Are Chiropractors Doctors? | What You Should Know Before A First Session

November 5, 2021

ARE CHIROPRACTORS DOCTORS?

Well, yes. Most are. On the other hand, chiropractors can’t be considered medical doctors.

Today we will cover the university journey that a chiropractor must traverse, the curriculum of the courses and subjects they need to study, and for what needs chiropractors’ knowledge is useful.

In addition, we’ll explain what types of conditions chiropractic care can help with and the benefits of chiropractic in general.

What is a chiropractor?

are chiropractors doctors

Chiropractors are health care professionals focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders.

Chiropractic care is the name of the treatment they provide, and they perform it through manual spinal adjustment and/or manipulation. It can also rely on technological devices that help reach even more precision for certain conditions.

What certifications must chiropractors have?

Chiropractic education programs prepare practitioners to treat disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems in a holistic approach. In other words, a treatment that provides support to the whole person, not just their mind or body health needs.

Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) training takes about 6 to 8 years: 4 in an undergraduate course and about 2 to 4 at a chiropractic institution.

Besides, the undergraduate chiropractic program is followed by a clinical internship. That means a practitioner must have both theoretical and practical knowledge to become a licensed chiropractor.

Finally, chiropractic institutions and programs are accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE) in the United States of America.

Chiropractor Program: What do chiropractors study?

First Year of Training

  • Histology (Tissues and their appearance)
  • Chiropractic principles
  • Chiropractic Procedures (Techniques to increase healings process and correct the spine)
  • Osteology and Arthrology (Supporting structures – bones and joints)
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition (body nourishment)
  • Palpation and Physical Examination (Body examination using the hands or other methods to find signs of diseases and lesions)
  • General Anatomy (Structure and parts of human organisms)
  • Embryology (The creation and early growth of an individual organism)
  • Normal Radiographic Anatomy (Supporting structures mainly in radiographic approach)
  • Functional Anatomy (Anatomy 
  • associated to function)
  • Spinal Anatomy (Sensitive nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones)

Second Year of Training

  • More Chiropractic Procedures
  • Pathology (Research and diagnosis of diseases)
  • Ethics and communicative skills
  • Clinical Orthopedics and Neurology (evaluation of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders)
  • Community and Public Health
  • Practice Management (operations of certain medical practices)
  • Pharma Toxicology (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics)
  • Biochemistry (Chemicals process of an organism)
are chiropractors doctors? curriculum

Third Year of Training

  • Integrated Chiropractic Clinical Application (Collaborative work between doctors of chiropractic and other healthcare professionals)
  • More Chiropractic Principles
  • Radiologic Positioning and Technique
  • Clinical Application of Manual Procedures
  • Clinical training
  • Parasitology and Mycology
  • Bacteriology and Virology
  • Endocrinology

The fourth year of training

  • It involves clinical internships mainly. In other words, preparation to become a licensed doctor of chiropractic.
  • Research Methods.
  • Jurisprudence.
  • Advanced Imaging.
  • As you can see, chiropractors have to go through extensive training focused on preparing a health care professional. The holistic approach prepares them to help patients improve health, not only mental or physical, by understanding the biochemical process and how to stimulate them to work better.

Does chiropractic care work?

There is scientific evidence of chiropractic care; it’s undeniable. Even WHO has recognized chiropractic care efficacy since 2005.

While the strongest evidence in support of chiropractic involves back pain treatment, there’s also evidence for neck pain and some types of migraine and headaches.

Furthermore, since it’s a holistic practice, a patient will also benefit from stress relief and general mental well-being.

What can chiropractic care treat?

Chiropractors do not prescribe medications, but they can still recommend and prescribe:

  • Soft-tissue therapy to relax tight muscles, relieve spasm and tension in the fascia.
  • Adjustments to realign joints and painlessly increase range of motion.
  • Joint bracing/taping to support sprained joints and muscle natural healing.

Exercises and stretches to restore, maintain and increase mobility and range of motion.

They can also give formal referrals to integrative medicine experts, such as guidance on diet and nutrition to reduce inflammation and promote weight loss.

Moreover, chiropractors can treat pain anywhere in the body: in the head, the shoulders, the elbows, the hips, and the ankles. They are capable of examining the whole musculoskeletal system to find where the root of a problem is and then treat it. 

Finally, chiropractors can treat problems in people of all ages. Depending on the patient, the intensity and force of treatments vary, and especially with babies, the care about being soft and painless is gigantic. If chiropractic care is too risky for a patient, chiropractors will guide them to the right professional who can deal with the condition properly.