Do Chiropractors Go to Medical School? – Overview
A chiropractic adjustment is meant to treat your aching back or a stiff neck. The chiropractor is a trained medical professional, though. They use their hands to relieve spinal and other body pain.
Let’s find out more details about chiropractors below.
Chiropractor Certification and Training
Chiropractors don’t have an M.D. degree, so they aren’t doctors in the actual sense. However, chiropractors graduate with a doctor of chiropractic degree. In addition, they receive extensive training in chiropractic care and are licensed to practice.
Chiropractors begin their education by first acquiring an undergraduate degree, focusing on science. After graduation, chiropractors must attend a 4-year chiropractic program with theory classes and hands-on practical sessions.
Every state in the US requires chiropractors to acquire a doctor of chiropractic degree from a college accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). You can specialize in certain areas as a chiropractor. You l need to do an additional residency for 2 to 3 years after graduation. You can choose from more than 100 different chiropractic methods.
Some chiropractors choose to specialize in multiple areas, which are called “integrated” (or “diversified”) techniques. However, irrespective of the specialty, every chiropractor must obtain a license to practice by taking an exam.
They must also stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in their field by regularly taking continuing education classes.
According to reports, over 70,000 licensed chiropractors practice in the United States. These professionals are trained to treat several kinds of conditions and issues that affect:
- Nervous system
During chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor will manipulate the troubled area of the patient’s body with their hands or small instruments. The manipulations of different parts of the body can help to relieve a variety of discomforts and aches, including:
- Neck ache
- Arm and shoulder aches
- Leg and hip aches
Some people are surprised to hear that a chiropractor can treat various health problems, from regular constipation to acid reflux and infant colic.
Usually, pregnant women seek chiropractic care as their delivery time gets closer. Chiropractors who specialize in the Webster technique can realign the pelvis, which often helps to get the baby into the normal position (head down) for an easier childbirth.
Often, chiropractors may provide a holistic treatment, which helps them treat your entire body, not just specific aches and pain. This type of treatment is usually continuous and you may need to see the chiropractor once or twice to manage your condition effectively.
Risks of Chiropractic Treatment
Overall, there are very few risks of complications from chiropractic treatment, especially when licensed chiropractors perform it. Rarely, you may experience compression of nerves or disk herniation in the spine. Stroke is another rare complication that can occur after neck manipulation.
Besides this, there are certain conditions for which you should not seek chiropractic treatment. For instance, if you experience numbness or loss of strength in your arms and legs after chiropractic treatment, you should visit your primary care doctor.
These symptoms may need a treatment that is beyond the scope of chiropractors.
Some conditions that a chiropractor cannot treat include:
- Severe osteoporosis
- Spinal instability
- Spinal cancer
- High risk of stroke
Consult your doctor if you are unsure if chiropractic treatment is right for you.
Seeing a Chiropractor
You should see a chiropractor when you experience pain in your:
If the pain in these areas is not relieved by a chiropractor, you may want to reconsider your treatment plan.
Though a chiropractor is not a medically certified doctor, they are licensed and trained to treat aches and pains that affect your arms, legs, neck, and back. Chiropractors can help to relieve consistent aches and pains in the body by physically manipulating bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.
If you are unsure about going to a chiropractor, we highly recommend you consult your primary care physician for advice.
I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.