. This helps restore normal function by removing interference in the nerve system at the spinal level, caused by vertebral subluxations.