History of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care can trace its beginnings back to ancient times. Detailed writings from China and Greece written in 2700 BC and 1500 BC mention both spinal and lower extremity manipulation to help ease low back pain. Even the Greek physician Hippocrates also published texts stating, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”.
In 1895 the practice of spinal manipulation officially began in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa by Daniel David Palmer. Palmer was well read in medical journals of the time and was well educated in new developments regarding anatomy and physiology that were occurring throughout the word. He went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1897, which is still one of the most prominent and well respected colleges in the US.
Doctors of chiropractic finally gained legal recognition in all fifty states during the twentieth century. A continuing recognition and respect for the chiropractic profession in the United States has led to growing support for chiropractic care all over the world. The research that has emerged from multiple countries around the world has yielded incredibly influential results, which has helped to positively change perceptions of chiropractic care. Today doctors of chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments.
Education of Doctors of Chiropractic
After an initial four year undergraduate (pre-med) degree, doctors of chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited chiropractic college. The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about spinal analysis and manipulation techniques.
Those intending to become doctors of chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice. The individual must also meet all state licensing requirements.
An individual studying to become a doctor of chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects. The basic chiropractic curriculum provides 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 with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry. Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients, which separates them from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists.
What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Chiropractors are considered physicians under Medicare guidelines. The professional credentials abbreviation ” DC.” means doctor of chiropractic. The American Chiropractic Association also advocates in its Policies on Public Health that DCs may be referred to as (chiropractic) physicians as well.
As a profession, the primary philosophy is to use both natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the bio-mechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the muscular and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.
Scope of Practice
Doctors of chiropractic treat individuals with neuro-muscular complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains.
How Can Chiropractic Help Me?
Most often, people go to chiropractors the first time for relief from back pain. But chiropractors treat a broad range of complaints, from back and neck pain or headaches, arthritis and more. Moreover, people don’t need to have a specific complaint to benefit from a visit. Chiropractors also focus on on-going preventive and wellness care. Chiropractic care is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.