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What is chiropractic manipulation?

Aug 6

Chiropractic is a complementary medicine that treats problems in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Its primary focus is on spine care.

Musculoskeletal systems comprise muscles, bones, joints, and cartilage. It supports a person's body, allows them movement, and protects their organs.


Chiropractic was founded on believing that central nervous system problems could cause disease. This belief is no more part of chiropractic.


This article examines chiropractic manipulation and the scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. This article also discusses safety and what you can expect during a chiropractic adjustment appointment.


What is chiropractic manipulation?

Chiropractic combines the Greek words cheir, which means "hands," and praxis, which means "practice." It is a hands-on therapy, as the name implies.


Chiropractic manipulation applies pressure on a person's spine by a qualified chiropractor or chiropractic doctor. A chiropractor can adjust and correct alignment by applying pressure.


Chiropractic manipulation is designed to relieve pain and improve the mechanics of movement.


Chiropractic manipulation is based on sound principles

Chiropractic is based on the spinal care model. Chiropractic manipulation is rooted in less scientific theories.


Chiropractic practitioners believe that misalignment of the spine could lead to disease. This was believed to occur via the central nervous system, or "innate knowledge."


This theory was known as the "vertebral Subluxation Complex." This theory was believed to cause 95 percent of all diseases. On the other hand, chiropractic manipulation was believed to correct problems in the musculoskeletal and thus cure diseases.


Scientists and skeptics found this belief lacking in scientific support. Moreover, the germ theory of immunization and disease was also rejected by early chiropractors. Chiropractic was therefore deemed unscientific.


Since then, chiropractic theory has evolved. It is now more widely accepted as a treatment option for musculoskeletal and muscular pain.


A 2009 study in Chiropractic & Osteopathy examined the theory behind vertebral subluxation complicated. The study concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to support the basic theory of causation. It was therefore unscientific for chiropractors that they claim disease was caused in this manner.


In 2014, the International Chiropractic Education Collaboration released a position statement stating that chiropractic no longer supports vertebral subluxation theory.

The evidence does not support the teaching of vertebral Subluxation Complex as a vitalistic construct that asserts it is the cause of disease. Therefore, it is inappropriate and unneeded to include it in modern chiropractic education in any other context than historical.

It was also stated that many chiropractic education institutions now support the World Health Organization (WHO's) immunization mission.


Chiropractic & Manual Therapies argued for a new approach in chiropractic that would eliminate its "bad" and unscientific aspects. The following are some aspects of the profession that should be dropped:


  • Adherence to a flawed chiropractic philosophy that focuses on innate intelligence, vitalism, and other issues
  • There are claims that there is a cure for visceral or other non-musculoskeletal conditions
  • anti-vaccination propaganda
  • Anti-drug, anti-medicine propaganda
  • Neglecting clinical research, evidence-based practices, and non-specific treatment effects, such as natural history and the placebo effect, is a dangerous attitude.

The article then outlined a ten-point plan to modernize the profession. First, the article emphasized the need for chiropractors not to be "solely musculoskeletal practitioners" with an emphasis on spinal pain.


Modern chiropractors have mostly abandoned the belief system that spinal therapy could heal unrelated diseases.


Different types of chiropractors

Despite the evolution of chiropractic, some chiropractors still believe in unscientific theories.


Straights are chiropractors who believe that the rest of their profession is dead.


It is a good idea for patients to ask about the approach of chiropractors before making an appointment. By doing this, one can make an informed decision on the type of treatment they will receive.


For those with musculoskeletal issues, you might also be interested in:


  • Physical therapy
  • Therapy
  • Other medical treatments

Before deciding on the best treatment route, discussing your options with your doctor is a good idea.


Appointment for a chiropractic adjustment

People may have questions about musculoskeletal pain when they first visit a chiropractor.


The chiropractor will then conduct a physical examination of the patient, focusing on their spine. To determine the best treatment, the chiropractor might conduct tests like X-rays.


The chiropractor will create a treatment plan if treatment is necessary. The treatment involves using hands or a device that can quickly apply controlled force to a joint. This is done to increase the range and quality of movement.


The chiropractor might also offer these other treatments:


  • Heat and Ice
  • Stimulation
  • relaxation techniques
  • exercises
  • Counseling regarding lifestyle factors that impact musculoskeletal and musculoskeletal health
  • Dietary supplements


Is chiropractic adjustment possible?

The evidence is mounting that chiropractic manipulation could be an effective treatment option for:


Neck pain:

Chiropractic workplace interventions could reduce neck pain in office workers, according to a 2017 literature review.


Lower back pain:

A 2016 study showed moderate evidence that chiropractic care could be as effective as physical therapy for lower-back problems. In 2017, a systematic review showed that spinal manipulation therapy had modest benefits for lower back pain sufferers.


Chest pain:

In 2016, a study showed that chiropractic care was more cost-effective than self-management for chest pain. Therefore, this can be considered a primary care option for non-specific chest discomfort.


Chiropractic has been recognized as a complementary medicine practice over the years. It is considered part of mainstream medicine in some countries.


Chiropractic is now a primary medical profession. The research shows that the training program chiropractors undergo prepares them to be experts in primary spinal care.


Chiropractic is not proven to be effective in treating conditions that aren't related to the musculoskeletal systems.


The chiropractic adjustment is safe

Chiropractic adjustments involve manipulating the spine. It can cause mild side effects like:


  • Increased pain
  • It is uncomfortable
  • Stiffness in the muscles
  • Headache
  • tiredness

In 2007, a study was done to determine the safety of chiropractic treatment for neck pain. The study found that side effects are common but not severe or persistent.


According to the study, the benefits of chiropractic treatment for neck pain are greater than the risks.


According to research, chiropractic manipulation may be safe for people with lower back pain. One 2016 study showed that chiropractic care for lower back pain has no serious side effects.