What Is Chiropractic?
The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Taking A Natural and Systemic Approach To Healing
Chiropractic is one overall way of looking at the human body. It's based on the idea that the body is self-sustaining and self-healing. The body is in essence completely controlled by the brain through its connection via the spinal cord and the vast networks of nerves that make up the body. When this system is not functioning at its peak, the overall performance of the human body is lacking. This "lacking" will lead to compensatory motions that will further weaken or compromise the body's ability to move freely and without pain.
In the chiropractic world, drugs and medicine are not utilized as a form of treating a patient. Please understand that Dr. Hecht is not opposed to co-treating your condition with your medical doctor to provide you with the most relief. While supplementation and nutrition are almost always a part of the bigger picture, drugs and prescriptions can be viewed as band-aids to treat symptoms rather than going to the source and treating the real problem. Dr. Hecht will provide you with treatment options that help reduce your pain quickly and effectively.
While it's often perceived that the chiropractor is solely here to treat back and neck pain, this is simply a small piece of the profession. Chiropractors not only treat soft and hard tissue problems such as sciatica and joint pain, but are largely called on to deal with more specialized issues. Some of these issues include difficult headaches, sports injuries to the ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Chiropractors treat these common symptoms daily by removing inflammation and irritation on the nerve. In most patients, it is common to see vertebral segmental dysfunction in some of the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the spinal nerves as they leave the cord. This irritation can disrupt the transmission of normal nerve impulses causing pain, irritation, numbness, tingling, and many other symptoms. Of course, the more concerning issues will be in how your body compensates while you try and "work through" the pain.
How Safe Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic treatments are extremely safe for people of all ages. Further, chiropractors are well-trained to recognize risk factors that lead to adverse events. Unfortunately, critics of chiropractic care have attempted to alter the public opinion into thinking that chiropractic is extremely dangerous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many of these critics will provide studies that are at best correlative and do not use sound research methods. Chiropractors have five academic years of training, most of which is in manipulation. No other profession has the amount of study and hands-on training as chiropractic. Chiropractic treatments are among some of the safest treatments used in the health care field. Further, Dr. Hecht uses several different examination methods including x-rays, orthopedic and neurological tests, chiropractic and foot analysis, along with a posture and body evaluation to further reduce the risks of an adverse event.
Here are more links regarding the safety of chiropractic:
- Scott Haldeman, MD, DC reviewed malpractice claims records for a 10-year period between 1988 and 1997. In reviewing the outcomes following the application of 134.5 million cervical manipulations (commonly referred to as the chiropractic adjustment), the records indicated that there were 23 reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD). Of this group, 10 of the patients had the complicating factors of high blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, or a history of smoking, all of which are associated with vascular disease. The actual incidence of stroke or VAD following cervical manipulation was found to be one per 5.85 million cervical adjustments. That means that the average chiropractor could work for 1430 years (or practice 48 full chiropractic careers!) before they might be involved with this type of litigation.
- Arterial Dissections Following Cervical Manipulation: The Chiropractic Experience Canadian Medical Association Journal 2001 (Oct 2); 165 (7): 905–906
- Guidelines for Chiropractic Quality Assurance and Practice Parameters Preceedings of the Mercy Center Consensus Conference; Page 171, Aspen Publications 1993
- A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs. NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (Oct); 18 (8): 530–536