THE UNIQUE ROLE OF CHIROPRACTIC
The chiropractic profession has experienced dynamic growth internationally, especially in the past two decades, due to increasing recognition of its educational and research standards and its role in reducing health care costs. Amongst manual systems of health care, chiropractic is among the most educated, researched and most popularly used, and had been recognized and regulated in law by around 90 countries.
Founded as a drug free system of health care more than a century ago, chiropractic has a unique approach aimed at normalizing nerve function body wide. Because results are often seen first in the function of the spine and joints, chiropractic has emerged as a leader in the drug free management of spine related pain syndromes. However its application has a much broader impact on health than just simple pain reduction.
Chiropractic deals with the spine in relation to the nervous system Chiropractic recognises the supremacy of the nervous system in all aspects of health, performance and function. Chiropractors work by influencing the nervous system and its control of body posture and global body function. This is achieved primarily through specific adjustments to the spine and related joints.
As a primary health care practitioner, a chiropractor is able to assess the individual’s suitability for chiropractic care, giving careful consideration to the possible health benefits available through chiropractic care in conjunction, if necessary, with any appropriate medical co-management.
Chiropractic education involves university study and post-graduate training and is similar to that of a medical practitioner in the length of the course, lecture hours and basic subjects studied, but differs in its clinical sciences, as chiropractors have different clinical skills, differing application and delivery, and different clinical objectives.
The chiropractic profession, almost uniquely as a profession, has internationally agreed standards of education, monitored presently through the Councils for Chiropractic Education (C.C.E.), of which there is a European agency, the ECCE. Presently, the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.), in conjunction with major chiropractic associations, is drafting guidelines on basic training and safety of chiropractic for governmental referral.
X-rays are used by chiropractors to provide information concerning individual developmental variants, injuries and spinal pathologies that could affect the chiropractic management and care of an individual. >Chiropractors are trained in radiology and radiography to internationally recognised standards - both taking and reading their own x-rays in many countries including America, Australia, Canada and UK.
Chiropractic in Ireland
Chiropractic is growing exponentially in Ireland with many young Irish chiropractors now returning trained to the highest standards in the world. There are several voluntary, self-regulatory bodies for chiropractors in Ireland. The Allied Chiropractic Group (ACG)is the latest. Only chiropractors with internationally recognized qualifications may join the ACG. At present, in Ireland, there is no statutory system of registration of chiropractors, meaning anyone, including those who are not qualified, may use the title Chiropractor, a situation that presently leaves both the public and profession unprotected.
Inclusion of chiropractic care into managed health care environments has been shown in numerous international governmental studies to dramatically reduce costs both to patient and third party payers. With Irelands rapidly rising health care costs, chiropractic may well be one of the most beneficial health care reforms available to Irish health care decision-makers, reducing hospitalization and work loss.