There is a lot of debate surrounding the profession of chiropractic care and whether or not chiropractors are considered medical doctors. In general, medical doctors are able to diagnose and treat conditions using medication and surgery, while chiropractors focus on treating conditions with adjustments to the spine and other joints. While both professions are considered to be part of the healthcare field, there are some differences that set them apart.
For instance, chiropractors are not able to prescribe medication, and they also cannot perform surgery. In addition, only medical doctors are able to complete residency programs, which allow them to receive advanced training in their chosen field. However, both chiropractors and medical doctors must complete undergraduate degrees and pass licensing exams before they can begin practicing.
So, are chiropractors considered medical doctors? The answer is a bit complicated. While they are not able to perform some of the same tasks as medical doctors, they are still an important part of the healthcare system. Many patients see chiropractors for treatment of conditions that do not require medication or surgery, and these professionals are able to provide relief without the use of these invasive methods.
What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractors are health care professionals who focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Chiropractors use a variety of assessment techniques to determine which, if any, of the patient’s symptoms are due to disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Techniques used may include:
Palpation – using the hands to feel for muscle tenderness, muscle spasm, swelling, deformities, and range of motion
Inspection – looking for posture, gait, and skin conditions
Range of motion – testing the joints and surrounding muscles for ease and range of motion
Neurological tests – used to identify changes in sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes
Orthopedic tests – used to identify problems with the bones and joints
X-ray – occasionally used to rule out more serious conditions
The goal of chiropractic care is to relieve pain and improve function. Chiropractic care is usually considered a conservative approach to treating pain and injury, and it is often used as a first-line treatment before resorting to more invasive procedures.
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