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What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractors earn a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree and are licensed as health care providers in every state and many countries around the world. The chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely challenging and basically identical; in fact, chiropractors log more hours of classroom education than their medical counterparts.Chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they must pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they will practice.

Chiropractor and medical doctors are professionals who are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing, and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic and medical doctors. Chiropractors are also commissioned as officers in the military.

The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines and surgery. If you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is mis-aligned or you have soft tissue damage (rather than fractures) causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix the condition. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic care excels. Chiropractors provide physical solutions – adjustments as well as exercises, stretches, and muscle therapy – to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Unlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to eliminate symptoms and improve spinal alignment and optimize overall well-being before more serious symptoms develop.