FAQs and Facts
Chiropractors earn a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree and are licensed as health care providers in every state and many countries around the world. The chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely challenging and basically identical; in fact, chiropractors log more hours of classroom education than their medical counterparts. Chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they must pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they will practice.
Chiropractor and medical doctors are professionals who are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic and medical doctors. Chiropractors are also commissioned as officers in the military.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines and surgery. If you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is misaligned or you have soft tissue damage (rather than fractures) causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix the condition. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic care excels. Chiropractors provide physical solutions – adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy – to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origins, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Unlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to eliminate symptoms and improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before more serious symptoms develop.
Although chiropractors are known for their expertise in caring for back pain, they also treat a variety of other conditions. Some of which include:
- Low Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Muscle Tension
- Joint pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Neurological symptoms
- Shoulder injuries
- Stress-related symptoms
- Ear Infections
The method in which chiropractors use to address the spinal dysfunction (subluxation) that may be causing these types of conditions is spinal manipulation. The intention of the manipulation is to restore joint mobility that may have been impaired by either a single traumatic event or through repetitive stress on the body. In either situation, the body’s tissue experiences stress that causes inflammation and pain. The manipulations help restore the mobility, reduce inflammation, and promote the healing of tissue.
Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at a gym, or eating a healthy diet: As long as you continue, you will enjoy the benefits.
At one time, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt, that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. Chiropractic care for your spine is much the same. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep, and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your wellness lifestyle.
At the completion of the first visit, Dr. Barrett will discuss his recommendations for treatment with you, based on your specific condition. Each treatment plan varies and you will not be asked to commit to a preset package or plan. As you progress through your treatment plan, he will continue to evaluate your progress and maintain an open line of doctor/patient communication.