Definition of Chiropractic

Chiropractic embraces the holistic diagnosis, treatment, prophylaxis and rehabilitation of functional deficiencies of limbs or painful joints (especially the spinal column and pelvis but also the ribs and peripheral joints) and the biomechanical and neurophysiological consequences (Swiss Chiropractic Institute, 2001).

Following accidents, excessive load bearing or long term incorrect carriage of the spinal column, deficiencies can arise which influence the mobility of the joints.  Subtle misalignments of the vertebrae or pelvic bones can produce swelling of the surrounding tissues and therefore pressure on the nerves. Altered functions of the nervous system through pressure can severely compromise our health.

For example, in children we often observe that a misaligned sacrum (central pelvic bone) can compress nerves supplying the bladder, leading to bedwetting.  This is one of the conditions that responds amazingly to chiropractic care. Other examples are: dizziness, tension headaches, migraine headaches, pain along the arms or legs, pseudo heart complaints, “growing pain in kids”, pregnancy sciatica etc.  These symptoms can be reduced or remedied using chiropractic.

Chiropractic is now recognised to have intrinsic value within modern medicine.  The importance of the spine is now acknowledged as a major factor in some ailments. In scientific circles of the healing profession, chiropractic is seen as an independent discipline positioned between rheumatology, neurology, orthopaedics and inner medicine.

As a stand-alone healing technique, chiropractic has an important role in today’s health care system for patients seeking natural methods which avoid dependency on medication or the need for surgery. However, patients will, when necessary, be referred to other specialists in the medical profession.  The interdisciplinary interaction between General Practitioners, specialists, and hospitals is today common practice.  The chiropractor works principally without referral from other medical professionals, independently and under his own responsibility (see below under “Activities”).

Legal basis

The performance of chiropractors is regulated by the following laws of Switzerland:
Illness/incapacity insurance: Krankenversicherungsgesetz (KVG)
Accident insurance: Unfallversicherungsgesetz (UVG)
Military service insurance: Militärversicherungsgesetz (SUVA)
Radiation protection: Strahlenschutzgesetz (StSG)

The competence of chiropractors has been recognised by the medical profession since 1965.  From that time forward, chiropractic treatments have been covered by Swiss basic medical insurance policies.

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