The roots of chiropractic can be traced to Daniel David Palmer who defined the unorthodox approach to healing in 1895. While D.D. began his career as a practitioner of osteopathy, he felt compelled to build upon his own beliefs and experiences when he established this new area of health care. His son, Bartlett Joshua, followed in his footsteps in the Palmer School of Chiropractic.
For a chiropractor, manual therapy involves the physical manipulation of soft tissue, joints and—most importantly—the spine. One kind of manual therapy—trigger-point therapy—recognizes that the site of the pain might not be where the root cause of the pain lies. For example, a muscle knot or other sensitive spot might be a trigger point that causes pain elsewhere in the body, which might appear to have nothing to do with the trigger point. The knowledgeable chiropractor understands the relationship between different areas of the body, and understands that by treating the trigger point, the source of the pain, which lies somewhere else, can be relieved.
Another type of manual therapy is named after Raymond Nimmo, D.C. The Nimmo Receptor-Tonus Method addresses conditions that are often the result of an injury that involves the firing of too many impulses into the spinal cord, which causes acute muscle spasms. Left unchecked, this condition can cause additional damage. By applying pressure in the prescribed fashion, the trigger points that cause the spasms—and the spasms, themselves—can be reduced or eliminated.
During a chiropractic session, the hands are used to manipulate the area surrounding the entire spinal column and other areas of the body. This type of manual therapy serves several purposes. Massage stimulates and increases blood flow to certain areas and increases mobility and flexibility. Manual therapy can also have the effect of applying a kind of traction, which can temporarily relieve pressure and promote healing.
One of the most common reasons for a visit to the chiropractor is the alleviation of lower back pain. While traditional medical care claims to have success in this area, chiropractic manual therapy sessions have been found by many to provide comfort, relief and healing above and beyond traditional medical approaches toward back pain. For those who suffer from whiplash, neck discomfort, or pounding headaches, chiropractic manual therapy has also provided long sought-after elimination of pain.
Regardless of what you are experiencing—back pain, neck pain, or even general stiffness or malaise—a trip to the chiropractor can make a real difference in your quality of life, thanks to the power of manual therapies.