Is a Chiropractor a Physician?

is a chiropractor a physician

Chiropractors use a holistic approach to treat various disorders, such as neck and back pain, as well as treating soft tissue and bone conditions. Through specialized techniques, they can correct a host of medical issues. Is a chiropractor considered a physician, though?

By definition, a physician is qualified to practice medicine, especially in diagnosis and medical treatment. Chiropractors graduate as doctors of chiropractic degrees from health colleges. They treat disorders of muscles, bones, nerves, and ligaments. So yes, that does make chiropractors physicians.

This article answers the following questions:

  • Are chiropractors doctors?
  • Do chiropractors go to medical school?
  • What are the requirements to attain a chiropractor degree?

Whether you have an interest in pursuing a career in chiropractic or you’re curious about the qualifications of your Citrus Heights chiropractor, you can find the information here.

What Certifications Do Chiropractors Have?

Chiropractors are licensed specialists who must undergo an accredited post-graduate program after college.

Like medical doctors, chiropractors can become board-certified in various specialty areas after further training in these fields. In some specialties, they can become certified by the Diplomat American Chiropractic Board after receiving a certification in a given specialty. To be eligible, they must take extra classes, accumulate up to 4200 hours of work, and pass the certification test.

Chiropractors attend a 4-year chiropractic school, ordinarily after completing four years of a college education. While a college degree is not a prerequisite for attaining a Doctor of Chiropractic, most practitioners go this route, like Dr. Doug Loehrer. Many chiropractors take courses in science, such as psychology, physiology, biology, anatomy, chemistry, and physics.

Chiropractic schools emphasize two years of basic science and two years of clinical science. Chiropractors usually learn hands-on skills in preceptor classes. The requirements that every chiropractor must meet include:

  • Attending a chiropractic college – the practitioner must obtain a chiropractic doctorate from an accredited chiropractic college.
  • A Doctorate of Chiropractic – a chiropractic doctorate requires a minimum of six years of college—two in undergraduate and four in chiropractic. Many institutions require a bachelor’s degree before enrollment.
  • A license to practice in their state – the educational requirements for a chiropractic license vary from one state to another.
  • A chiropractic specialty – popular specialties in chiropractic include geriatrics, sports injuries, and pediatrics.

A Typical Chiropractic Educational Program

Here is an outline of a typical chiropractic graduate program:

  • First-year: The main courses include general anatomy, spinal anatomy, biochemistry, and chiropractic principles.
  • Second-year: The courses cover clinical orthopedics, chiropractic procedures, research methods, pathology, and imaging interpretations.
  • Third-year: The main courses are integrated chiropractic, clinical internships, dermatology, pediatrics, practice management and ethics, and jurisprudence.
  • Fourth-year: Students go through a clinical internship. They work under a qualified chiropractor. They also complete rotations in the hospital or veteran’s clinic.

After completing the above requirements, the aspiring chiropractor sits for their state licensing board test. After they obtain certification and license from the board, they become a chiropractic doctor.

The specialties offered by the American Chiropractic Association include:

  • Pediatric chiropractic
  • Neurology
  • Nutrition
  • Diagnosis and internal disorders
  • Occupational health
  • Acupuncture
  • Radiology
  • Sports medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Physiological therapeutics and rehabilitation

According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractor training takes as many classroom hours as the training program of medical doctors.

What Do Chiropractors Heal?

A licensed chiropractor treats people with musculoskeletal and nervous system health conditions. They practice a conservative and manipulative approach to treating issues with the tendons, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and bones. These physicians use spinal manipulation and other procedures to cause effective healing over multiple chiropractic visits.

Chiropractors also can treat the discomforts and ailments of pregnant women, especially as they near delivery time. Expectant mothers need a chiropractor’s services specializing in the Webster Technique, which helps to realign the pelvis. This procedure helps the baby get into the head-down position required for vaginal delivery.

In the treatment and healing process, a licensed chiropractor will:

  • Evaluate the medical condition, mostly related to the spine, by listening to a patient’s complaints, conducting a physical examination, and reviewing a patient’s medical history.
  • Assess the patient’s spine through X-rays to uncover any subluxations
  • Ascertain health conditions directly or indirectly related to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Provide neuro-musculoskeletal treatment through the use of spinal adjustments and other therapies.
  • Propose tips on lifestyle and health issues, such as exercise, sleeping habits, and nutrition.
  • Refer specific patients to medical doctors if necessary.

What to Expect at Sunrise Chiropractic

Your first visit to Sunrise Chiropractic will be a physical examination and overview of your medical history. We may order additional tests, such as an X-ray, to ascertain that you don’t have fractures or other underlying conditions.

If you have any disorders, the Citrus Heights Chiropractor will start the treatment. The physician might ask you to lie down or sit on a padded table specially designed for patients for treatment. The chiropractor may direct you to move into different positions throughout the appointment to adjust your body’s specific areas.

Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and avoid jewelry and other accessories. Without accessories, it is easier for the chiropractor to perform all the necessary treatments on various parts of your body without asking you to change into a hospital gown.

You may hear some cracking and popping sounds as the physician applies controlled pressure on your bones and joints. These are routine noises that happen with adjustment.

After the appointment, you may experience fatigue and headaches. The corrected parts may feel sore for some time. These side effects are temporary.

The chiropractor may also prescribe corrective exercises that you should do after the appointment. Make sure you follow the exercises, as well as any lifestyle advice such as nutrition.

Sunrise Chiropractic is the #1 chiropractor in Citrus Heights, California.


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