General Health, Wellness, and Chiropractic Care
The World Health Organization defines health as being “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Given this broad definition of health, epistemological constructs borrowed from the social sciences may demonstrate health benefits not disclosed by randomized controlled trials.
Health benefits, such as improvement in self-reported quality-of-life (QOL), behaviors associated with decreased morbidity, patient satisfaction, and decreased health care costs, are reported in the following articles, and they make a compelling statement about the effects of chiropractic on general health.
Despite the historic emphasis on treatment, prevention and health promotion are receiving increased attention within the US health care system. These same health promotion tasks are considered by the National Academy of Science and others as essential components of health services delivered by primary care providers. Chiropractors are viewed by many as capable of and actively delivering prevention and health promotion in addition to providing other primary care services.
Prevention and health promotion activities administered by chiropractors fall into 2 general categories: those considered orthodox by the medical community (eg, weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation) and those that are not (eg, soft-tissue and osseous manual procedures and some dietary supplementation).
Previous research demonstrates that the orthodox activities used by primary care medical providers are also used by chiropractors. The concept that chiropractic care is of value in maintaining health and preventing disease began with the work of Palmer. This preventive treatment is traditionally referred to as maintenance care (MC). MC has been defined as “a regimen designed to provide for the patient’s continued well-being or for maintaining the optimum state of health while minimizing recurrences of the clinical status.”
Many chiropractors believe that periodic patient visits permit the doctor to identify joint dysfunction or subluxations and make corrections with spinal manipulation or other manual procedures. These treatments are believed to prevent disease of both neuromusculoskeletal and visceral origin. [ 1 ]
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