Chiropractic is a health profession focused on treating spinal and musculoskeletal problems primarily through manual manipulation. A chiropractor does not prescribe medication, but relies on a variety of manual therapies, including spinal manipulation, mobilization, and adjunctive therapies, to improve function and provide pain relief.
The core of chiropractic usually involves treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions through manual therapy:
- Spinal manipulation and manual manipulation. This type of manual manipulation refers to a high-velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to abnormal vertebra with the goal of improving functionality, reducing nerve irritability and restoring range of motion in the back. It is also commonly known as chiropractic adjustment.
There is firm literature support for chiropractic treatment of common back pain. Many of the published guidelines, for example recommend chiropractic manipulation to be included in the treatment plan early in the care of lower back pain.
- Mobilization. Chiropractic mobilization refers to low velocity manipulation, movement and stretching of the muscles and joints, with the goal of increasing the range of motion within those areas.