Chiropractic care is ubiquitous in the U.S., and yet it’s also one of the most misunderstood types of practice in the country. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that can help you determine if you might benefit from seeing a chiropractor:
- What Do Chiropractors Do?
Most people have heard of chiropractors, but that recognition is often followed by a question: What do chiropractors do, exactly? The answer is that chiropractors use a combination of hands-on treatment techniques such as spinal manipulation, massage and health counseling to provide pain relief and improve function.
- What Can Chiropractors Treat?
Many people think of chiropractors as back pain specialists, and that’s almost on the mark. Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal issues, most frequently those that have to do with misalignment in the spine. This includes back pain, neck pain, limb pain and headaches.
- Is a Chiropractor a Doctor?
A chiropractor is a doctor, but not an M.D. In this way, chiropractors are similar to other people with doctoral degrees who work in health fields but are generally not primary care physicians. Chiropractors work within a narrower scope than physicians, but go through almost as much training in terms of higher education. They are also required to take exams and be licensed.
- Are There Chiropractic Specialties?
There are 10 specialties that are overseen by the American Chiropractic Association. Some are specialties in the more common sense, such as pediatric chiropractors and sports chiropractors, while others are more like additional certifications, such as nutritional counseling.
- How Long Does Chiropractic Care Take?
Because chiropractic care by its nature has to take place in person (you can’t simply be prescribed something you take at home, as in other types of treatment), multiple appointments are often necessary. After your initial assessment, you should talk to your chiropractor about the expected length of treatment; chiropractic care can be very effective, but you should move on at some point if it isn’t working. Many patients also choose to have regular chiropractic appointments as part of their preventive care regimen.
What other questions do you have about chiropractors? Join the discussion in the comments.