Chiropractic Principles

In order to understand the principles of chiropractic, it is important to understand the principles of health.

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. Dorland’s medical dictionary defines health as a state of wholeness in which all of the organs, tissues and cells of the body are functioning at 100% all the time. The key word is function.

The primary system of the body responsible for the control and coordination of function is the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves and peripheral nerves. The mechanism for the control of body function starts with the brain, the “master computer” of the body. It sends messages to and receives messages from all parts of the body in an effort to regulate activities. These signals are sent along a vast network of nerves originating from the spinal cord, which connects directly with the brain.

Given the sensitive nature of the brain and spinal cord, the body is designed with protection for these vital structures. The skull protects the brain and the spinal column protects the spinal cord. To allow for flexibility, the spinal column is divided into 24 movable segments, each one called a vertebra. A joint is defined as the connection between two bones. A joint is considered healthy when it moves normally through its ranges of motion. For the spine to be healthy, the spinal joints also need to move normally through their ranges of motion.

Chiropractic techniques are specifically designed to detect and correct abnormal spinal joint motion. Spinal vertebrae that are not moving normally can potentially cause irritation and inflammation of the soft tissue structures in close proximity to the injured joints, including nerves, discs and muscles. In chiropractic we call this a vertebral subluxation.

In addition to the obvious symptoms that can result, the potential also exists for normal nerve function to be negatively affected by the localized spinal inflammation, making it more difficult for the brain to control body function. Therefore, chiropractic care is designed to improve the structural health of the spine in an effort to improve the functional health of the body.

To better understand what chiropractic care is, it is also important to understand what it is not. Chiropractic is not a panacea for all illnesses and ailments. The application of chiropractic techniques will not always be successful. However, chiropractic care will result in substantially improved spinal health for the vast majority of patients.

When your spine is healthier, you’ll feel better as your body functions better. That has always been the objective of chiropractic care!

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