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Chiropractor profession

  • Alternative Names

    Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)

  • Information

    Chiropractic care (which comes from the Greek word meaning "done by hand") dates back to 1895. It was developed by Daniel David Palmer, a self-taught healer in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer wanted to find a cure for disease and illness that did not use drugs. He studied the structure of the spine and the ancient art of moving the body with the hands (manipulation).

    Palmer first treated a local janitor who complained of deafness after performing heavy labor in a stooped position. When he examined the man, Palmer noted a lump on the janitor's back that he believed was caused by a displaced bone of the spinal column (vertebra). Shortly after Palmer manipulated the janitor's back, his hearing was restored.

    Later Palmer claimed to successfully treat a man's heart condition using spinal manipulation. Based upon his success with these two cases, Palmer concluded that disease can be the result of a poorly aligned spine.

    As more people began to seek Palmer's care, he refined his theory to state that many ailments were caused by the vertebrae pressing on the nerves of the spine. Palmer called such interference with normal nerve signals "subluxations." He believed that manipulating or adjusting to correct the alignment of the vertebrae would restore normal brain and nerve transmission and help the body's natural ability to recover from illness.

    Today, most practicing chiropractors mix spinal adjustments with other therapies, such as hot or cold treatments, nutritional counseling, and exercise recommendations. They also often use new technologies to find and treat subluxations.

    Chiropractors take a medical history in the same way as other health care providers. They then examine patients, looking at:

    • Muscle strength versus weakness
    • Patient's posture in different positions
    • Spinal range of motion
    • Structural abnormalities

    The chiropractor may order lab tests, x-rays, and other tests to help make a diagnosis.

    The chiropractor's main method of treatment is through adjustments (spinal manipulations). Two common techniques are the recoil thrust and the rotational thrust. For the recoil thrust, the patient lies face down on a special table that moves slightly downward as the chiropractor makes thrusts to adjust the spine. During the rotational thrust, the patient lies with the upper body twisted in the opposite direction of the pelvis. The chiropractor then applies short, fast thrusts to the spine.

    REGULATION OF THE PROFESSION

    To become a chiropractor in the United States, students typically begin with several years of undergraduate studies focused on biology and science. They then complete a 4 - 5 year program at a chiropractic college.

    Some states require that you have a bachelor's degree and a chiropractor's degree to practice. Chiropractic colleges are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

    Courses at chiropractic colleges include:

    • Adjusting techniques
    • Anatomy
    • Biochemistry
    • Bones and joints (orthopaedics)
    • Disease (pathology)
    • Function of the body (physiology)
    • General chiropractic analysis
    • Nervous system (neurology)
    • Physical and lab diagnosis
    • Radiology

    Students are expected to complete an internship at an outpatient clinic owned and run by the chiropractic college.

    Chiropractors are regulated at two different levels:

    • Board certification is conducted by the National Board of Chiropractor Examiners, which creates national standards for chiropractic care.
    • Licensure takes place at the state level under specific state laws. Licensing may differ from state to state. Most states require that chiropractors complete the National Chiropractic Board examination before they get their license. Some states also require chiropractors to pass a practical examination. All states recognize training from chiropractic schools accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE).

    Most states require that chiropractors complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year to keep their license.

Review Date: 2/5/2008

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on University Photo Christie Clinic on University
101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care
1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant Photo Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant
1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Rantoul Photo Christie Clinic in Rantoul
209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
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1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 (217) 586-6600 or (217)366-8130
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3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
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300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
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1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
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109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
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2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
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1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
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800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
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2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
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1109 A. North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
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105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
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1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
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1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
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611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
Iroquois Memorial Hospital
200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
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501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
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410 E. University Champaign, IL 61820
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1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
Christie Clinic in Monticello
107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352