Are Chiropractors Doctors?

One of the questions I hear a lot in the chiropractic office is are chiropractors doctors?

They are trained medical professionals who can relieve spinal pain by using their hands. Let’s talk first about what chiropractors can do for you, the training they receive, and what to expect from your first appointment.

Trainings and Certifications

Chiropractors are licensed practitioners who go through extensive training. They do not hold a medical degree, though, so they are not technically medical doctors.

A chiropractor begins their education by earning an undergraduate degree in the sciences. They then move on to a more in-depth chiropractic program where they get a lot of hands-on experience. In the US, chiropractors are required to obtain a Dr. of chiropractic degree from an accredited college. If the chiropractor decides to specialize in a certain area, they must do an additional residency that can last up to three years. To obtain their license, all chiropractors must take an exam. Continuing education classes are required to stay current in the field of chiropractic care.

Treatments Provided

With more than 70,000 licensed chiropractors in the US, many conditions and issues are treated by the practitioners. These conditions involve the nervous system, muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. During a routine treatment, the chiropractor will perform manipulations with their hands or other small instruments. These manipulations can help with pain and discomfort such as back pain, leg and hip pain, neck pain, pelvic pain, and arm and shoulder pain. Chiropractic care has also been shown to help with conditions such as acid reflux, infant colic, and constipation.

Chiropractors have become more popular because of their holistic treatments, because they are not just treating a specific pain, but are treating the entire body. Treatment with a chiropractor is usually ongoing. It typically takes several visits to manage the condition.

What You Can Expect

When you first visit your chiropractor, they will ask for your medical history and perform a physical exam. Depending on your condition, they may call for other tests, such as an x-ray or MRI.

Once the initial tests are done, your chiropractor will likely give you an adjustment. You will either sit or lie down on a special table for the adjustment. The chiropractor may ask you to move into different positions so they can treat certain areas of your body. As the chiropractor works on your joints with controlled pressure, don’t be shocked if you hear cracking or popping sounds.

For your appointment, be sure to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will need to remove all jewelry before getting started. The chiropractor can usually perform the adjustments without you having to change into a hospital gown.

Once your appointment is finished, you may feel tired or have a headache. The areas adjusted by your chiropractor may also feel a little sore. The side effects are temporary, though.

Your chiropractor will likely prescribe some stretches or exercises for you to do between appointments. They may also make suggestions on nutrition and your lifestyle. There suggestions will vary based on their specialty.

So, back to the question: are chiropractors doctors? Yes we are at Redding Sports Therapy & Chiropractor!