Medicines

Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medicine?

Who is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine. They typically complete about 8 years of higher education before they are licensed.

Chiropractors tend to have 4 years of undergraduate education. They usually graduate with a pre-med major after having taken courses in sciences, such as biology, chemistry, psychology, and physics. They then attend a chiropractic graduate program. On average, these involve 4 years of education with a total of 4,200 instructional hours in course credits.

About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these figure, 7.7 million or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches. Result of a 2010 review shows that spinal manipulation may be useful for treating back pain, migraine headaches, whiplash, and other conditions affecting the upper and lower extremities.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments. The theory is that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.

Chiropractic treatment is primarily used as a pain relief alternative for muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It is sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. The initials “DC” identify a chiropractor, whose education typically includes an undergraduate degree plus four years of chiropractic college.

Can chiropractors prescribe medicine?

No, chiropractors are not licensed to prescribe medicine or do surgery in most of the United States.  Chiropractors emphasize the alignment of the spine for good health. So they often perform spinal adjustments with their hands or a small tool. If a chiropractor prescribes physical therapy, it must be provided by a physical therapist. However, a chiropractor can prescribe and offer “rehabilitative therapy” which is basically the same thing. In addition, the chiropractor can delegate therapies to “qualified” staff.

Why do doctors not like chiropractors?

Historically, the medical associations have demonstrated resentment to any other community treating the ill. So first and foremost, it started out as a turf war. Secondarily, Medical Doctors don’t really understand what Chiropractors do, as they were not trained in spinal manipulation techniques.

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