Like their MD colleagues, doctors of chiropractic are subject to the boundaries established in state practice acts and are regulated by state licensing boards. Further, their education in four-year doctoral graduate school programs is nationally accredited through an agency that operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education. After graduation, they must pass national board exams before obtaining a license to practice, and then must maintain their license annually by earning continuing education (CE) credits through state-approved CE programs.  
Straight chiropractors adhere to the philosophical principles set forth by D.D. and B.J. Palmer, and retain metaphysical definitions and vitalistic qualities.[37] Straight chiropractors believe that vertebral subluxation leads to interference with an "innate intelligence" exerted via the human nervous system and is a primary underlying risk factor for many diseases.[37] Straights view the medical diagnosis of patient complaints (which they consider to be the "secondary effects" of subluxations) to be unnecessary for chiropractic treatment.[37] Thus, straight chiropractors are concerned primarily with the detection and correction of vertebral subluxation via adjustment and do not "mix" other types of therapies into their practice style.[37] Their philosophy and explanations are metaphysical in nature and they prefer to use traditional chiropractic lexicon terminology (e.g., perform spinal analysis, detect subluxation, correct with adjustment).[22] They prefer to remain separate and distinct from mainstream health care.[22] Although considered the minority group, "they have been able to transform their status as purists and heirs of the lineage into influence dramatically out of proportion to their numbers."[22]
Other. A 2012 systematic review found insufficient low bias evidence to support the use of spinal manipulation as a therapy for the treatment of hypertension.[120] A 2011 systematic review found moderate evidence to support the use of manual therapy for cervicogenic dizziness.[121] There is very weak evidence for chiropractic care for adult scoliosis (curved or rotated spine)[122] and no scientific data for idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.[123] A 2007 systematic review found that few studies of chiropractic care for nonmusculoskeletal conditions are available, and they are typically not of high quality; it also found that the entire clinical encounter of chiropractic care (as opposed to just SM) provides benefit to patients with cervicogenic dizziness, and that the evidence from reviews is negative, or too weak to draw conclusions, for a wide variety of other nonmusculoskeletal conditions, including ADHD/learning disabilities, dizziness, high blood pressure, and vision conditions.[124] Other reviews have found no evidence of significant benefit for asthma,[125][126] baby colic,[127][128] bedwetting,[129] carpal tunnel syndrome,[130] fibromyalgia,[131] gastrointestinal disorders,[132] kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain (KISS) in infants,[127][133] menstrual cramps,[134] insomnia,[135] postmenopausal symptoms,[135] or pelvic and back pain during pregnancy.[136] As there is no evidence of effectiveness or safety for cervical manipulation for baby colic, it is not endorsed.[137]
Chiropractors, especially in America, have a reputation for unnecessarily treating patients.[6] In many circumstances the focus seems to be put on economics instead of health care.[6] Sustained chiropractic care is promoted as a preventative tool, but unnecessary manipulation could possibly present a risk to patients.[4] Some chiropractors are concerned by the routine unjustified claims chiropractors have made.[4] A 2010 analysis of chiropractic websites found the majority of chiropractors and their associations made claims of effectiveness not supported by scientific evidence, while 28% of chiropractor websites advocate lower back pain care, which has some sound evidence.[197]
If the pain is due to muscle spasm or a pinched nerve, your provider may prescribe a muscle relaxant or a more powerful pain reliever. Over-the-counter medicines often work as well as prescription drugs. At times, your provider may give you steroids to reduce swelling. If there is nerve damage, your provider may refer you to a neurologist, neurosurgeon, or orthopedic surgeon for consultation.

As noted, ratings sites or websites with a certified list of doctors, like PainDoctor.com, can help verify a chiropractor’s license and give you an idea of their philosophy and practice areas. Each site has slightly different information to give you a better picture of your chiropractor before your first visit. Find the best chiropractor for you by looking for ones who share lots of information and knowledge, whether on their website or on social media.


