Chiropractic is the third largest primary health care profession in the world (a primary health care professional being one who carries out both diagnosis and treatment) after medicine and dentistry.
Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the innate recuperative power of the body to heal itself. The main focus is the relationship between the function of joints, muscles and the nervous system (neuromusculoskeletal disorders) and the effects of these disorders on general health. The spine is of central importance.
The principal treatment is joint adjustment or manipulation. Management also includes rehabilitative exercises, patient education and lifestyle modification. The focus on education and patient empowerment is an important factor in the success of chiropractic management and the high levels of patient satisfaction.
Chiropractic is a natural and conservative form of health care, offering an alternative to medication and surgery. Accordingly it makes no use of drugs or surgery and has no aspirations to do so. Apart from high levels of general diagnostic skills, chiropractors are also trained how to take and analyze X-rays, when appropriate for use in establishing a diagnosis.
In addition, chiropractors recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.