Chiropractic Medicine is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine are often simply referred to as “chiropractors” or “chiropractic physicians”. In Estonia they hold the international designation of “D.C.” which has been aquired through their graduation from an interantionally accredited chiropractic university faculty or college. Chiropractic members of EMMKS may also hold the Estonian designation of “D.C.M.”. Minimum educational standards for chiropractic licensure set by the EMMKS follow the European Chiropractic Union guidelines and are in accordance with the World Federation of Chiropractic and the World Health Organization as well as the originating North American Council of Chiropractic Education standards. Estonian Chiropractic Physicians mainly practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They have full medical diagnostic skills and are also trained to provide physiotheraputic modalities as well as prescriptive therapeutics and rehabilitative exercises. Estonian Chiropractors may also provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling and may prescribe nutraceutical prescriptions in the forms of drug-free naturopathic, homeopathic and supplementative substances which do not require a medical doctors prescription. In some cases, they may also practice forms of Traditional Chinese or Eastern medicines such as acupunture and/or varied naturopathic medicine practices.
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine is known as “osseous manipulation,” also sometimes called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a injury or stress. Osseous manipulations are performed on all joints of the body however they are performed most commonly on the joints of the spine. They can be performed using the hands or with specific intruments designed for this purpose. They are usually performed with the patient fully conscious and without medication but, in some cases they are performed under general anesthesia or in conjunction with the application of local sedative medication or anesthesia provided prior to the manipulations by a qualified medical specialist. Estonian Chiropractors also provide tissue manipulations wherein specific soft tissues are manipulated to alter consistency or neurological control. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured or stressed tissues and their associated joints undergo physical, chemical and neurological changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores joint mobility and function alleviating pain and improving function which subsequently allows tissues to heal.
Manipulations performed by Chiropractors rarely cause discomfort, however, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours.
Research shows that, in most cases of lower back pain, chiropractic manipulations are the primary and most effective method of treatment. This finding also applies to many other pain conditions which are due to injury and/or dysfunction of the joints and muscles. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Currently, there is a process in Estonia to have the titles “Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine”, Doctor of Chiropractic”, ‘Chiropractor’ and “Chiropractic Physician” fully protected by governement legislation so that only qualified Chiropractic Doctors who have graduated from accreddited institutions of higher learning are legally allowed to use these titles. In order to ensure quality and safety for the public, members of the Estonian Manual Medicine and Chiropractic Association must have graduated from an ECU/WFC accredited chiropractic College of University Faculty of Chiropractic which meets strict requirements. Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine in Estonia, who are members of EMMKS, are also required to attend at least 20 hours of continued yearly professional education courses in order to keep their knowlege base current and to maintain an active license to practice. Discussions are underway though EMMKS to make this a mandatory requirement set by the Estonian government.
Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine differentially diagnose patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when referal to another medical specialist is required. Chiropractic physicians will always refer patients to the appropriate medical or health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the Estonian health care system. Estonian DCMs work closely with Estonian MDs who cross-refer and with whom they enjoy excellent co-operation and interprofessional relations.
The founder of Chiropractic in Estonia is Dr. Allan Gary Austin Oolo. Dr. Oolo introduced Chiropractic Medicine to Estonia in 1992. (See newspaper articles…click here). He is currently the president of EUOCP. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree in Canada and further went on to attain specialty designations in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Medicine in the U.S.A. He also became and Osteopathic Physician and attained a doctorate in Manual Medicine. He has practiced in Toronto Canada, Los Angeles USA and Tallinn Estonia. In the early 90’s Dr. Oolo returned to Estonia where Chiropractic Medicine was unknown to Estonians. In meetings with the Estonian minister of health and though numerous professional medical and media presentations with resultant articles and, as a result of Dr. Oolo working as a chiropractic physician in Estonia since 1992, chiropractic began to become known and used in Estonia. In the very early 90’s Estonia was still suffering from the devastating effects of the previous 50 years of an oppressive occupation. The country was very poor at that time and, during his practice of 1992 and 1993, Dr. Oolo did not charge any money for his services. Dr. Austin Oolo is also the founder and creator of another manual medicine assessment, treatment and training system called “Trigenics” which is now used by thousands of doctors and therapists in over 25 countries worldwide.