Many people think chiropractic is good for certain problems like back pain or headaches. While it is true that people with these problems usually find relief through chiropractic care, this isn't really what chiropractic is about. This misunderstanding is not unexpected, though, since healthcare in our society is so heavily dominated by the medical model.
Yes, chiropractic typically helps people with neuro-musculo-skeletal problems by directly reducing the mechanical stress on various tissues. Chiropractic also helps people with many other kinds of problems -- immune, digestive, neurological, etc -- by enabling the body to regulate itself correctly.
People also benefit from chiropractic when they are healing from an injury, such as from surgery, sports or an auto accident. Not only do proper body mechanics permit the healing tissues to structure themselves correctly, but a nervous system free of interference results in higher quality repair tissue.
And since our bodies are stronger and more resilient when our joints work properly, regular chiropractic care helps people avoid the damage and disfunction that result from subluxations. However, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms, or are healing from an injury, or want to avoid medical problems, all of this misses the point about who can benefit from chiropractic care.
In an ideal world, no one would ever need chiropractic care because our bodies would correct all subluxations shortly after they occurred. Unfortunately, we don't use our bodies the way they were designed to be used. Our normal lives are far removed from the natural lives of our ancestors, and therefore our bodies don't get the kind of conditions they need to adjust themselves. Most of us spend too much time seated and/or overstressed.
So, who needs chiropractic care? In truth, everyone in our society needs to be checked periodically for subluxations, much in the same way we get regular dental checkups. Not everyone will be badly subluxated, but it is better to find out sooner rather than later. Chiropractic problems are much easier to correct before our bodies start to make accomodations for them.