Chiropractic is a manual technique often used to treat ailments related to the spine. Here is how a chiropractic session works and what are the differences with osteopathy
We hear more and more often about chiropractic, a manual alternative medicine technique aimed at improving the functionality of the musculoskeletal system. Every day our body is subject to stress and wear and sometimes, it is the musculoskeletal system, in particular the spine, that is affected.
The latter protects some internal organs and allows us to perform a large number of movements. For this reason it can be subject to ailments of different nature, such as back pain, sciatica or neck pain which, if not treated immediately, can worsen, compromising even the simplest movements.
And it is in these cases that chiropractic can come into play, but not to be confused with osteopathy, which is a similar but very different practice. So let's see what chiropractic is, what it treats, how it works and what are the main differences between the figure of the osteopath and that of the chiropractor.
- What is that
- What it heals
- How does it work
- What is the Difference Between Osteopath and Chiropractor
What is that
The word chiropractic derives from the Greek “keir” (hands) and “praxis” (practice) and refers to the type of therapy, that is manual, on which this practice is based. Chiropractic was born in the USA in 1985 by Dr. David Daniel Palmer and then spread to many countries around the world.
Like osteopathy, chiropractic is also an alternative medicine that has a holistic approach. Starting from the assumption (also of osteopathy) according to which the body is in a state of well-being when there is a balance between body, mind and emotions, chiropractic acts through the use of manipulative techniques on the central nervous system, with particular attention to the spine.
In fact, according to chiropractic, proper functionality and structure of the spine are essential to keep the nervous system in balance, which in turn contributes to good health of the body.
In Italy, chiropractic was legally recognized only in 2007. To become a chiropractor, it is also necessary to obtain a specific qualification following a course of study (master's degree) including a practicum and which takes into account international standards as regards training. All this to be able to count on trained and competent professionals.
What it heals
Chiropractic is used to treat painful conditions of the muscles, joints, bones and connective tissue such as ligaments, tendons and cartilages. It can also be useful for relieving back pain caused by stress, injuries or poor posture, but also for the treatment of neck, arm and leg pain, as well as headache and low back pain.
In conjunction with manual therapy, the chiropractor may also include rehabilitation exercises or nutritional counseling (depending on the case). In general, manual therapy does not cause pain, but if it does not, it is good to notify the professional immediately.
How does it work
Since this is a practice that acts through the use of manual manipulations, chiropractic does not include the use of medicines. In fact, the chiropractor, after identifying the causes that caused the pain, eliminates neurological interference by restoring functionality and balance in the spine and consequently also in the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.
Specifically, during a session all symptoms are first assessed to identify the triggering causes, and the patient's clinical history is listened to. In particular, an accurate diagnosis is made, so if you suffer from pathologies such as osteoporosis or spinal cord compression, it is good to immediately inform the specialist who will evaluate what to do.
Finally, if all the conditions are met, we proceed with the actual manual therapy. Through manipulations carried out with the hands on the spine, the chiropractor frees blocks and injuries that have caused pain to restore the functionality and more generally the well-being of the musculoskeletal system.
What is the Difference Between Osteopath and Chiropractor
Although osteopathy and chiropractic have in common the goal of restoring the balance and well-being of the body through manual therapy, eliminating the causes of pain, they are very different from each other. Consequently, there are differences between the figure of the osteopath and that of the chiropractor.
In fact, the osteopath takes care of the body in its entirety by carrying out manipulations on the areas where the cause of the imbalance resides. The chiropractor, on the other hand, works on the joints and muscles by focusing on the spine, as it traces the pain back to an imbalance of the nervous system that is located in the spine.
Osteopathy and chiropractic can both treat the causes that generated the pain and the disorder with the main difference that, while the former has a more global approach, chiropractic focuses only on the spine. In general, therefore, they can be beneficial, as long as you rely on a qualified professional who knows how to manipulate the different areas of the body in a wise way, without causing further damage.
In case of doubts or if you suffer from pathologies related to the areas to be treated, the advice is to ask for the consultation of your doctor.