Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the nervous and the musculoskeletal system, and the effects these disorders can have on your health. It is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints including, but not limited to, back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Chiropractic physicians practice a natural, drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.
The main chiropractic technique involves manual therapy including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues; treatment also includes exercises and health and lifestyle counseling.
Chiropractors have very broad diagnostic skills and are also well trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative treatment, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
Modern Doctors of Chiropractic, like the medical doctor, must first receive a 4 year degree - taking premedical courses in Anatomy, Chemistry, and Physics.
After graduating from college, with a pre-med degree, the chiropractic student enters chiropractic college for another four years.
Chiropractic doctors take the same courses, use the exact same books and must pass the same National Board exams as medical doctors for the basic sciences. Doctors of Chiropractic also take courses in human anatomy and physiology, neurology, biochemistry, central and peripheral nervous system study, cardiology, gynecology, pediatrics, pathology, physical and differential diagnosis, hematology, human dissection, and a much more.
The difference between chiropractic doctors and medical doctors is in the treatment. Chiropractors take no courses in surgery or pharmacology - instead they take courses in Biomechanics, Physical Therapy, Engineering, Physics, Muscular System, the study of movement and years of training adjusting the spine and extremities.