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Introduction and origin
Chiropractic, a form of alternative medicine, is used in the treatment and prevention of nervous system disorders. However diverse, it is most commonly applied to diagnose musculoskeletal ailments. Chiropractic was initially used by Daniel Palmer in 1895, USA. Although it involves manual therapy, exercise and lifestyle modifications are also included in this treatment. Owing to its specificity, chiropractic has been accepted as a ‘standalone’ therapy in treating mechanical disorders.

While it is mostly restricted to the conservational management of the disorder, the therapy nevertheless avoids the complications of surgery and intervention. Few of the most resilient beneficial effects of chiropractic include the simplicity and the lack of open surgery. Also, chiropractic has been found to reduce back significantly pain and stiffness in joints.

The therapy has the following benefits:

  • Includes thorough evaluation of the patient
  • Does not involve surgical intervention or medicine
  • Activates body innate ability to heal itself
  • Special emphasis on nutritional adjustments, exercise programs, wellness and lifestyle modifications

Many research institutes and scientific communities have evaluated the efficacy of the therapy; however, the treatment was found to be not as useful in chronic cases of musculoskeletal disorders. Cochrane review demonstrated only moderate effectiveness of chiropractic, whereas systematic reviews have found the treatment to be ineffective for back pain. While chiropractic involves slight amount of relief in spinal injuries, back pain and neck muscle contraction, it had not been commercialized as a ‘standard therapy’.

How is chiropractic pursued?
Since chiropractic does not involve any medicine or surgery, it is mostly carried out using manual adjustments and exercises. For treating spine disorders, the practitioner will mostly use hand or any other device to apply pressure on a specific area. The treatment mainly focuses on the application of pressure to increase the range and motion so as to allow rapid healing process. Other processes are joint mobilization, stimulation with electrical impulses, relaxation, medication, etc.

Who Needs Chiropractic?
As such, chiropractic does not affect the disorder correctly; rather it focuses on the activation of the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Chiropractic mostly includes relaxation and subluxations, and thus patients who are presented with complaints of spinal injury, back pain, neck sore, migraine, hiatal hernia, croup, numbness etc. can be benefited from this therapy. The most important aspect of chiropractic is lifestyle modification that motivates patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid further mechanical disorders.

Besides, people of all age groups can benefit from the therapy in terms of weight loss.

Side Effects and Interactions
Chiropractic is safe if carried out correctly. However, in some cases, events such as headache, mild trauma, stiffness and numbness have been reported. Severe bleeding around the spine and neck is rare.

Chiropractic is not for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are lactating
  • Children
  • Patients on Warfarin

Since warfarin acts s blood thinner, events such as severe bleeding around the spine and neck is reported.

If you want to avail the benefits of chiropractic medicine, it will be advisable to consult an experienced and reputed practitioner who will do a detailed diagnosis before deciding on a course of therapy.


  1. Ernst E. Chiropractic Care: Attempting a Risk–Benefit Analysis. Am J Public Health. 2002 October;92(10):1603-4. PMC1447290
  2. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011 Jun;34(5):274-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008. PMID:21640251
  3. Hawk C, Khorsan R, Lisi AJ, et al. Chiropractic care for non musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review with implications for whole systems research. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Jun;13(5):491-512. PMID: 17604553
  4. Lawrence DJ, Meeker W, Branson R, et al. Chiropractic management of low back pain and low back-related leg complaints: a literature synthesis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008 Nov-Dec;31(9):659-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.10.007. PMID: 19028250
  5. Rothwell DM, Bondy SJ, Williams JI. Chiropractic manipulation and stroke: a population-based case-control study. Stroke. 2001 May;32(5):1054-60. PMID:11340209
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