There is much controversy on how effective and appropriate chiropractic services really are. Often people can be confused on when and why they should see a chiropractor, if at all, but much of the controversy is due to territorial issues from other health care providers, who feel chiropractors are stealing a part of their business. |
To understand this silent battle for patients, it is important to know a little history. In 1874, Andrew Taylor Still was a traveling medical doctor (MD) on the frontier. Through his work and experience, he learned that adjustment of the spine could lead to better health.
Osteopathy was born and Dr. Still began training doctors of osteopathic medicine (or DO's, which are equivalent to MD's today). Dr. Still's students continued to learn traditional medical doctor curriculum, but adopt his spine adjustments as well.
In 1895, Daniel David Palmer, founded the art of chiropractic, which treated patients with adjustments without training or use of medications and other medical practices. Today, the controversy rages silently on whether Palmer stole Still's ideas and simply relabeled it. It is complicated by chiropractors being called "doctor" today (legitimized by Medicare), when Palmer argued, "I am not a physician".
Today, chiropractors take a holistic, and even a homeopathic approach to health care. Most people visit chiropractors for bone-popping, spinal adjustments that relieve sore backs and stiff necks. However, individuals with migraines, headaches, sprains, TMJ, sciatica, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and even auto, work, and sports injuries can also benefit from chiropractic care.
Even as patients should see their physician and dentist on a regular basis, chiropractors recommend people visiting their office regularly for preventive chiropractic care. Daily activities put strain on our back and spine. Over time, the spine and vertebra can slip out of alignment, which causes loss of function and motion and leads to a variety of diseases, disorders, and pain. When a patient is in bad pain, he has waited longer than he should have.
Patients can also visit chiropractic offices for massage therapy, acupressure, and acupuncture. Massage therapy, which is often performed by a trained massage therapist, can alleviate back pain, improve circulation, enhance your immune system, reduce anxiety, and even relieve muscle pain. It is great therapy for athletes and for individuals with demanding, physical jobs.
Acupressure and acupuncture operate on the same premise based on the ancient Chinese philosophy of chi. This therapy release the blocked energies in the body, centering the body in balance. It can relieve stress, pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps, asthma, allergies, stomach problems. People have even used it for treatment of cancers. The ancient Chinese believe that balancing chi through acupuncture could solve any type of health problem.
Although many physicians (MDs and DOs) recognize that importance of spine manipulation (and some DOs even perform such techniques), many are skeptical of the treatment of more serious conditions such as gastrointestinal diseases, cancers, and breathing problems. Therefore, if you ask, most medical doctors will recommend a chiropractor for spinal adjustments only.
Also, many physicians feel that chiropractors use of homeopathic medications can also be risky. Physicians will be quickly to point out that although chiropractors are called "doctors", they are not medical doctors.
Like all things, chiropractic care has its place in patient health care. Today, there are so many specialist because human health has become so complex that one doctor cannot know everything. If you are in doubt on whether to visit a chiropractor, call one and then call your doctor. If you are not satisfied with their answers, call another one until you are comfortable with your decision.
When you need preventive and therapeutic care for back and spinal problems, you can benefit from the services of a chiropractor. Marina District, San Francisco center offers chiropractic, massage, nutritional advice and therapeutic exercise. Visit www.chirocaresf.com for more information.
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