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Chiropractic, originated by American teacher Daniel David Palmer in the 1890s, is a form of healthcare that employs manual manipulation of the joints and the spine in order to reduce pain and optimize health.

According to chiropractic medicine, the human body has the capacity to heal itself, and therefore chiropractors do not rely on either surgery or prescription medication. Using a holistic (whole-body) approach to care, chiropractors focus not only on specific points of injury or pain but also on habitual contributors to ill health — for example, poor posture, obesity, unhealthy diet, and stress.

An initial visit with the chiropractor will be similar to an initial visit with a primary care physician. The chiropractor begins by taking the client’s medical history, then conducts a physical examination, runs any appropriate tests, and makes a diagnosis. Chiropractic care will often be supplemented by other traditional and alternative treatment methods, including but not limited to exercise, stretching, physical therapy, and nutritional guidance. While a chiropractor typically adjusts the spine and other joints by hand, mechanical devices are also occasionally used. These procedures recuperate joint motion and function.

Most commonly used to alleviate back and neck pain, chiropractic also treats headaches, digestive problems, hypertension, fatigue, and other ailments.