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Doctor of Chiropractic Physician

Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) — Chiropractors diagnose and treat back and neck pain and are considered by definition primary care physicians as they are often the first doctor a patient will visit when experiencing back pain. Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine.

Chiropractic education consists of four academic years of chiropractic training, as well as a one-year internship at a college clinic. Successful completion of 2 levels of National Boards is required for chiropractors and a third level for those who use physiologic therapeutics in their practice. Part IV is often used for state licensing and tests knowledge of diagnostic imaging, chiropractic technique, and case management.

The chiropractic profession holds 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 and/or dysfunction.

As with all healthcare practitioners, chiropractors follow a standard routine to secure the information needed for diagnosis and treatment. When the source of pain involves musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually manipulate or adjust the spinal column.

Many chiropractors also use water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric, and heat therapy and may apply supports such as straps, taping and braces. They may also counsel patients about wellness concepts such as nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. When appropriate, chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.

Some chiropractors specialize in orthopedics, sports injuries, neurology, nutrition, internal disorders, and/or diagnostic imaging. Chiropractic is considered an integral part of the back care team as noted in many guidelines published in this and other countries and many chiropractors have joined multidisciplinary spine care practices.

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NOTE: This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Nebel, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Nebel and his community. Dr. Nebel encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Neither Dr. Nebel nor any practice associated with Dr. Nebel endorses, recommends or is otherwise suggesting treatment or any other services by any person, company, firm identified in this publication. References to third-parties are for convenience only. You, the reader, are solely responsible to qualify any third-party service provider or the necessity and/or quality of services. This document is for general use only and is not intended as medical or professional advice; you, the reader, are solely responsible to obtain medical and/or other professional advice regarding your individual personal circumstances. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Nebel is required. © Copyright 2012 Dr. Donald P. Nebel Jr. All Rights Reserved.
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