Chiropractic is a natural, complimentary/alternative, hands-on, drug-free, surgery-free approach to health. Chiropractic has a very long history dating back to 1895, when the first official manipulation/adjustment was given. Since its inception, Chiropractic has risen to become the third most used primary health care profession in the world, after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractic works on the premise that good health is partially dependant on a normally functioning spine and nervous system.
A chiropractor's main concern is your spine and nervous system and how well both are functioning. The spine is made up of 24 individual moveable vertebrae. It starts just below the base of your skull and ends in the centre between the hips. Although each vertebra is separate, they are all connected together by ligaments and muscles, which enable the entire spine to function as one dynamic unit. There are 7 neck (cervical) vertebrae, 12 mid-back (thoracic) vertebrae, and 5 lower back (lumbar) vertebrae, with a cartilaginous disc in between each vertebra. This disc is there to help cushion and absorb shock, reduce friction between the vertebrae and to allow increased movement to occur within in the spine.
A pair of spinal nerves exit between each vertebra. Each one of the 31 pairs of nerves comes from the spinal cord, which runs the length of the spine, and extends outward to form a complex network which ultimately supplies and influences every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
It is a chiropractor's task to evaluate the biochemical structure of the spine to ensure that each one of the individual vertebrae are moving freely and are not displaced or fixed in any way. Any such displacement or jammed vertebrae can cause the spinal nerve that exits from the intervertebral foramen/opening, to become irritated either through direct pressure or through stimulation/irritation.