Chiropractors’ training includes a doctor of chiropractic degree. Classes cover everything from physiology to nutrition, in addition to hands-on training on adjusting techniques. The degree typically takes four to five years to complete, and follows several years of undergraduate schooling. That allows DCs to diagnose a full range of health problems.

Manipulation of the spine remains a mainstay in chiropractic care to relieve pain and improve function. While not permitted by law to prescribe medication, they can advise on lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, recommend or dispense supplements and use instrumentation such as electrical nerve stimulation to relieve pain in most states. Some chiropractors even provide alternative therapies, such as acupuncture — depending on licensure restrictions in each state.

Many chiropractors employ mobilization that involves slowly moving the spine or joints to treat patients, and massage therapy. But the mainstay of the profession remains another manual therapy called spinal manipulation. That involves a practitioner using their hands or a device to apply force to the spine to relieve pain and improve function, including range of motion.

Just as an Orthodontist slowly straightens out the teeth, which are like bones, that in order to work properly they have to be straight. Chiropractors can not put wires and screws to the spine and straighten it out over time. They do move the bones over a period of adjustments. The more the bones are aligned the more that they function normally.

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