The gentle, specific and effective use of spinal adjustments (manipulation). To increase movement, function and health while decreasing pain.
Chiropractic was invented in 1895 by an American named D.D. Palmer. He stumbled onto a relationship between one patients neck pain, a neck 'lump' and a loss of hearing. After manipulating this patients neck 'lump', his hearing improved. The neck 'lump' is believed to be the incorrect relative position of two vertebra. Since then the relationship between poor movement, poor position of the spine and poor nerve function has developed.
Originally the theory was that direct pressure on the nerve caused poor nerve function and therefore pain and decrease of health. Now the research suggests that in fact there is an increase of aberrant nerve activity in the area due to poor movement and position.
The poor movement and position of the joint is determined by specific nerve receptors (detectors). The proprioreceptors are position detectors and nociceptors are injury detectors that give us pain. It is an over activity from these receptors along the nerve that is believed, changes or interferes with normal nerve function.
By correcting the movement, position and therefore propriception and nociception of the joint this decreases the excess nerve information leading to poor function and pain. This relationship between poor joint movement/position and nerve interference, leading to pain and a decrease in nerve and joint function is why Chiropractors are very concerned with these changes. Chiropractors call this poor position and or movement of a joint a 'subluxation'. And its correcting the subluxation that is their main concern.
The change in nerve function created by the subluxation, has been reported to have an effect on other systems in the body that these effected nerves also communicate with. For this reason it has been reported that some other non musculoskeletal problems have responded well to chiropractic treatment. Such as some breathing difficulties, digestive problems, skin irritations, blurry vision and more.
A Subluxation as well as the nerve related cause of injury and pain explained above, there is the more obvious mechanical problems. Incorrect relative position of two bones, and more so the aberrant movement at the joint. If the joint is not moving correctly, for example tracking in an aberrant direction due to an imbalance in range of motion or tension from one side to the other. It stands to reason that the pressures at the joint are now changed and may be damaging. If subjected to extra force or left over time, a far greater likelihood of injury and degeneration may result.
The 'adjustment' is a specific manipulation to correct the subluxation and therefore enhance posture, movement, function and consequently health. This is the role of Chiropractic.