Because doctors of chiropractic and doctors of conventional medicine share similar education, training, and ability to make patients feel better, many patients question the benefits of one treatment over another. Where conventional medicine aims to correct the patient’s pain or symptom, Chiropractors focus on the elimination of the cause of that symptom.
In order to illustrate the difference, equate two solutions to a typical problem: the check engine light of your car turning on. In this example, the check engine light is the symptom, and the engine working improperly is the cause. If the mechanic were a conventional doctor, the treatment of choice would be to remove the fuse that supplies the dashboard light, causing the light to go off. The chiropractor, however, would choose to find the problem in the engine, correct it, and turn off the dashboard light. Both treatments correct the “symptom” of the check engine light, but what option would you prefer for the longevity of your car.
Most people equate their health to how they are feeling, but that is not necessarily the case. Only a fraction of your nervous system controls pain sensation, so your muscles, brain, and organs may not be functioning properly despite you being pain-
Getting to the source:
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort, rather than simply masking the symptoms. The source of the problem may be near the location of the pain or it may be quite distant from the location of the symptoms. When the pain is at a distant site, this is called a referred pain. By assessing the muscle tone of the spine, radiographs, the temperature of the area surrounding the spine, the ranges of motion at each vertebral level, and various other neurologic changes, chiropractors are able to locate the precise location of the subluxation. After the subluxation is corrected, the body is allowed an opportunity to heal, which is when the symptoms are alleviated. When subluxations are corrected, and the nervous system is functioning at 100%, true health and wellness follows.