19 Oct What is Chiropractic?
What is Chiropractic?
A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine.
Most chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.
The chiropractic philosophy is based on the following belief statements:
- All bodily functions are connected and the healing process involves the entire body.
- A healthy nervous system, particularly the spine, is the key to a healthy body. The spinal cord carries information throughout the body and is responsible for all bodily functions including voluntary movements (such as walking) and involuntary functions (such as breathing). When the systems of the body are in balance, it is called homeostasis. Disorders of the bones, muscles, and nerves can disrupt homeostasis and increase the risk of disease and other health problems.When body systems are in harmony, the human body has the remarkable ability to maintain health and heal itself.
What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
DCs may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other health care providers.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be a patient’s primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic services may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Like their MD colleagues, doctors of chiropractic are subject to the boundaries established in state practice acts and are regulated by state licensing boards. Further, their education in four-year doctoral graduate school programs is nationally accredited through an agency that operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education. After graduation, they must pass national board exams before obtaining a license to practice, and then must maintain their license annually by earning continuing education (CE) credits through state-approved CE programs.