Are Chiropractors Doctors?

You may have read or heard that chiropractors are not "real" doctors, but this is not exactly true. As opposed to a medical degree, they obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and are considered doctors of chiropractic care (via Cleveland Clinic). Chiropractors and medical doctors offer different forms of treatment that require different areas of knowledge. A chiropractor focuses on treating, diagnosing, and preventing disorders of the spine as well as other areas of the musculoskeletal system (via Cleveland Clinic). Medical doctors can practice in any field of medicine after completing their medical degree and an applicable residency, and they are able to prescribe medication and perform surgery (via WebMD). 

Just like medical doctors, chiropractors must go to college. Most of them complete four years of undergraduate study and eight years of higher education before becoming licensed. After that, most will go on to attend a four-year chiropractic graduate program. By the end of their education, they will have undergone as many hours of training as medical doctors (via Medical News Today). 

What are the benefits of chiropractic treatment?

Conditions commonly treated by a chiropractor include neck pain, back pain, and headaches (via WebMD). A chiropractic session is hands-on, with the chiropractor generally "adjusting" bones, joints, and muscles in an attempt to help the body heal itself. Most chiropractic treatments focus on realigning, or manipulating, the spine. Ordinarily, patents lie on a table while the chiropractor works. Some therapy involves twisting, while other treatments are more gentle (via Healthline).

If you're wondering if these kinds of treatments work, research indicates that they do. According to Healthline, study from 2019 showed that spine manipulation improved neck pain, and in 2016, research demonstrated that chiropractic treatment relieved headache pain. In addition to that, the American College of Physicians advises physicians to recommend chiropractic care for lower back pain before considering any type of pain medication.

Chiropractic care is not safe for everyone. It is not recommended for people with inflamed joints, circulation problems, broken or sprained bones, bone diseases or infections, or an infection of their nervous system (via Medical News Today).