MOHE Approval Code: KA9294
Chiropractic is a branch of health care that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones and muscles of the body; especially involving the spine; and the effects of these conditions on the nervous system and health in general. Doctors of chiropractic (also referred to as chiropractors) commonly treat musculoskeletal symptoms; such as back and neck pain; headaches; pain in the arms or legs; and many other conditions.
Chiropractic offers patients a hands-on approach to health care that is drug-free; including patient examination; diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors utilize many common medical tests; such as clinical examination; x-rays; and blood tests; to determine the most appropriate care for each patient. The primary objective of chiropractic evaluation is to locate disorders of the segments (vertebrae) of the spine; known as “subluxations,” in which the movement and/or position between adjoining vertebrae is restricted and/or misaligned. Chiropractors correct subluxations using “chiropractic adjustments,” sometimes referred to as “spinal manipulations,” by applying specific forces to the involved joints using the hands or an instrument. A chiropractic adjustment restores the abnormal movement and/or position of the affected joint, which reduces the strain on the surrounding tissues. Thus, correcting subluxations alleviates pain and muscle tightness and permits healing.
Chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, stress management, and lifestyle counseling, but they do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. Many chiropractors also use physical therapy modalities, such as massage, ultrasound, electric and heat therapy, as well as the application of structural supports like tapes and braces. When chiropractic care is not suitable for a patient’s condition, or co-management with another health care provider is warranted, chiropractors are trained to refer patients to other members of the health care team.