What is Chiropractic?

What is Chiropractic?


The word chiropractic is a combination of two greek words, chiros and praxis, meaning done  by hand, more or less. And for the religiously minded, this symbol    was used to refer to chiropractors in a combination of the greek letters chi and rho. 

I recently did a Google/Yelp search for Alameda chiropractors. My goodness, there were a lot of results. There have always been a handful of chiropractors in Alameda, my parents and myself included (rest in peace, dad). 

Lately, though, we have witnessed a surge of chiropractic practices on our island. This is great. The more chiropractors the better, I say. There are plenty of people in Alameda that need help. 

We have roughly 30 chiropractors and about 76,000 people in Alameda. That leaves us with 2,500 people per chiropractor, give or take a few. It’s safe to say there is no need for any competition among us chiropractors. 

That being said, I would like to explain the basics of chiropractic followed by a brief explanation of the theory and natural history of the many chiropractic “techniques” or methods of locating and correcting spinal subluxations. I then will mention the chiropractors on the Island that are proficient in that particular technique. This will most likely be a multi-part series of articles.

No two chiropractors are alike. Although many of us use similar techniques, we each have our own “flavor.” Due to our own likes and dislikes, bodily comforts or discomforts, we practitioners veer towards a technique that we intellectually and philosophically believe and understand, and towards a technique that is most comfortable for us as we grow in our experience, expertise and age. 

Chiropractic has historically focused on locating vertebral joint pathophysiology, and correcting it. If your neck hurts on the left, it is likely that one or more of the seven cervical vertebrae are fixated, stuck. There is a reduced range of motion as you rotate to the left, and it hurts. This can be due to facet joints in the vertebrae that have a reduced range of motion because of nerve, muscle tension and pain. 

If the muscles surrounding that joint are tight, this will pull on the bones they attach to, causing an asymmetrical pull on the left or right which will contribute to the problem. 

I tell my patients there is never just a muscle problem, or just a nerve problem. It is always a muscle, bone and nerve problem because of the intimacy of all three of these types of anatomy. They are all so intricately related. So if your neck hurts because all of this is going on, chiropractors identify the problem and attempt to fix it. 

These types of neuromuscular joint pathologies (subluxations) will effect the nervous system, and therefore the body, in many detrimental ways. These ways require a much longer conversation, probably best to find your local chiropractor and ask them for more details. 

In the next article, I will give you a brief historical overview of the philosophy and development of Chiropractic, since 1895. 


To contact Dr. Dobbins, or for more information, visit www.patrickdobbins.com.