Chiropractors, also known as chiropractic doctors, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe interference with these systems impairs normal functions and lowers resistance to disease. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system.
”Chiropractors are nervous system specialist. They release nerve interference increasing the body’s innate ability to heal itself.”
The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall well-being. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Chiropractors use natural, drugless, non-surgical health treatments, and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities. They also recommend lifestyle changes – in eating, exercise and sleeping habits, etc. When appropriate, chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.
Like other health practitioners, chiropractors follow a standard routine to secure the information needed for diagnosis and treatment: they take the patient’s medical history, conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations, and may order laboratory tests. X-rays and other diagnostic images are important tools because of the emphasis on the spine and its proper function. Chiropractors also employ a postural and spinal analysis unique to chiropractic diagnosis.
In cases where difficulties can be traced to involvement of musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually manipulate or adjust the spinal column. They may also counsel patients about nutrition, exercise, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.