The objective of the chiropractic is to reduce subluxation (or misalignment), in order to provide the patient with an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and/or improved function. Chiropractors are highly trained and highly skilled in the practice of adjustment. Many people find relief in it every day.
Yet, as successful as chiropractic has become in the last several decades, there remains a lot of misinformation throughout the general public. Many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. And myths and misconceptions still abound.
Like most everything, that depends. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like exercising at a gym or eating a healthy diet: As long as you keep it up, you’ll reap the benefits.
It’s like going to the dentist. No one would doubt that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true for chiropractic care. It can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Of course you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you simply go for a short time, but to truly enjoy the real benefits of chiropractic care a part you should make it a continuing part of your lifestyle.
A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. The chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. In fact, chiropractors have more hours of classroom education than do their medical counterparts. As part of their education, 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 have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that 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.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors is not in their level of education, but in their method of treatment. Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy — to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Also unlike standard medical doctors, whom you usually visit only when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors can offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.
The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940s. Up to the late 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the chiropractic profession. In fact, in a landmark lawsuit in the 1980s, the Supreme Court of Illinois found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and ordered the association to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.
In the 30 years since, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed. Many hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors now work comfortably together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.