Chiropractic is a health profession with a focus on the neuromuskuloskeletal system, or the nerves, muscles and bones and the way they interact in the person. Chiropractors are trained in diagnosis and treatment of subluxations or misalignments of the joints of the body, most commonly in the spine. These subluxations cause aberrant motion, muscle spasms and knots, and can affect the function of the nerves that leave the spinal cord and travel to every organ system in the body. This nerve disruption is commonly felt as pain radiating away from the site of injury (as in sciatica), or tingling or "numbness" in the extremities. Removal of the subluxation can restore proper nerve function and cause these symptoms to disappear as the body heals. If a subluxation is allowed to continue untreated, it can have deleterious effects on the whole body. Abnormal joint motion (subluxation) has been shown to cause earlier and more severe arthritis, disc dehydration/bulging and increased risk of disc herniation, and abnormal nervous system function.
A diagnosis is arrived at after a full history and a physical, orthopedic and neurological exam. The extent of the exam will be based on the presenting problem(s) and the patient's overall health goals.
Treatment is usually in the form of adjustments. Adjustments are specific forces put into a joint to restore its proper position and function. This normalizes the activity of the nerves, muscles and other soft tissues in the area, allowing the body to function properly and heal itself.
Frequency of treatments depends on many factors: length of time the problem has been there, previous injuries to the area, overall health of the patient, other problems that may interfere with the problem being addressed (for example, a person with low back pain may have his low back adjusted and have relief, but because one of his feet is flatter than the other, he walks with an altered gait, which re-aggravates the low back problem).
Additional forms of treatment are covered under the 'Other Services' tab.