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Health Library : Complementary and Alternative Medicine

 

Chiropractic Medicine

What is chiropractic medicine?

Chiropractic medicine is based on the relationship between the alignment of the spine and the function of the body and the belief that the body can heal itself.

With use of manual manipulation of the spine, chiropractors believe they can improve a person's health without surgery or medication. They believe most illnesses are due to blockages along the nerve bundles in the spinal cord. These blockages are found through physical examination and x-rays. Some chiropractors also prescribe exercises to do at home. Chiropractors may perform laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic interventions. Some chiropractors practice other modalities, such as nutrition and complementary medicine, but these subjects are not a major part of chiropractic specialty. 

Treatment may include lying on your stomach on a special table, while the chiropractor uses his or her hands and elbows to realign the spine.

Chiropractic treatments have proven to be effective in treating certain lower back pain symptoms and muscle and other bone pains.

Chiropractic medicine dates back to the times of ancient Egypt. However, not until the 1890s was modern chiropractic practice defined by an American. Chiropractic training is not equivalent to the training licensed medical doctors receive, but it is extensive. Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine have had at least three years of college with an emphasis on biology or basic sciences, followed by a minimum of four years of training at an accredited chiropractic college.

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