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The chiropractic subluxation aka the pinched nerve

As the Mayo Clinic explained, a pinched or irritated nerve can be caused by a misalignment of the bones ( vertebrae) or shortened muscles. Of course there are other factors such as fractures, tumors, arthritides and more that can cause problems, but these are ruled out before treatment. Once it is determined that there is nerve interference present, chiropractors utilize the adjustment to correct the misalignment and may incorporate other therapies to reduce symptoms and improve the body's ability to communicate.

The belief that by removing the nerve interference many conditions will respond is what is commonly attacked by critics of chiropractic. They often claim that there is a lack of evidence supporting the theory of the subluxation. Interestingly enough this same criticism is rarely applied to other providers.

The American Osteopathic Association proudly states on their website:

Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician (DO) will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance.

The American Chiropractic Association defines the chiropractic adjustment as:

The chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function.

You can clearly see that there is a distinct similarity between the techniques of Doctors of Osteopathy and of the Doctor of Chiropractic employ.

Even given these related definitions, chiropractors are still regarded as quacks because we believe that by moving these joints and muscles and restoring the proper nerve flow that the body is better able to thrive.

Guess who else buys into this silly notion:

OMT is often used to treat muscle pain. But it can also help patients with a number of other health problems such as:


sinus disorder

carpal tunnel syndrome


menstrual pain

When appropriate, OMT can complement--and even replace--drugs or surgery. In this way, OMT brings an imporatant dimension to standard medical care.

Again the above declaration is from the website of the American Osteopathic Association. It boggles my mind that chiropractors are subjected to insults and disdain for a belief that is held by those in the medical community.

Whether you call it a subluxation or a pinched nerve, it is apparent that the concept is shared equally by differing providers. What is not shared is the approach to treatment. Doctors of Osteopathy are liscensed to practice medicine while Doctors of Chiropractic and physical therapist are not. A look again at the Mayo Clinics website:

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and conduct a physical examination.If your doctor suspects a pinched nerve, you may undergo some tests.

The tests listed are a Nerve conduction study,Electromyography and MRI

These tests are often completed at the same time and take about one hour

This reliance on expensive testing is why healthcare is out of control. This trio of tests would cost well over $4000. Diagnostic testing should be used to confirm a diagnosis, not to create one. The history and examination should provide the doctor with much of the information needed and additional testing should only be performed if necessary. To order tests in chunks, which is common, without even interpreting the results of the first, is nothing less than a waste of resources and money.

And after these tests are performed, the Mayo Clinic proposes these treatment options: Physical therapy,Medications,Surgery. It suggests that PT "can teach you exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles in the affected area in order to relieve pressure on the nerve. He or she may also recommend modifications to activities that aggravate the nerve" while medications "can help relieve pain and alleviate inflammation around the nerve." Surgery is suggested "If the pinched nerve doesn't improve after several weeks to a few months with conservative treatments, surgery to take pressure off the nerve may be necessary." According to the Mayo Clinic, conservative care should be used first, following 4k worth of tests, and if all of that fails surgery should be performed.

The Mayo Clinic recognises the pinched nerve and its potential effects but fails to recognise the benefit of manipulation or mobilization performed by chiropractors and osteopaths. At least it gives some credit to the physical therapists who it explains " may also recommend modifications to activities that aggravate the nerve."

The American Chiropractic Association states "Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling."

The American Osteopathic Association explains that DO's: teach patients how to prevent illness and injury by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

So if Chiropractors move joints like Osteopaths and recommend exercises as well as other counseling, why are our motives, qualifications and results questioned?

Turf!...It all boils down to everyone fighting for a slice of the health care pie!

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