What does a chiropractor do and are they physicians?

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What does a chiropractor do and are they physicians? Chiropractic as a profession began in 1895 and evolved in similarly to Osteopathy using manipulation as their main treatment regimen until the 1950's, when Osteopaths began to work more like allopathic medical providers. Chiropractors have assumed the role of primary spine physicians (primary care for the musculoskeletal system) since their training in musculoskeletal medicine was much more intensive than allopathic medical providers.   The chiropractic approach to care is holistic, meaning, they look at the systems, rather than just the area of complaint.   The allopathic idea of symptoms and treatment for the symptoms is often limited to drugs, therapies, surgeries and specialties. We are not disjointed parts but are made up of a series of systems that function as a whole and interact. The internal organs, neurological, fascial and mechanical systems all interact and function in unison to allow us to grow, age and adapt and remain healthy.  It is important to note that our nutrition plays a role in how these systems work, which is an important concern today, since there are so many people who are unhealthy due to unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits. It is also important to understand that many types of organic complaints such as stomach pain may actually be musculoskeletal or emotional in nature, and a chiropractor may be a good first stop before you have your upper GI to rule out a problem such as an ulcer or gastritis. Many alternative providers believe that treatment of the mechanisms behind the symptoms, if done correctly, will resolve not only the prevailing complaint, but lead to a healthier functioning person. Rather than treating the symptoms with drugs, they dig deeper to understand the mechanism behind the symptoms which may resolve your current complaint as well as future diseases that may result from the underlying problem.   Chiropractic has grown because their functional approach to motion and how the systems integrate has helped millions avoid drugs and surgery, while having one of the lowest malpractice rates in the healthcare industry. CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) defines chiropractors as 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."  Chiropractors fit this definition of a physician. Like medicine, chiropractors specialize in pediatrics, sports medicine (our practice), orthopedics and rehabilitation and even neurology, but do so from a holistic point of view.   Chiropractors believe that if you are not thorough in your understanding of the persons problem, you are going to miss something.  A chiropractic evaluation should include not only evaluation of the painful part, but also evaluation of the way you move and function mechanically. Treatment may include manipulation of the spine and extremities to restore movement and prevent joint degeneration, myofascial release to improve mobility of the soft tissues, mobilization of restricted regions of the spine and extremities and corrective exercises.   Foot orthotics may be used to balance an unleveled pelvis, due to inherited traits that affect the way we walk. Your first visit may include an x ray if needed, and most chiropractors will do a trial of care before ordering expensive tests that in this day of high deductibles, can often bring fast relief more cost effectively for many problems.  Since tests such as an MRI are very sensitive, they may show positive findings due to degeneration even in asymptomatic individuals, and as such should be only part of the data required to properly diagnose someone who is in pain. A trial of chiropractic care can often rule out the need for one of these tests because most people will respond favorably to a chiropractic physicians management of the condition.. While most people are familiar with chiropractors helping people with back pain, neck pain and headaches, did you know they can resolve many foot, knee, shoulder and hip problems as well safely, without the need for drugs, therapies or surgeries?   Think of your local chiropractor as a body mechanic; most of us can benefit from safe and effective chiropractic care. You can use the link to the right to schedule your initial appointment.