This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. SpineUniverse does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the SpineUniverse.com site is conditional upon your acceptance of our User Agreement
Chiropractors emphasize the conservative management of the neuromusculoskeletal system without the use of medicines or surgery,[46] with special emphasis on the spine.[2] Back and neck pain are the specialties of chiropractic but many chiropractors treat ailments other than musculoskeletal issues.[4] There is a range of opinions among chiropractors: some believed that treatment should be confined to the spine, or back and neck pain; others disagreed.[53] For example, while one 2009 survey of American chiropractors had found that 73% classified themselves as "back pain/musculoskeletal specialists", the label "back and neck pain specialists" was regarded by 47% of them as a least desirable description in a 2005 international survey.[53] Chiropractic combines aspects from mainstream and alternative medicine, and there is no agreement about how to define the profession: although chiropractors have many attributes of primary care providers, chiropractic has more of the attributes of a medical specialty like dentistry or podiatry.[54] It has been proposed that chiropractors specialize in nonsurgical spine care, instead of attempting to also treat other problems,[32][54] but the more expansive view of chiropractic is still widespread.[55]
In 2005, the chiropractic subluxation was defined by the World Health Organization as "a lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact.[46] It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity."[46] This differs from the medical definition of subluxation as a significant structural displacement, which can be seen with static imaging techniques such as X-rays.[46] This exposes patients to harmful ionizing radiation for no evidentially supported reason.[47][48] The 2008 book Trick or Treatment states "X-rays can reveal neither the subluxations nor the innate intelligence associated with chiropractic philosophy, because they do not exist."[6] Attorney David Chapman-Smith, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic, has stated that "Medical critics have asked how there can be a subluxation if it cannot be seen on X-ray. The answer is that the chiropractic subluxation is essentially a functional entity, not structural, and is therefore no more visible on static X-ray than a limp or headache or any other functional problem."[49] The General Chiropractic Council, the statutory regulatory body for chiropractors in the United Kingdom, states that the chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex "is not supported by any clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made that it is the cause of disease."[50]
Some symptoms associated with neck pain could indicate the health of a nerve root or the spinal cord is at risk, or perhaps there is an underlying disease or infection. These symptoms can include radiating pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness into the shoulders, arm, or hands; neurological problems with balance, walking, coordination, or bladder and bowel control; fever or chills; and other troublesome symptoms.
Other. A 2012 systematic review found insufficient low bias evidence to support the use of spinal manipulation as a therapy for the treatment of hypertension.[120] A 2011 systematic review found moderate evidence to support the use of manual therapy for cervicogenic dizziness.[121] There is very weak evidence for chiropractic care for adult scoliosis (curved or rotated spine)[122] and no scientific data for idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.[123] A 2007 systematic review found that few studies of chiropractic care for nonmusculoskeletal conditions are available, and they are typically not of high quality; it also found that the entire clinical encounter of chiropractic care (as opposed to just SM) provides benefit to patients with cervicogenic dizziness, and that the evidence from reviews is negative, or too weak to draw conclusions, for a wide variety of other nonmusculoskeletal conditions, including ADHD/learning disabilities, dizziness, high blood pressure, and vision conditions.[124] Other reviews have found no evidence of significant benefit for asthma,[125][126] baby colic,[127][128] bedwetting,[129] carpal tunnel syndrome,[130] fibromyalgia,[131] gastrointestinal disorders,[132] kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain (KISS) in infants,[127][133] menstrual cramps,[134] insomnia,[135] postmenopausal symptoms,[135] or pelvic and back pain during pregnancy.[136] As there is no evidence of effectiveness or safety for cervical manipulation for baby colic, it is not endorsed.[137]
Figure 1. (side view) The neck region is called the cervical spine. Protected within the bones of the cervical spine are the spinal cord and nerves. The seven cervical bones (vertebrae) are numbered C1 to C7. Each bone is separated and cushioned by shock-absorbing discs. The spinal nerves pass through bony canals to branch out to the neck and arms.
Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck: on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in. Here are some additional tips for side- and back-sleepers:
Jump up ^ Jansen MJ, Viechtbauer W, Lenssen AF, Hendriks EJ, de Bie RA (2011). "Strength training alone, exercise therapy alone, and exercise therapy with passive manual mobilisation each reduce pain and disability in people with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review". J Physiother. 57 (1): 11–20. doi:10.1016/S1836-9553(11)70002-9. PMID 21402325.

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Early chiropractors believed that all disease was caused by interruptions in the flow of innate intelligence, a vitalistic nervous energy or life force that represented God's presence in man; chiropractic leaders often invoked religious imagery and moral traditions.[23] D.D. Palmer said he "received chiropractic from the other world".[24] D.D. and B.J. both seriously considered declaring chiropractic a religion, which might have provided legal protection under the U.S. constitution, but decided against it partly to avoid confusion with Christian Science.[23][216] Early chiropractors also tapped into the Populist movement, emphasizing craft, hard work, competition, and advertisement, aligning themselves with the common man against intellectuals and trusts, among which they included the American Medical Association (AMA).[23]
One of the reasons I wanted to visit the chiropractor was to take a more active role in my overall health and wellness. I specifically chose an integrated clinic, which offered not only chiropractic care, but also physical therapy, massage therapy and nutrition consultation. We discussed the addition of multi-vitamins, fish oil and vitamin D to my wellness plan. One thing I learned through this wellness planning? Everyone’s health journey is different! Since health is personal, your approach should be tailored to your specific needs. My focus on an integrated clinic may not be right for you, but I found value in being educated about all the options available to me.
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