Are chiropractors doctors? Maybe you need a primary spine physician such as a chiropractor.
A common question people ask is “are chiropractor’s doctors”? Here is what you need to know about chiropractic physicians.
According to Wikipedia, “A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines (such as anatomy and physiology) underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.”
By definition, chiropractors are doctors. The way they approach disease management is quite different though. Doctors of chiropractic do not give drugs to solve a symptom, and are more inclined to understand the mechanism of pain and work to improve or fully resolve the condition, rather than looking primarily at the area of pain and its associated symptoms. The benefit of this approach is that long term, your quality of life is likely to be better with less overall pain and fewer conditions that will develop due to body style issues. This is discussed in detail in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain. Doctors of chiropractic are enlightened practitioners who will look at people first, and are likely to help you with multiple problems on the same visit which adds value to the care the provide.
Most people who are experiencing symptoms that do not self resolve such as lower back, or neck problems are likely to have a very different experience when visiting a holistic provider such as a chiropractor. They are also likely to have fewer surgeries and experience fewer mechanical problems because the holistic approach can not only resolve the main complaint you present with, but also resolve problems that have not yet become bad enough where they are painful as well.
Today’s doctor of chiropractic is more likely to use active treatment and evaluation techniques that help them and you understand why you hurt, and develop customized approaches that are specific for your particular problem that may treat an area that is not the area of pain, yet the problem resolves more quickly than the typical protocol driven approach that is used in physical therapy and in most medical offices.
Doctors of chiropractic, also known as chiropractic physicians are recognized as physicians by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services(CMS) because of their diagnostic abilities. Chiropractors are team players, and when you are referred by your primary doctor for care, they will forward their notes and communicate with them as necessary. Doctors of chiropractic will also listen to your heart and lungs if necessary if they suspect the problem requires medical attention and will direct you to their offices if needed.
Doctors of chiropractic complement your primary care physician because they understand the musculoskeletal system in a way that is often misunderstood medically and are considered Primary Spine or primary care for the musculoskeletal system. This skill is badly needed in our primary care system, since the tools to treat pain medically are restricted to rehabilitation usually to the painful area, medication and then surgery and has resulted in many painful surgeries that may have been avoided as well as the opioid crisis.
Doctors of chiropractic are well rounded diagnosticians who can often resolve many complaints such as stomach pain, back pain, sciatic pain, knee problems and even neck and shoulder conditions because many of these symptoms often have their origins in the musculoskeletal system, and are often missed by the medical system. Many of these people simply fall through the cracks in the system and may be labeled with a condition known as Fibromyalgia, which is talked about in the book Cheating Mother Nature.
Many expensive tests such as MRI, upper GI and other tests may be avoided had the medical provider had additional training in musculoskeletal diagnosis. The chiropractor, if seen first may offer you a surprising amount of relief of the symptoms using their tools of manipulation, myofascial release and exercises combined with chiropractic holistic thought processes.
As you can see, the doctor of chiropractic plays a vital role in todays healthcare system and is part of the solution to high medical costs as well as the problem of too many tests being done that come back negative, adding little value to the diagnosis of your problem.
In today’s high cost healthcare environment, who you see first may make all the difference as far as cost and results. If you have a high deductible plan, or just want to have the test because you want to know, may be surprised that often expensive tests do not tell you what you want to know, but a good musculoskeletal evaluation will. Since most chiropractors will also treat you on the first visit, visiting a chiropractor first is your best first choice for medical symptoms involving the musculoskeletal system. Often, these symptoms such as chest and rib pain, neck pain, shoulder problems and others need a more thorough workup and are likely to get the best results with chiropractic care.