Chiropractic medicine is based on the relationship between the body's proper structure and optimal function. A central part of chiropractic medicine is the belief that the body can heal itself if given the right support. The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words cheir and praxis. This means hand and practice. The words refer to treatment done by the hands (hands-on therapy).
By moving the spine with their hands or various manipulation tools, chiropractors believe they can make a person's health better without surgery or medicine. They can find problems through physical exam and X-rays. Chiropractors may do lab tests, imaging tests, and other tests. Some also offer nutrition advice and complementary medicine. Some chiropractors also give patients exercises to do at home.
Treatment may involve lying on your stomach on a special table. The chiropractor uses his or her hands and elbows to realign the spine.
Chiropractic treatments may help relieve lower back pain, muscle pain, and other bone pain.
Chiropractic training is not equal to the training that licensed medical doctors receive, although it is extensive and highly focused on the proper structure of the body. Doctors of chiropractic medicine have had at least 3 years of college, with an emphasis on biology or basic sciences. They also have a minimum of 4 years of training at an accredited chiropractic college.