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Chiropractic is a system of natural healthcare that believes in the body's innate ability to heal itself. Chiropractic was discovered in 1895 by D.D. Palmer. Palmer was a self-educated man who by most accounts was a genius. He worked as a healer and came to the conclusion that misaligned vertebrae and joints can cause subtle pressure on the nerves which, in turn, could cause "dis-ease" in the body. The misalignment was named subluxation. Palmer reasoned that the nervous system - the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves - transmits information that provides the body with the innate intelligence to keep it healthy. Today, Grayís Anatomy, a standard text used by medical and chiropractic students, corroborates this understanding by defining the nervous system as "the control system of the human body."
Although joint manipulation
has been recorded by cultures around the world for thousands of years, D.D.
Palmerís observation was remarkably insightful - that a specific correction
of a specific subluxation would address a specific health problem. Palmer
developed scientific records and a terminology to support his work and wrote
books so that others could learn it. He termed the correction of subluxations
adjustments and his new science Chiropractic, which means
"done by hand."
Over the years, Palmer developed a reputation as a healer for his ability to help people with chiropractic when there was no other road for the patient to take. His son, B.J. Palmer, continued his research and was the main force behind starting a school to train others in this magnificent healing technique. Today, there are over 50,000 chiropractors worldwide and chiropractic is the second largest healing profession in the world. In the United States, there are two national chiropractic organizations. Dr. Goldstein is a member of the American Chiropractic Association because he believes this organization will be the most progressive in protecting the chiropractic profession's interests in the future.
There are two main philosophies that have developed in chiropractic - the ideas of the father, D.D. Palmer, and the ideas of the son, B.J. Palmer. D.D. Palmer believed that "dis-ease" could be the result of improper nerve pressure, improper thoughts or toxic or chemical insult to the body. B.J. Palmer felt that all "dis-ease" was the result of improper nerve pressure alone. To this day, many chiropractors follow one of these two philosophies. Although this difference in belief system has caused the chiropractic profession some internal problems and how it is perceived by the general public, there is common ground between the two. The Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) is a modern term that researchers use to describe what occurs physiologically and neurologically to the spinal motor unit when a vertebrae is displaced. The VSC is recognized by both schools of thought. Researchers are now attempting to show that there is a link between subluxation and dis-ease within the body.
Many chiropractic detractors had previously denied the very existence of subluxations until recently. Now, it is a well accepted notion that a vertebrae can subluxate. The philosophical argument about the neurological implications of the subluxation is being researched and will in my opinion show a definite link between subluxated spinal segments and compromised organic function. The vast majority of chiropractors agree that the VSC exists and contributes to pain and "dis-ease." Furthermore, although there are various techniques to correct the VSC, the vast majority of chiropractors agree that it is treated most effectively without drugs and surgery.
Research: The Vertebral Subluxation Complex
Basically, there are five components to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) that many researchers, including those from the medical community, commonly accept as consequences of D.D. Palmer's original observations.
This is the variance from normal within the biomechanics of joint function. Six major classifications of spinal kinesiopathology are observed throughout orthopedic literature: (1) hypomobility; (2) hypermobility; (3) compensation reaction; (4) loss of joint play; (5) change in axis; and (6) positional dyskinesia.
(1) Compressive lesion: direct compression of the nerve root
(2) Facilitated segment: indirect compression of the nerve root
(1) Hyperactivity: muscle spasm (contractive myofibrositis)
(2) Hypoactivity: loss of muscle tone (atrophy myofibrositis)
Inflammation, edema, and swelling. Frequently subclinical in non-acute situations.
Biochemical and bioelectrical. This process describes what is known as subluxation degeneration. The regeneration of new bone tissue as a direct result of gravitational misalignment. Bone spurs or osteophytes would describe this process in simpler language.
There is a growing body of research investigating chiropracticís effectiveness in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems as well as organic problems such as headaches and premenstrual tension. These links can bring you to sources with the most up to date information in these and other areas of chiropractic research: