Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body’s main structures – the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves – and the patient’s health. Chiropractors believe that health can be improved and preserved by making adjustments to these structures, particularly to the spinal column. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, although they do refer patients for these services if they are medically indicated.
A Brief History
Doctors of chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A large percentage of doctors open their own offices. Today doctors of chiropractic work as independent clinicians, work in hospitals, with the active duty military, veterans, and integrated clinic environments. As we move into more interprofessional training and education settings, the opportunities to provide conservative and natural care to patients is a choice that many are seeking.
Most patients seek chiropractic care for back pain, neck pain and joint problems. However, many patients choose a chiropractor as their primary care doctor, because they prefer treatment plans that do not rely on medication or surgery.
Connections to Other Fields
Chiropractic has become a well-recognized and highly-respected health care field. Chiropractic services are covered by health insurance, including Medicare, and chiropractors are bound by the same regulations and ethics as medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy. Because of the emphasis on holistic health care, chiropractic is associated with the fields of complementary and alternative medicine. Patients are seeking conservative and natural care, and chiropractic is recognized as the leading profession practicing neuromusculoskeletal care.