Are adjustments a substitute for medicine

Q: Are chiropractic adjustments a substitute for medicine?

A: Many people choose chiropractic care as an alternative to traditional medical care. However, chiropractic adjustments are not meant to be a substitute for medicine.

Chiropractic adjustments serve an entirely different purpose than medication. Chiropractors make adjustments to the spine when necessary to correct the cause of illness and body dysfunction. In general, medication is given to target symptoms (which are the result of illness, not the cause). Probably the best way to characterize the two health professions is by saying chiropractic care is proactive while medical care is reactive.

For example, let’s consider the approach a medical doctor often takes when a patient has a common cold vs. the chiropractic approach for the same illness. Typically, a medical doctor will recommend or prescribe medication such as a decongestant, cough elixir or pain reliever aimed at getting rid of the cold symptoms.

Instead of attacking symptoms, the chiropractor is focused on discovering and correcting the cause of the symptoms so the body can heal itself. After determining the reason(s) why the patient’s natural defenses have weakened, making that person susceptible to the cold virus, specific recommendations are made to eliminate those causes, allowing the body to recover naturally.

Chiropractors will likely consider many factors that can create imbalances within the body, resulting in a weak immune system. These factors may include nerve interference in the spine (subluxations), poor nutrition, unmanaged stress, lack of exercise, dehydration, poor hygiene and sleep deprivation. If spinal subluxations are found, they are corrected with chiropractic adjustments. The purpose of the adjustment is to remove the nerve interference so that the body can function properly. Then the body will be better able to fight off the illness and symptoms will naturally subside. In addition, the body’s improved immune system will be more resistant to future illnesses.