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History of Chiropractic Care

Brad Farra - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I frequently get questions regarding the history of Chiropractic care. Here is a great synopsis from the American Chiropractic Association:

History of Chiropractic Care

The roots of chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases".

In the United States, the practice of spinal manipulation began gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer was well read in medical journals of his time and had great knowledge of the developments that were occurring throughout the world regarding anatomy and physiology. In 1897, Daniel David Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which has continued to be one of the most prominent chiropractic colleges in the nation.

Throughout the twentieth century, doctors of chiropractic gained legal recognition in all fifty states. A continuing recognition and respect for the chiropractic profession in the United States has led to growing support for chiropractic care all over the world. The research that has emerged from " around the world" has yielded incredibly influential results, which have changed, shaped and molded perceptions of chiropractic care. The report, Chiropractic in New Zealand published in 1979 strongly supported the efficacy of chiropractic care and elicited medical cooperation in conjunction with chiropractic care. The 1993 Manga study published in Canada investigated the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. The results of this study concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually with regard to work disability payments and direct health care costs.

Doctors of chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments. A continuing dedication to chiropractic research could lead to even more discoveries in preventing and combating maladies in future years.

Education of Doctors of Chiropractic
Doctors of chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited chiropractic college. The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about adjustive techniques and spinal analysis in colleges of chiropractic. In medical schools, training to become proficient in manipulation is generally not required of, or offered to, students. The Council on Chiropractic Education requires that students have 90 hours of undergraduate courses with science as the focus.

Those intending to become doctors of chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice. The individual must also meet all individual state licensing requirements in order to become a doctor of chiropractic.

An individual studying to become a doctor of chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects. The intention of the basic chiropractic curriculum is to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry. Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients, which separates them from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education DCs are trained as Primary care Providers.

What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
The proper title for a doctor of chiropractic is "doctor" as they are considered physicians under Medicare and in the overwhelming majority of states. The professional credentials abbreviation " D.C." means doctor of chiropractic. ACA also advocates in its Policies on Public Health that DCs may be referred to as (chiropractic) physicians as well.

Chiropractic Philosophy
As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

Scope of Practice
Doctors of chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed.

Works Cited

  1. Chapman-Smith, David: The Chiropractic Profession. West Des Moines, Iowa, NCMIC Group Inc., 2000: 11-17, 70-71.
  2. Chiropractic: State of Art. Arlington, Virginia, American Chiropractic Association, 1998: 2-3, 12-14.
  3. Spinal Manipulation Policy Statement. Arlington, Virginia: American Chiropractic Association, 1999: 6.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

Brad Farra - Friday, May 15, 2009

As a Chiropractor in Portland I provide holistic care, which means I treat the whole person and not an isolated complaint. Nutrition can be an important component of an individual's treatment. Sometimes proper nutrition can optimize the healing process, and other times nutritional advice is aimed at weight loss to improve overall health. I inevitably answer the question about "low carb diets" when weight loss is a goal. I am posting this as a resource for those wanting to lose weight and considering a low carbohydrate diet. Here's why they are wrong and should not be used for weight loss. The most important thing to point out is that the low carb diets are not a long term solution to better health. It's important to start a weight loss plan that you can stick with for the long term. Nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle management are the key factors in a successful weight loss program. I will briefly cover the negative aspects of the low carb diets.

The human body is equipped to burn carbohydrates as a fuel source. Many health concerns arise when the body does not have a source of carbs. When the body does not have a dietary supply of carbs the brain uses ketones for fuel instead of glucose (a simple carbohydrate). This can cause headaches, light-headedness, nausea, and other symptoms.

When you replace carbs in your diet with fat and protein several health concerns arise. With excessive protein you put yourself at a higher risk for gout, a type of arthritis that arises due to uric acid crystals forming in joints. Another type of crystal that forms due to the excessive protein intake of a low carb diet causes kidney stones. The low carb diet is low in fiber and combined with crystal formation this is linked to a higher risk of kidney stones. The low fiber diet causes a cascade of other problems that put you at risk for poor intestinal health and conditions including: constipation, certain colon cancers, poor nutrient absorption, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, and others. If that isn't enough to keep you away...

The high protein, high fat, and low fiber portions of the low carb diet combine to raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, high protein intake is linked to osteoporosis because the body leaches calcium out of bone as a buffer to avoid acidity.

Exercise is an important component to weight loss. On a low carb diet you won't feel like exercising. A lack of carbohydrate will decrease muscle performance and limit the amount and the intensity of exercise. Without exercise helping you lose weight you run the risk of losing lean muscle mass. A loss of lean muscle mass will directly contribute to decreasing your metabolic rate.

So, if you want to lose weight don't put yourself through a diet that you won't be able to stick with and that will only make you more unhealthy. Choose a long term solution that includes a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat and protein sources.

I would be happy to discuss any details with you, and remember...

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.