The basic focus of Chiropractic practice is the relationship between structure and function in the neuromusculoskeletal system - that is, the interrelationship of the nervous system, joints, and muscles. This interrelationship is evaluated for dysfunction in joint movement, muscle imbalance, etc. Treatment to correct these problems is undertaken, also by the Chiropractor. A Chiropractor provides both a diagnosis and treatment for the patient.
Chiropractic treatment emphasizes joint manipulation, known as an ´adjustment´, in which your doctor will use his or her hands to move a joint in your spine. An adjustment helps to free-up joints that are fixed or stuck in one position. This aids in decreasing pain and nerve irritation, as well as decreasing inflammation and muscle tension among other effects.
Most back pain is caused by mechanical problems. That is, some sort of disruption in the normal way the spine functions. Taking medication such as Tylenol may numb the pain somewhat but it does not address the root cause of the problem. Chiropractic treatment is aimed at the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
A good analogy would be a stone in your shoe. If you get a small stone in your shoe it can make walking very uncomfortable. What are your options? You could limp and try to avoid putting pressure on the stone. You could strap a thick piece of foam to your foot to act as a cushion, or the most obvious choice would be to remove the stone! Essentially, that is what Chiropractic is all about. We try to find ´the little stone´ that is bothering your spine and then we remove it.