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The Four Faces of Chiropractic

Nov 26, 2007
Chiropractic is a holistic approach to medicine. It is based on using manipulation as a means of treating musculoskeletal dysfunction of the spine and extremities. Practitioners refer to themselves as alternative care physicians. There is a wide range in treatments, depending on different chiropractors. These treatments can be categorized into four main concepts.

1. Traditional straights: This is the old classic approach to chiropractic. Chiropractors use the principles that DD and BJ Palmer laid out in their original concept of chiropractic. This is based on the principle that vertebral subluxations is the root cause of most diseases. They feel that vertebral subluxation interferes with the human nervous system to cause dysfunctions in the human body. Because of this they do not diagnose the patient for particular diseases but merely look for "red flags" to indicate serious diseases. Treatment will be carried out according to the chiropractor's methods of treatment. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) endorses the traditional straights concept.

2. Mixers: These chiropractors expanded on the early teaching of the Palmers (Palmer College of Chiropractic.) and included more diagnostic and treatment approaches. They formed different schools like the National College of Chiropractic. They feel that vertebral subluxations are a form of joint dysfunction. They eliminate all other possibilities for known disorders and take note of any spine mechanical dysfunctions. They will base their treatments on these factors. Organizations endorsing the Mixer concept are the European Chiropractors Union and American Chiropractic Association.

3. Objective straights: are a minority group of chiropractors. They are a recently formed group. They concentrate on the correction of vertebral subluxations, without diagnosing the patient. Typically they do not refer patients to other physicians but do encourage them to see medical doctors for diagnosis of their symptoms. Their treatments are mainly limited to spinal adjustments. Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO) and the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) endorse this concept.

4. Reform: these chiropractors believe in manipulation as a valid treatment for musculoskeletal problems. They use palpation and manipulation as a means for diagnosing and treating painful join conditions. They have a similar concept to Mixers but do not use other alternative medicine treatments. There is still a lot of controversy about chiropractic methods as many chiropractors do not rely on the conventional forms of diagnosis. The medical profession feels that it may not be effective as it is not based on actual diagnosis. However many people claim that chiropractic has helped them with their problems.
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