While modern chiropractic has been around since 1895 the roots of spinal manipulation are ancient. The father of medicine, Hippocrates used and described techniques for alleviating pain by using the hands to stretch the spine and its muscles. It was considered a normal part of any physicians tools for healing until the 1400's. When the Black Plague swept through Europe it became too dangerous to touch patients and the practice of hands on healing died off for many centuries.
Many people consider chiropractors to be bone doctors, concerned only with the spine, but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality chiropractors are actually nerve doctors. We are focused on the spine because the bones of the spine house and protect the delicate nerves housed within. The nerves within the spine act as the telecommunications and control system of the entire body.
Painful and spasming areas within the spine act to irritate the spinal nerves. This nerve irritation acts in turn to cause problems in the areas controlled by that nerve. For instance, a spinal problem in the low back can cause a radiating pain and muscle spasm in the leg called sciatica. By contrast, if the spinal problem is in the neck, the nerve irritation can be felt as a shoulder pain, hands going to sleep or even a headache.
Many problems that have resisted the power of medical and surgical treatment can be healed by simply finding where the nervous system is being irritated and then fixing the problem. If your muscles feel tight or you feel stiff, you are a good candidate for chiropractic care.
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