The existence of the nervous system as the primary control mechanism of the body is an undisputed scientific fact. Its relationship with the spine has been the historical focus of the practice of chiropractic. The spine develops in utero to provide two primary functions: (1) allow for freedom of movement and (2) house and protect the spinal cord. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned or stuck together through trauma or repetitive injury, two major consequences will result: (1) the range of motion becomes limited and (2) spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord are compromised. Loss of normal mobility and neurological compromise can eventually lead to pain, disability, and an overall decrease in the quality of life. Conversely, restoring motion to the spine and the removal of neurological interference has been shown to have significant, lasting health benefits. Through the adjustment of the spine, the doctor of chiropractic endeavors to restore normal spinal motion and nerve expression. The body is then able to respond appropriately to any imbalance in the system, thus relieving symptoms and restoring health.
The anatomical focus of the chiropractor on the human spine has created the perception of chiropractors as just “back doctors.” Although this perception is not entirely incorrect, it is very much incomplete. Doctors of chiropractic are a highly appropriate resource in matters of general health concerns, injury rehabilitation, work-place safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction and nutritional counseling.” According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, “The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The doctor of chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC’s office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service.”