Chiropractic is from Greek words meaning done by hand. It is grounded in the principal that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is correctly aligned and the nervous system is functioning properly. To achieve this, the practitioner uses his or her hands or an adjusting tool to perform specific manipulations of the vertebrae. When these bones of the spine are not correctly
articulated, resulting in a condition known as subluxation, the theory is that nerve transmission is disrupted and causes pain and illness manifested in the back as well as other areas of the body.
Chiropractic is one of the most popular alternative therapies currently available. Some would say it now qualifies as mainstream treatment as opposed to complementary medicine. Chiropractic treatment is covered by many insurance plans. It has become well-accepted treatment for acute pain and problems of the spine, including lower back pain and whiplash. Applications beyond that scope are not supported by current evidence, although there are ongoing studies into the usefulness of chiropractic for such problems as ear infections, dysmenorrhea, infant colic, migraine headaches, and other conditions. Patients continue to visit chiropractors with complaints of headaches and pain or injury to the neck, middle back, arms, or legs.
Judith Turner, Teresa G. Odle, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,