Our central approach to treatment is the relationship between the human structure (neuro-musculoskeletal system) and its optimum function.
Research demonstrates that the primary reasons patients consult chiropractors are back pain (approximately 60 %), other musculoskeletal pain such as pain in the neck, shoulder, extremities and arthritic pain (20 %) and headaches including migraine (10 %). About 1 in 10 (10 %) chiropractic patients present with a wide variety of conditions caused by, aggravated by, or which mimic neuro-musculoskeletal disorders (e.g. pseudo angina, dysmennorhea, respiratory and digestive dysfunctions).
Management includes manual techniques, particularly joint adjustment/manipulation, rehabilitation exercises, patient education and lifestyle modification, as well as the use of physical therapy modalities and orthotic supports. The profession makes no use of prescription drugs or surgery. Patients requiring these interventions are referred for medical care.
Interdisciplinary practice is now common with chiropractic doctors, medical doctors, physical therapists and others working together as partners in private practices, occupational health, automobile accident and other rehabilitation centers and national sports medicine teams. While most chiropractic services are community based in private offices, hospital based services are now available in many countries.
The scope of chiropractic practice is very diverse. Chiropractors have the appropriate education and training which allows them to safely and effectively treat people of all age groups, from children to the elderly. The majority of patients seek chiropractic care for local functional impairments or for pain in the musculoskeletal system. Although the pain may be localized to one site, chiropractic approach is holistic, as functional impairments may affect the whole body.
The word „chiropractic“ comes from ancient Greek and means „treating with the hand“. Chiropractic is a very gentle and safe therapeutic procedure that does not employ medication or surgery.
Chiropractic is a scientifically and legally recognized health profession in more than 40 countries. The chiropractor treats functional impairments of the musculoskeletal system as well as any associated effect on the nervous system and general health. This includes joint restrictions, tight muscles, radiating pain, headaches, dizziness, whiplash associated disorder, prolapsed discs and specifically emphasizes the early recognition and prevention of mechanical functional impairments. The most common reason to seek chiropractic care, however, remains nonspecific back pain. It is a little known fact that a qualified chiropractor can treat just about any joint in the body. One example may be addressing restrictions of the ankle joint to reestablish biomechanical function following ankle sprains.
The term „Chiropractor“ is not a new buzz word but the correct and traditional occupational title of our profession. The main difference compared to the others is the (full-time) university degree awarded to chiropractors. Such an internationally recognized training is currently not possible in Germany. All chiropactors in Germany have received their education abroad.
Other titles such as Chirotherapeut or Chiropraktiker are used by health practitioners (GER: Heilpraktiker) and general practitioners with limited training in manual therapies/medicine. Unfortunately, these titles are not legally binding and an increasing number of other therapists call themselves „Chiropractors“ to imply a higher standard of training and proficiency than they actually have. It is therefore worth inquiring about the actual training of the practitioner that calls themself a „chiropractor“ before making an appointment. Today less than 100 chiropractors are in practice in Germany.
The scope of chiropractic care is very broad indeed. Infants and children, as well as geriatric patients can be treated effectively for a wide range of complaints. The classic example of a chiropractic patient is a middle aged adult seeking relief for his back pain. There are specializations in our profession, such as chiropractic pediatrics or sports chiropractic, to care the special needs of different patient populations.
Sports chiropractic is gaining increasing attention and reputation in Germany. Competitive and professional athletes from all sports routinely seek chiropractic care to gain the extra edge for peak performance as well as for injury prevention.
Chiropractic pediatrics applies slightly modified, particularly gentle approaches when treating infants and children. Due to the extensive training, a broad spectrum of effective and safe techniques is available for the treatment of infants and children.