Chiropractic care isn’t just about the spine. Chiropractic is perhaps best known for adjusting spinal misalignments to improve range of motion, remove and to decrease nerve pain by removing tension and stress off the nerve. It is also highly effective in treating the joints and muscles of the extremities.
In Fact, Chiropractic Care Can Help:
- Improve joint mobility, function and health
- Decrease Pain
- Loosen tight muscles and improve contractibility or strength of the muscle.
- Help with Arthritis
- Decrease joint degeneration and degeneration of connective tissues
- Improve circulation
- Speed recovery time
- Improve function of your nervous system
- Strengthen immunity
- Improve function of your heart, digestive system, lungs, sinus and more
- Improve mood, energy and sleep
- Decrease stress and improve cognitive function
- Improve performance
- Relieve prenatal discomfort and decrease the length of labor
- Improve overall health and wellness for infants and children
What Chiropractors Do
Chiropractors approach patient care in a manner similar to that used in conventional medicine. They interview the patient, obtain a detailed health history, perform an examination, do tests, and develop a working diagnosis. They then develop a management plan, start treatment, and monitor the patient’s progress. Chiropractors often treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system.
The manual treatment methods used by chiropractors range from stretching and sustained pressure to specific joint manipulations, which are usually delivered by hand and involve a quick and gentle thrust. The purpose of the manipulations is to improve joint motion and function. Manipulations are most commonly done on the spine, but other parts of the body may also be treated in this way.
Education and Licensure of Practitioners
- To practice in the United States, chiropractors must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, and have a state license. Many states also require chiropractors to pass an exam about state-specific laws, and all states require practicing chiropractors to take continuing education classes.
- To enroll in a D.C. program in the United States, which typically takes 4 years to complete, students must have had at least 3 years of undergraduate education.
- Institutions that award the D.C. degree are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, which is recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Secretary of Education. In 2017, there were 15 accredited D.C. programs on 18 campuses.
- Chiropractic education includes classes in basic sciences, such as anatomy and physiology, and supervised clinical experience in which students learn skills such as spinal assessment, adjustment techniques, and making diagnoses.
- Some chiropractors complete postgraduate education in specialized fields, such as orthopedics or pediatrics.
The scope of chiropractors’ practice (that is, the types of services they are allowed to provide) varies from state to state. Health insurance plans may cover chiropractic, but coverage may be partial rather than complete.