Aviva Directory » Health & Well-Being » Health Specialties & Professions » Chiropractors

Chiropractors, the focus of this category, are health professionals who use hands-on spinal manipulation or adjustments to the spine or other parts of the body, the goal being to correct alignment problems, ease pain, and support the natural ability of the body to heal itself.

Chiropractors may also use heat and ice, electrical stimulation, relaxation techniques, rehabilitative exercise, dietary supplements, counseling about diet, weight loss, and other lifestyle issues that may affect health.

Typically, when seeing a new patient, a chiropractor will assess the patient's medical condition by reviewing the patient's medical history and concerns, and by performing a physical examination. During this examination, a chiropractor will analyze the patient's posture, spine, and reflexes, which may include the use of x-rays, as well as a referral to other healthcare professionals, when indicated.

Commonly, chiropractors will have a focus on the patient's overall health, believing that a malfunctioning spine and somatic tissues can interfere with the patient's neuromuscular system, resulting in poor health.

Some chiropractors use other procedures, such as massage therapy, rehabilitative exercise, and ultrasound in addition to spinal adjustments.

Some chiropractors are dual-licensed as medical doctors, usually in the area of orthopedics. Besides maintaining a general chiropractic practice, they may specialize in sports injuries, work-related injuries, neurology, pediatrics, or nutrition.

Chiropractic medicine is one of the newer health fields and, as such, it is often misunderstood. Although evidence can be found of awareness of the benefits of spinal manipulation as far back as 17,500 BC, and healers practicing various methods of early chiropractic could be found throughout the world, throughout history, it is generally accepted that modern chiropractic care began with Daniel David Palmer in the late 1800s. However, in 1905 he was indicted for practicing medicine without a license.

His son, Barlett Joshua Palmer, is credited with developing chiropractic. Besides continuing the chiropractic clinic and school established by his father, even after the two had had a falling out, he did much to promote chiropractic medicine and served as president of the Palmer College of Chiropractic from 1905 to his death in 1961.

Under his leadership, Palmer College graduates were licensed to practice chiropractic, and he began the fight to have chiropractors licensed by an independent board. He also advocated for the use of x-rays, which was then a new technology.

Today, of course, chiropractors are licensed by independent boards and, before they can be licensed as chiropractors, they must successfully complete a program of training that is roughly equivalent to that of a medical doctor. While it is true that they are not medical doctors, they are doctors of chiropratic.

In the United States, a chiropractor must complete about eight years of higher education. Typically, a chiropractor will complete four years of undergraduate education, usually graduating with a pre-med major after taking courses in sciences, including biology, chemistry, psychology, and physics. Then, he or she will attend a chiropractic graduate program, which involves four years of education, the fourth year consisting of a clinical internship. After completing the education and training requirements, an aspiring chiropractor must sit for the state licensing board. Once an applicant has obtained licensure and certification from the board, he or she becomes a doctor of chiropractic.

The requirements are similar in Canada and Australia, where chiropractors are also considered doctors, and chiropractic care is a fully recognized health field. Although chiropractors are recognized as doctors in the United Kingdom, their status appears to be somewhat less than that of a medical doctor.

The legal status of chiropractic care differs from country to country, although most countries recognize chiropractic care as legitimate, but to varying degrees.

Throughout most of the world, chiropractors are recognized as legitimate medical practitioners, and as doctors of chiropractic. As chiropractic care becomes more familiar and regulated in a manner similar to that of other health professions, it becomes more widely accepted and integrated with the larger medical community.

The focus of this guide is on chiropractors and chiropractic care. Weblinks to local chiropractors or chiropractic groups might also be submitted to the Local & Global category representing the office or clinic location.



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