The principle of chiropractic
Chiropractic means "practicing with the hands". Chiropractors are specialized in tracing and resolving movement disorders in the spine and joints in the extremities. Chiropractic is based on the principle that a well functioning nerve system is essential for good health and optimal performance. Optimal function of the nerve system can only be achieved if the spine and joints are free of movement disorders (see The founder of chiropractic).
A healthy back is more important than most people realise. The spinal cord is the central highway to all other body parts: nerves run through the spinal column (ie. the spinal cord) to other parts of the body to supply it with information to and from the brain (see picture a.). Movement disorders in the spinal column affect the nerves that run through it and thereby influence the function of other body parts.
Movement disorders are recognized by the central nervous system. At first the muscles around the disorder will stiffen up in response, which may remain unrecognized, or local pain may be felt. If persistent, the nerve system becomes irritated and more functions will be disrupted. This may result in tingling and pain shoots in the arms or legs or even gastro-intestinal complaints or heart beat sensations. Movement disorders in the spinal column can hence affect the general health and wellbeing. By adjusting the movement disorder the chiropractor aims to restore nerve function, thereby allowing vital organs, sensations and tissues to function properly again.