In 2005, the chiropractic subluxation was defined by the World Health Organization as "a lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact.[46] It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity."[46] This differs from the medical definition of subluxation as a significant structural displacement, which can be seen with static imaging techniques such as X-rays.[46] This exposes patients to harmful ionizing radiation for no evidentially supported reason.[47][48] The 2008 book Trick or Treatment states "X-rays can reveal neither the subluxations nor the innate intelligence associated with chiropractic philosophy, because they do not exist."[6] Attorney David Chapman-Smith, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic, has stated that "Medical critics have asked how there can be a subluxation if it cannot be seen on X-ray. The answer is that the chiropractic subluxation is essentially a functional entity, not structural, and is therefore no more visible on static X-ray than a limp or headache or any other functional problem."[49] The General Chiropractic Council, the statutory regulatory body for chiropractors in the United Kingdom, states that the chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex "is not supported by any clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made that it is the cause of disease."[50]
If you are lucky enough to have family and friends who regularly visit a chiropractor, ask them for help finding a “chiropractor near me.” A license to practice shows that the doctor is qualified, but a person who has worked with them can tell you about their bedside manner and demeanor. It helps to keep in mind what kind of doctor you generally prefer. Whether you like a warm, caring doctor or a capable but business-like doctor, a recommendation from a family member or friend may be able to help.
Chiropractic's origins lie in the folk medicine of bonesetting,[4] and as it evolved it incorporated vitalism, spiritual inspiration and rationalism.[30] Its early philosophy was based on deduction from irrefutable doctrine, which helped distinguish chiropractic from medicine, provided it with legal and political defenses against claims of practicing medicine without a license, and allowed chiropractors to establish themselves as an autonomous profession.[30] This "straight" philosophy, taught to generations of chiropractors, rejects the inferential reasoning of the scientific method,[30] and relies on deductions from vitalistic first principles rather than on the materialism of science.[31] However, most practitioners tend to incorporate scientific research into chiropractic,[30] and most practitioners are "mixers" who attempt to combine the materialistic reductionism of science with the metaphysics of their predecessors and with the holistic paradigm of wellness.[31] A 2008 commentary proposed that chiropractic actively divorce itself from the straight philosophy as part of a campaign to eliminate untestable dogma and engage in critical thinking and evidence-based research.[32]
Spinal manipulation, which chiropractors call "spinal adjustment" or "chiropractic adjustment", is the most common treatment used in chiropractic care.[73] Spinal manipulation is a passive manual maneuver during which a three-joint complex is taken past the normal range of movement, but not so far as to dislocate or damage the joint.[74] Its defining factor is a dynamic thrust, which is a sudden force that causes an audible release and attempts to increase a joint's range of motion.[74] High-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation (HVLA-SM) thrusts have physiological effects that signal neural discharge from paraspinal muscle tissues, depending on duration and amplitude of the thrust are factors of the degree in paraspinal muscle spindles activation.[75] Clinical skill in employing HVLA-SM thrusts depends on the ability of the practitioner to handle the duration and magnitude of the load.[75] More generally, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) describes techniques where the hands are used to manipulate, massage, mobilize, adjust, stimulate, apply traction to, or otherwise influence the spine and related tissues.[74]
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments, the theory being that proper alignment of the body's musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.