Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.
What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) – also referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a hands-on, drug free approach to healthcare that is patient centered and includes the examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors are taught a broad diagnostic skill set that includes therapeutic/rehabilitative exercises, nutrition, dietary, and lifestyle counseling as well as adjusting (also known as spinal manipulation) techniques.
Doctors of Chiropractic assess patients through a variety of methods that include physical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other interventions to determine whether chiropractic treatment is appropriate and when it is not. When chiropractic is not suitable for the patient’s condition chiropractors readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider or will co-manage the case in a team-like fashion in the best interest of the patient.
The education of a Doctor of Chiropractic typically includes a traditional 4 year bachelors degree followed by 4 years of graduate level training at an accredited chiropractic college. Chiropractic colleges typically require over 5,000 hours of graduate study in areas that range from anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry to physical rehab, clinical case management and adjusting techniques.