What is a Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and management conditions relating to the spine, nerves, joints, and muscles. Their chiropractic schooling can take up to 5 years but is often accelerated into a 4 year program. While in school they study anatomy, pathology, physiology, diagnostic imaging, nutrition, biomechanics, toxicology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. Many of these courses are similar to those a medical student would take. In fact, many of my courses were taught by medical doctors.
Portal of Entry Care Providers:
Doctors of Chiropractic medicine are classified as a portal of entry care providers. Which means that they can diagnose and treat patients without a referral from another medical provider. This addition to their scope of practice that Doctors of Physical Therapy do not have. With this addition to their scope of practice chiropractors are responsible for accurately identifying medical emergencies.
Assessment and Diagnosis:
A complete chiropractic assessment and diagnosis can involve a full physical examination that includes evaluation of vitals, complete medical history, orthopedic exam, neurological exam, and musculoskeletal exam. When indicated the chiropractor can also request diagnostic imaging, blood work, and electrical studies. With this information the chiropractor will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Chiropractors provide safe and effective treatments that often include chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue massage, therapeutic exercise, physical therapy modalities, nutritional counseling, and ergonomic advice. These treatment methods are safe, effective, and drug free. Furthermore, chiropractic care is often a first line of treatment to help avoid surgery.
Chiropractors are doctors that act as a portal of entry care providers. Their graduate education is very similar to that of a medical doctor. With this education they are highly trained at diagnosing complaints of the spine, nerves, joints, and muscles. The treatments they offer are safe and effective and often a first option for avoiding drugs and surgery.