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Frequently Asked Questions


What is chiropractic?


Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders 


of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of those disorders on the nervous system and general 


health. It is a natural, drug-free, non-surgical approach to health care. The profession's central interest 


has always been the relationship between impaired mechanics of the spinal vertebrae and the nervous 




How is chiropractic adjustment performed?


Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly defined skills 


developed during the intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor typically uses his/her 


hands to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or 


enhance joint function. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each 


patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.


Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?


The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the 


chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her 


office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that 


is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A 


chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventative care thus making a certain number of 


visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment 


recommended and how long you can expect it to last.


Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?


Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience 


many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. 


Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or 


discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, 


and in the case of children, very gentle.


What does a chiropractor treat?


Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the 


nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most 


often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain 


in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches.


Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?


Many health insurance plans include coverage for chiropractic services. For example, the federal 


government's Office of Personnel Management offers chiropractic coverage for federal employees in 


the Mail Handlers and BCBS benefit plans. In addition, there is a chiropractic benefit in Federal 


Workers' Compensation. Chiropractic care is available to members of the armed forces at more than 40 


military bases and nearly 30 veterans' medical facilities.


What kind of education does a chiropractor have?


Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners with an emphasis on 


musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Education requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among 


the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college 


has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including 


courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once 


accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding. Four 


to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of 


chiropractic and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical 


training. In total, the chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, 


laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is 


fully recognized by the U.S Department of Education.

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