Chiropractic's primary mission is to realign the spine and eliminate factors that hinder the body's inherent ability to heal naturally. Chiropractors stand out from other healthcare practitioners due to their expertise in performing spinal adjustments, which are designed to rectify subluxations – abnormal movements or disruptions in normal vertebral function.
A chiropractic adjustment involves applying precise force to vertebrae with irregular movement patterns or impaired function. The aim is to rectify the subluxation, leading to enhanced range of motion, reduced nerve irritation, diminished muscle tension, decreased pain, and improved bodily function. These adjustments typically produce an audible release of gas within spinal joints, resembling a "crack" sound. While this sound may startle individuals during their initial adjustment, it usually brings relief. On occasion, minor discomfort can occur, particularly when surrounding muscles are tense, or if the patient tenses up during the procedure. In some instances, the audible "crack" may not be present, often due to significant muscle tightness or the patient's difficulty in relaxing during the adjustment. Certain chiropractic techniques are designed to manipulate the spine without generating this sound. It's essential to recognize that chiropractic encompasses more than just pain relief.
The ultimate objective of receiving chiropractic adjustments is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. To achieve this, chiropractors may employ and recommend various natural healing methods, such as adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and lifestyle counseling, which influences one's overall health. The central focus remains on eliminating obstacles that obstruct the body's inherent healing capacity. The primary goal is spinal adjustment, though some chiropractors also address extremities and employ other physiological therapeutics like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, neuromuscular re-education, and diverse manual therapies.
In contemporary practice, chiropractic offices are evolving into comprehensive wellness centers, providing a wide range of wellness services. An emerging trend in chiropractic wellness centers is wellness coaching, which can be conducted in-person or remotely through various communication channels. These centers often host seminars on topics like spinal alignment, posture enhancement, ergonomics, weight management, relaxation, smoking cessation, nutrition, and exercise. Some even offer pre- and post-natal health programs. The expanding availability of wellness programs through chiropractic centers makes it accessible and affordable for nearly everyone to embrace a wellness-oriented lifestyle. Chiropractors acknowledge the presence of innate wisdom or natural energy within each individual that seeks expression as perfect health and well-being. Therefore, the primary purpose of chiropractic care is to eliminate any physiological obstructions that impede the body's innate wisdom, leading to the natural restoration of improved health. It's an aspiration that holds broad appeal.