Chiropractors care for a neuromusculoskeletal system of a patient comprising of the nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. A chiropractor manages back and neck pain using spinal adjustments to maintain proper alignment.
Chiropractors examine patients to look at the position of a spine and muscle reflexes.
The question by many is whether a chiropractor is a doctor because the focus is on the body’s ability to self-heal through appropriate nutrition and exercise. Chiropractors, strictly speaking, are not medical doctors because they do not hold an M.D degree. However, a lack of an M.D degree does not mean they are outsiders to the medical profession. They are doctors in chiropractic care, providing an essential service of making adjustments that reduce back pain through non-invasive, personalized care.
There is a myth that chiropractors do not receive effective training.
It remains a myth because a chiropractor is a person with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from an accredited institution. Chiropractors start their education by acquiring an undergraduate degree focusing on the sciences. Someone planning to be a chiropractor usually graduates with a pre-med major after taking sciences like biology, psychology, chemistry, and physics.
They move to a chiropractic program after graduation for up to 4 years. The program comprises classes and practical sessions to instill hands-on experience. States in the USA require chiropractors to obtain a doctor of chiropractic degree from a Council on Chiropractic Education accredited institution before practicing.
A chiropractic graduate program has over 4,000 instructional hours in the course credits, so it dispels the myth that “a chiropractor is not that educated.”
Chiropractic graduate program mostly involves the courses:
• First-year: Courses on general anatomy, biochemistry, chiropractic principles, and spinal anatomy.
• Second-year: Courses in chiropractic procedures, clinical orthopedics, pathology, research methods, and imaging interpretations.
• The third-year: Clinical internships, integrated chiropractic, dermatology, pediatrics, and practice management. The course also involves the study of ethics and jurisprudence.
• Fourth-year: Clinical internship under a chiropractor and rotations in a hospital or a Veterans′ clinic.
Some chiropractors take additional studies because they want to specialize. There are more than 100 chiropractic methods, although none is superior to others. A chiropractor intending to specialize goes for additional residency lasting 2-3 years. Some specialize in several areas that they describe as using integrated or diversified techniques.
Chiropractic Certification And Practice After Training
All chiropractors must obtain a practicing license after taking an exam set by the state licensing board regardless of their specialty. They must also keep up with chiropractic developments by regularly taking continuing education classes. Chiropractic practice is a popular area of practice. For example, the United States has more than 70,000 licensed chiropractors. Practitioners treat various issues affecting these body areas:
• Nervous System
A chiropractor’s approach to treatment is usually like that of a medical doctor. Chiropractors examine a patient to look at the position of a spine and muscle reflexes. They also conduct tests that might include taking x-rays for an accurate diagnosis to decide the appropriate treatment plan and progress monitoring.
The difference between medical and chiropractic practice is that a chiropractor will not prescribe medication. It relies on assisting the body to gain the ability for self-healing to achieve the results. A chiropractor’s primary therapy uses spinal manipulation that involves using hands or applying instruments that apply force to joints in the spine or moving them in a particular direction to achieve better alignment.
A chiropractor, in addition to spinal manipulation, may include other treatments to relieve pain, including:
• Hot and cold treatment
• Dieting and weight loss counseling
Sometimes it might need further actions like using ultrasound, massage therapy, shoe inserts, and braces.
A chiropractor and a doctor perform procedures that complement each other, but their difference lies in the education path and approach to treatment. A medical doctor focuses on treating disease while a chiropractor polishes up the person, the sick person. Each can refer a patient to another. The biggest difference is that a medical doctor relies on medicine and can employ surgical procedures to treat. Still, a chiropractor will use natural means while focusing on the nervous system to treat the overall problem.
An MD is trained to view individual body parts to diagnose a problem by establishing the one failing to treat the disease and eradicate it.
A chiropractor is trained that all body parts form a system that works together and widens the scope by focusing on the whole person to determine the trigger of illness or pain. Chiropractors may concentrate on factors like physical activity, sleeping patterns, and diet. The different roles make it unfair to equate a chiropractor to a doctor because their residency and treatment approaches differ widely.
Do you feel like you require chiropractic examination? Call 205-637-1363 now for us to connect you with a chiropractor.