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This month recognizes chiropractors

October is National Chiropractic Awareness Month and is an excellent time for consumers to learn about chiropractic care and its relationship to the preservation of good health.

With the heightened interest in non-invasive and drug-free approaches, people are encouraged to visit their local chiropractor and learn more about how the benefits of chiropractic care may impact their lives.

Chiropractic focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the impact these disorders have on general health. Chiropractic care is most often used to treat ailments such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and pain in the joints of arms or legs.

“More and more people are seeing the value of chiropractic care and adding it their regular health care routine,” said Dr. Landin Marzolf.

Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective, and is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine professions.

Here are some interesting facts about this non-invasive and drug-free approach to health care.

Chiropractic education

A minimum of three years pre-medical college studies is required for acceptance into one of the 16 accredited chiropractic colleges in the United States.

The Doctor of Chiropractic degree is earned after an additional four years of study. The doctor of chiropractic is educated extensively in anatomy, physiology, pathology and diagnosis.

As a primary care physician, the degree is trained to perform a diagnostic evaluation, which may include a patient history and examination, clinical laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and evaluation of the spine and musculo-skeletal system.

In addition to completing the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) curriculum, all chiropractic physicians must pass parts one, two and three of the National Board Exam and in some cases a state exam.

Some chiropractors take additional training and go on the attain chiropractic board certification in various specialties such as radiology, sports medicine, orthopedics and neurology to name a few.

All chiropractic colleges are regulated and accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.

In the State of Georgia, doctors of chiropractic are regulated by the Georgia Board of Medicine. The board contains representatives of various health care professions and includes a doctor of chiropractic.

Chiropractic treatment

Generally, a visit to a chiropractic physician will include a case history, examination and in some cases, X-ray imaging.

Most of the conditions chiropractors see are related to the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine.

Research is ongoing as to what other health problems can be helped by chiropractic treatment, but preliminary findings suggest a connection to a variety of non-musculoskeletal conditions. No drugs or surgery are used.

Chiropractic practices vary in their emphasis. While some emphasize treatment of neck, back and musculoskeletal pain, some specialize in preventative treatment of the spine through periodic chiropractic spinal manipulation to assist in the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Others may employ nutrition, biomechanical training, exercise, heat, electrical muscle stimulation, traction and other drugless methods.

Some common conditions that chiropractic physicians treat include neck pain, headaches, mid-back pain, lower-back pain, herniated or “slipped disc,” sciatica, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal conditions.

Virtually all chiropractors use the “adjustment,” also called spinal manipulation, to correct mechanical problems in the spine. There are a variety of methods to manipulate the spine but most involve a short “thrust” to the area of concern to restore mobility and function and bring relief. Sometimes the manipulation is accompanied by a painless “crack” sound as the vertebrae releases.

Chiropractic recognition

Chiropractors are licensed in all 50 states.

Chiropractic treatment is covered by Medicare, Federal Workers Comp, auto insurance and most major medical plans.

Congress, as well as many professional sports teams, have a doctor of chiropractic on staff. Even the American Medical Association, which formerly opposed chiropractic treatment, states: “Manipulation has been shown to have a reasonably good degree of efficacy in ameliorating back pain, headache and similar musculoskeletal complaints.”

Research shows that manipulation is both safe and effective resulting in fewer complications than aspirin. The majority of studies show that for low-back pain in particular, manipulation is more effective than other forms of treatment such as medications.

If you would like more information about chiropractic or chiropractic research, please contact Dr. Landin Marzolf at Care Chiropractic Center 248-8499.