How are chiropractors different from medical doctors?
While the educational requirements are similar the manner in which they practice tends to differ.
Chiropractic has earned global recognition for its remarkable effectiveness through the use of natural, nonsurgical and drugless methods of treatment.
History and General Philosophy
Chiropractic is concerned primarily with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health. The writings of Hippocrates (460-370 BC) and Galen (130-200 BC) and even ancient manuscripts of the Egyptians, Hindus and Chinese reveal many principles common to chiropractic. Its place in modern health care is largely attributed to Dr. Daniel David Palmer, who founded the first chiropractic college, in Davenport, Iowa, in 1897.
The tenets of chiropractic hold that a human being’s nervous system is essential to health, and that interference with this system impairs normal body functions and lowers the body’s resistance to disease. The study of chiropractic includes the various ways in which the nervous system can be irritated or impeded, resulting in pain or illness, as well as techniques to correct these problems.
Chiropractic is also based on the premise that the body can achieve and maintain health through its own natural recuperative powers, as long as it receives the right food, water, adequate rest, exercise, clean air, adequate nutrition and has a properly functioning nervous system.
Chiropractors are perhaps best know for administering a chiropractic adjustment. This is performed to an area of “subluxation” or joint dysfunction. When skeletal joints experience dysfunction it manifests itself through complex anatomical and physiological relationships, affects the nervous system and may lead to reduced function, disability or illness.
Symptoms may manifest themselves as:
• pain and tenderness
• asymmetry of posture, movement, or alignment
• range of motion abnormalities
• tone, texture and/or temperature abnormalities of adjacent soft tissues.
Chiropractors may also use therapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, electrical current, lasers, mechanical traction, exercise, nutritional and many other therapies in order to expedite your return to health.
Chiropractors diagnose in much the same manner as the other medical professions. There is a history, physical examination and if necessary they may order exams such as x-rays, MRI, or laboratory work.
What chiropractors do not do is prescribe medications or perform surgery. That is what medical doctors are for.