Chiropractic Medical Experts
Chiropractors diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Some chiropractors specialize in sports injuries, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, nutrition, internal disorders, or diagnostic imaging. Chiropractic is a health care profession whose purpose is to diagnose and treat mechanical disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system with the intention of affecting the nervous system and improving overall health. It is based on the premise that spinal joint dysfunction can interfere with the nervous system and result in diminished health. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system and that skeletal imbalance through joint or articular dysfunction, especially in the spine, can cause pain.
Most State boards require at least 2 years of undergraduate education; an increasing number are requiring a 4-year bachelor’s degree. All boards require the completion of a 4-year program at an accredited chiropractic college leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
While some chiropractors use the term vertebral subluxation to describe what they treat, others have dropped this concept and concentrate mostly on the musculoskeletal components of spinal injury and rehabilitation of the spine. In contrast, the term subluxation as used in conventional medicine is usually associated with specific conditions which are a direct consequence of injury to joints or associated nerves.
Chiropractic treatments vary depending on the patient's condition and the type of approach taken by the particular chiropractor. The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall health and wellness. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities. They also recommend changes in lifestyle—in eating, exercise, and sleeping habits, for example—to their patients. When appropriate, chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.
Manipulation of the spine, when performed by a chiropractor, is frequently referred to as an adjustment. Though spinal manipulation for back pain has been documented from early history, and early osteopaths practiced generalized spinal maneuvers, the attempt to precisely correct theoretical vertebral subluxations is a uniquely chiropractic endeavor.
A modern chiropractor may specialize in spinal manipulations only, or may use a wide range of methods intended to address an array of neuromusculoskeletal and general health issues. Examples include massage, strength training, dry needling (similar to acupunture), functional electrical stimulation, traction, and nutritional recommendations. Some chiropractors specialize in chiropractic sports medicine, which includes manipulation of the extremities, and exercises to increase spinal strength. Chiropractors may also use other complementary alternative methods as part of a holistic treatment approach. Chiropractors generally do not write medical prescriptions.
They also may apply supports such as straps, tapes, and braces. Chiropractors counsel patients about wellness concepts such as nutrition, exercise, changes in lifestyle, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.
Medical Opinions Associates has Chiropractors who serve as medical experts in cases for which such expertise is required. One Massachusetts Chiropractor serving on our panel is in private clinical practice on Cape Cod and is an Adjunct Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at a Massachusetts college. A Texas Chiropractor who is a Medical Opinions Associates medical reviewer has expertise in lumbar disc herniation secondary to manipulation, cervical disc herniation secondary to manipulation, manipulation-induced cervical spinal cord injury, manipulation-induced cauda equina syndrome, and failure to diagnose advanced cervical spondylotic myelopathy. A graduate of the Texas Chiropractic College, he serves as Director of Chiropractic Services in a Chiropractic group practice and is an Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Practices, at the same college. Our Chiropractic expert in Georgia graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Illinois and is part of a group practice specializing in auto accidents and work-related injuries, sports medicine, impairment ratings, physical rehabilitation, neuromuscular therapy, and independent medical exams.