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Chiropractic is the medical practice that diagnoses, treats, and prevents mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. This conservative management of the spine is noninvasive and done without medications or surgery. Chiropractic is well-established in the United States, being the third largest health profession behind medicine and dentistry. Approximately 50,000 chiropractic physicians are in practice.
Many chiropractic patients seek treatment because of low back pain, and the source of this pain is most often a subluxation. A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones of the spine, or vertebrae. This misalignment can cause pain and interfere with the function of the spinal cord, which carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. This interference in the nervous system can be the source of a variety of ailments, including:
Migraine and tension headaches
Numbness or pain in the arms or legs
Heartburn and indigestion
A chiropractor treats a subluxation by delivering an adjustment, which involves a gentle and controlled directional force that shifts a misplaced vertebra back into alignment. This can be done manually (by hand) or with the use of a computerized therapy tool, like the ProAdjuster.
An adjustment normally results in immediate relief from the pain caused by the subluxation. Also, the adjustment can clear up interference in the nervous system, addressing any associated ailments. After a series of visits, the vertebrae can be “retrained” to stay in alignment.
To be licensed with the state board, a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is required to first complete a 4-year program at an accredited chiropractic college. This program requires a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, lab, and clinical experience. The D.C. must then pass a national board exam. To maintain licensure, the D.C. completes a specified number of hours of continuing education each year.
Dr. Deborah Hudson is a licensed chiropractor in Gainesville, FL. She has been licensed with the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine since 1999.