The word chiropractic comes from the Greek words ‘cheiro’ and ‘praktikos’ (chiro is Greek for 'hand' and practicos means 'done by'). So chiropractic literally means ‘done by hand’. Which pretty much sums up what this therapy is: gentle manual manipulation of the muscles and joints to help promote good health.
It was developed in the late 19th century by a Canadian called Daniel David Palmer. Interestingly, it was Palmer’s son who carried the therapy on, after Palmer himself was imprisoned for practising medicine without a licence.
Despite its rather shaky beginnings, chiropractic is now widely accepted form of alternative therapy – it’s a registered profession in Australia and the USA.
Chiropractors focus on the links between the spine and the nervous system. They believe that if there’s a misalignment or malfunction in the vertebrae, it can cause the spinal column to move abnormally. And this can lead to a variety of health problems.
They aim to correct any spinal imbalance by manipulating the hard tissues of the back – this in turn restores the correct workings of the nervous system and improves the way the body’s organs function.
Although around half of all chiropractic consultations are for lower back pain, chiropractic therapy can also help conditions such as:
- Hip problems
- Head, neck, chest pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Wrist, ankle, knee, elbow problems
- Menstrual disorders
Please don’t try chiropractic therapy if you’ve spinal inflammation or infection, or if you’ve cancer. If you’ve osteoporosis, ligament damage, a fracture, an aneurysm or arteriosclerotic disease, you can see a chiropractor, but your treatment will probably be modified.
Do not use if you have a stomach ulcer.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful.
If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Do not give to babies under 3 months.