There is an emphasis on manual methods of treatment, including adjustment of the spine and peripheral joints, and therapy for soft tissues such as muscle, ligaments and tendons. Treatment can also include rehabilitative exercises and health and lifestyle counseling. Modalities are sometimes used adjunctive to manual therapy.
Philosophically throughout the history of the profession, chiropractors specialised in the treatment of 'Subluxations', which were stated to restrict the innate intelligence of the body, causing disease processes. Through removing these subluxations, it was believed that the ability of the body to heal itself was restored.
In modern chiropractic, the term 'subluxation' is interpreted as the restriction and/ or dysfunction of a joint, leading to improper stresses placed upon it and the surrounding tissues. This can lead to irritation and neurological inhibition causing symptoms such as pain and weakness.
Treatment is designed to remove the dysfunction of the musculo-skeletal system and thus de-stress the nervous system. When this occurs tissue healing is increased due to optimum nerve input to the area and a lack of mechanical and chemical irritants.
When the dysfunction has been removed, rehabilitative exercise is used to reestablish biomechanical balance to the musculo-skeletal system and prevent further problems.