Chiropractic intervention in the treatment of joint and soft tissue disorders.
The concept of manual therapy, specifically manipulation of the bodily joints as in the practice of chiropractic, can no longer be deemed an invalid system of health care.
Practiced for over 2,000 years by a variety of ancient civilizations, the art of manipulation for the purpose of correcting and restoring joint function has continued to flourish, despite opposition. The climate, however, is changing.
The art of chiropractic is increasingly being seen as a uniquely devised and administered technique whereby high velocity, low amplitude thrusting maneuvers are specifically directed by the skilled practitioner toward spinal segments and peripheral articulations in an effort to correct aberrant mechanical function. The corrections are effected while utilizing the transverse and spinal processes of individual vertebrae as contacting levers.
Hippocrates is credited with the advice to, "look well to the spine for the cause of disease," as displaced or degenerative vertebrae may irritate spinal nerve roots while exiting the intervertebral foramina and, consequently, interfere with normal nerve function. Similarly, it is a fundamental precept of chiropractic philosophy that irritation of the nervous system by mechanical, chemical, or psychogenic means is considered as causative in the development of disease.
The scientific evidence associated with chiropractic intervention in the treatment and management of musculoskeletal disorders and visceral diseases is growing. This paper discusses the history, philosophy, and efficacy of joint manipulation and its influence on the development of chiropractic treatment.