Chiropractors are primary health care professionals that can treat and diagnose a number of chronic and acute conditions. They are equipped with superior manual skills that consist of spinal manipulation, extremity manipulation, mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, exercise prescription, nutritional counseling, and can implement a number of modalities. Chiropractors can order and read plain film radiographs, more commonly known as x-rays. Finally, they are heavily involved in maintenance and preventative care.
According to the World Federation of Chiropractic, chiropractors are the spinal health care experts in the health care system (1). They encompass professionalism, ethics, knowledge, and care, to name a few. Chiropractors also have the “ability to improve function in the neuromusculoskeletal system, and overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life.” The World Federation of Chiropractic also emphasizes a patient-centered and biopsychosocial approach that focuses on the mind/body relationship in health, the self-healing powers of the individual, the individual responsibility for health, and encourages patient independence (1).
The general principles of chiropractic care and other complementary and alternative medicines lie in the notion of health as a natural state of being and not only the presence or absence of disease (2). Tandem Wellness incorporates patient education and preventative care in its day to day practice. Our excellent team takes pride in influencing healthful lifestyle choices. Finally, the structure and function of neuromusculoskeletal system is necessary to maintain good health (2).
The purpose of maintenance care is to optimize health, prevent conditions from developing, provide palliative care, and minimize recurrence or exacerbation (2). Maintenance of care can be provided by a primary health care provider, such as a chiropractor. Asymptomatic individuals are able to incorporate primary prevention in their day to day lives by participating in activities or practices that help identify conditions early on (2). As mentioned previously, one of these practices includes regular visits to chiropractors. Promoting healthy behaviours and enabling individuals to increase control over their health can minimize the potential for harm (2). Today, chiropractors are equipped with as series of diagnostic skills that allow them to treat a number of non-standard types of conditions.
Chiropractors are also involved in matters of work-place safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction, and nutritional counseling. According to the article, Chiropractic approach to the management of children, “the chiropractor’s role in wellness care, prevention and treatment of injury or illness is based on education in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle counselling as well as referral to other health practitioners”(3). As indicated by the study, chiropractors are able to provide safe and effective therapies for excessive crying, colic, poor sleep habits, and sub-optimal feeding in infants (3). Chiropractors are able to improve the quality of life for this demographic by providing pediatric manipulation, in particular. The evidence that has been gathered stems from two randomized trials, one in England and one in Denmark (3). Infant care is also encouraged in order to reduce the risk of injury to the infant by a frustrated parent (3). According to the article, chiropractors are able to assume the role of a primary health care provider for families that believe in a more natural and holistic approach to health care (3).
According to another article, Public Health, Wellness, Prevention, and Health Promotion: Considering the Role of Chiropractic and Determinants of Health, chiropractors excel in evidence-based and patient-centered practice. They can educate individuals about the benefits of good posture and workplace injury prevention (4). They can also help prevent cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditions by encouraging healthy nutritional practices and regular physical activity (4). According to the article, chiropractic care is a part of the global web of health care, and has a significant impact on the determinants of health (4).
There are a number of non-standard types of conditions that chiropractors are often asked to treat. They have traditionally been known to treat neck pain or low back pain, focusing specifically on the relationship between the nervous system and the spine. Although this statement is correct, it is not entirely complete. Today, chiropractors are becoming increasingly recognized for their value in matters of work-place safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction, and nutritional counseling (5). They are able to provide effective treatment for all types of soft tissue and non-soft tissue conditions (5).
Non-soft tissue conditions like dysmenorrheal (painful menses), ulcers, migraine headaches, and ear infections in children, are just a few of the conditions that can also be treated by chiropractors (5). Many of these issues can be aggravated as a result of spinal abnormalities and disruptions in the nervous system. In one study, the use of spinal manipulative therapy in the treatment of duodenal ulcers was assessed (6). According to the study, subjects receiving spinal manipulations took an average of 16 days to heal while subjects in the standard medical treatment group took 26 days to heal (6).
1. Kinsinger S. Chiropractic Practice: Principles and Professional Foundations. CP 1101: Chiropractic Practice Principles and Professional Ethics, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; lecture given 2011 Sept 15.
2. Gleberzon BJ. On Wellness and Beyond. CP 1101: Chiropractic Practice Principles and Professional Ethics, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; lecture given 2012 Mar 8.
3. Vallone SA, Miller J, Larsdotter A, Barham-Floreani J. Chiropractic approach to the management of children. Chiropr Osteopat. 2010; 18(16). Doi: 10.1186/1746-1340-18-16
4. Johnson C, Green BN. Public Health, Wellness, Prevention, and Health Promotion: Considering the Role of Chiropractic and Determinants of Health. J Manipulative Physiol. 2009; 32(6):415-412. Doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.07.001.
5. Farr G. Become Healthy Now [Internet]. Florida: [Publisher unknown]; 2000 [Date of last update unknown]. Available from: http://www.becomehealthynow.com/category/chiropractic/
6. Kharin V, Pikalov A. Use of spinal manipulative therapy in the treatment of duodenal ulcer: A pilot study. JPMT 1994; 17(5):310-313.