Chiropractic Medicine

Health care focusing on the relationship between the body’s skeletal and muscular systems is known as chiropractic care. Methods of treatment involve adjusting bones of the spinal cord in order to correct various medical issues. It is a practice generally linked to treating pain caused by muscle and bone problems; however, chiropractors claim it serves multiple functions. They believe that many of the body’s ailments are a result of subluxations, or out-of-place vertebrae. Subluxations can adversely affect the nearby muscles and nerves, extending throughout the body. Treatment involves manipulating or adjusting the spine so that all the vertebrae are in their proper positions. Although there is no scientific evidence that supports chiropractic care as an effective treatment for disease, it has shown to relieve back pain and promote relaxation. It correlates to other alternative therapies that concentrate on maintaining a balance between the body’s systems and organs.

History of Chiropractic Use

The word chiropractic comes from the Greek roots of cheir, meaning hands, and praktikos, meaning efficient. It was originally practiced in ancient Egypt by priest healers, as well as parts of Asia. Modern chiropractic medicine was developed by Daniel Palmer just before the turn of the 20th century. Palmer was a grocer and natural healer who specialized in magnetic treatments. In the 1890s, a man came to Palmer who had lost his hearing. He told Palmer that he remembered his back popping just before he went deaf. Palmer noted that he looked at the man’s back and found a vertebra that seemed out of alignment; after popping the vertebra back into place, the man’s hearing was restored. Palmer continued his spinal therapy and developed a method of adjusting the spine using the vertebrae’s bony bumps as a lever. By 1897, Palmer founded the first chiropractic school. Thirty years later, other schools had opened across the nation, with approximately 50,000 chiropractors licensed in the United States as of 2008.

The Procedure

A general chiropractic exam consists of an interview, physical exam, and spinal x-rays. The chiropractor may also take a look at the patient’s posture and level of flexibility. Elements such as ice, heat, electrical current, vibration, and massage can also be incorporated into treatment. Each part of the examination is aimed at developing an accurate diagnosis, which means locating the source of the patient’s symptoms. The American Cancer Society states that cancer patients or those with other chronic conditions should consult a licensed physician or specialist before entering into any type of therapy that involves muscle and joint manipulation.

Chiropractic care, along with other forms of treatment could aid patients in various symptom relief. Specifically, those patients diagnosed with cancers such as mesothelioma might employ alternative treatments like this one in conjunction with standard medicine in order to ease physical symptoms.


American Cancer Society