Do Chiropractors Go to Medical School

Do Chiropractors Go to Medical School – Overview

A chiropractic adjustment treats 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 do not hold a Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree; instead, they earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, which qualifies them as doctors within the field of chiropractic care. After their education and training, chiropractors graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) 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. Some chiropractors may choose to complete an additional residency lasting 2 to 3 years after graduation to further specialize. 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 regularly take continuing education classes to stay current with the latest trends and techniques in their field.

Chiropractic Treatments

Do Chiropractors Go to Medical School

Do Chiropractors Go to Medical School – Chiropractic Treatments

According to reports, over 70,000 licensed chiropractors practice in the United States. Chiropractors are trained to treat conditions and issues primarily related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, including:

  • Tendons
  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Ligaments
  • Cartilage
  • 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:

  • Backache
  • 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 specializing 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

Chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe when performed by licensed chiropractors, though as with any medical treatment, there are some risks. Although rare, some patients may experience complications such as nerve compression or disk herniation in the spine following chiropractic manipulation. There is a rare but reported risk of stroke associated with cervical manipulation performed during chiropractic treatment.

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:

  • Neck
  • Spine
  • Arms
  • Legs

If the pain in these areas is not relieved by a chiropractor, you may want to reconsider your treatment plan.


Though chiropractors are not medical doctors (M.D.s), they are licensed healthcare professionals trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, particularly involving the spine. 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.

See Also

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