What is chiropractic?

Definition of the World Health Organisation
As defined by the World Health Organisation, Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of the disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal manipulation or adjustment delivered to the spine.

What is the role of a chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a doctor who has successfully finished a minimum of 6 years of University (academic education) with emphasis on the study of the vertebral column and its effects on the nervous and rest of the musculoskeletal system. Through a careful examination, a chiropractor is able to diagnose and treat a specific problem. The chiropractor is able to distinguish between “what is normal” and “what is not normal” by the use of x-rays and other types of diagnostic equipment and procedures.

What does a chiropractor look for?
A chiropractor looks at the spine and examines its relationship to the nervous system and its effects on the musculoskeletal system. When there is dysfunction at one spinal level this may cause nerve interference. When this problem occurs, the nerve that is carrying the important information is restricted and thus the correct information the nerve was carrying is now changed. Our bodies observe this change, and respond with one of the following symptoms: pain, radiating arm or leg pain, headaches or migraines, muscle pain, extremity pain, numb feeling, stabbing feeling, burning feeling, atrophy or weakness of muscles (other symptoms not mentioned above can be related to the previous condition).

Which complaints does the chiropractor treat?
Chiropractic treats predominantly conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system, where emphasis is placed on the spine. Conditions treated are: low back pain and pain radiating to the leg (often referred to as sciatica), hernia in the neck or low back, neck pain and associated radicular pain to the arms, whiplash, headache, migraine headache. Other symptoms treated are sports injuries and injuries of the extremities.