General information of Chiropractic Profession and Doctors of Chiropractic
Chiropractic care (which comes from the Greek word meaning “done by hand”) dates back to 1895. However, the roots of the profession can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time.
Chiropractic was developed by Daniel David Palmer, a self-taught healer in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer wanted to find a cure for disease and illness that did not use drugs. He studied the structure of the spine and the ancient art of moving the body with the hands (manipulation). Palmer started the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which still exists today.
Doctors of chiropractic must complete 4 to 5 years at an accredited chiropractic college. Their training includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.
The education provides students with an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease.
The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. The education allows a doctor of chiropractic to both diagnose and treat patients.
The profession believes in using natural and conservative methods of health care, without the use of drugs or surgery.
Chiropractic is a profession that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions, which
are caused by mechanical dysfunction of the spinal and extremity joints and their effects on the nervous system. Chiropractic care and the adjustment/manipulation of the spine restores the proper position and movement the bones and joints within the spinal column and/or extremities. Because mechanical loading of the neuro-musculoskeletal tissues plays a vital role in influencing proper growth, repair and healing, chiropractic rehabilitative care should focus on the normalization/minimization of abnormal stresses and strains acting on spinal tissues. Chiropractic care is effective with a wide variety of conditions and for patients of all ages.
Today, most practicing chiropractors mix spinal adjustments with other therapies, such as physical rehabilitation and exercise recommendations, mechanical or electrical therapies, and hot or cold treatments.
Chiropractors take a medical history in the same way as other health care providers.
They then examine patients, looking at:
• Muscle strength versus weakness
• Posture in different positions
• Spinal range of motion
• Structural problems
• They also use the standard set of nervous system and orthopedic tests common to all medical
Regulation of the Profession
Chiropractors are regulated at two different levels:
• Board certification is conducted by the National Board of Chiropractor Examiners, which creates national standards for chiropractic care.
• Licensure takes place at the state level under specific state laws. Licensing and the scope of practice may differ from state to state. Most states require that chiropractors complete the National Chiropractic Board examination before they get their license. Some states also require chiropractors to pass a practical examination. All states recognize training from chiropractic schools accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE).
Most states require that chiropractors complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year to keep their license.