When most people think of chiropractic, they think of someone cracking their back or neck. However, at Cincinnati Health Institute, we recognize that chiropractic is really more than just backs. Not only do we focus on the whole musculoskeletal system, but we also focus on things like a person's diet and lifestyle habits, which play a role in how your insides and outsides are functioning. Additionally, chiropractors in school are educated extensively on all parts of the body, inside and out, providing them with immense knowledge of how the body functions.
A chiropractic physician's training is quite rigorous and lengthy, like that of a medical doctor. The training, licensing, and education of a Doctor of Chiropractic are some of the most challenging curricula among healthcare professions. To apply to a college of chiropractic, an applicant must have obtained a 4-year degree in pre-med or one of the other biological sciences. Some common bachelor's programs leading to a chiropractic degree are pre-med, biology, psychology, nutrition, and dietetics.
A chiropractor's post-baccalaureate education includes 4-5 years of post-grad education and extensive clinical training. Due to the complicated adjusting techniques required and the hands-on nature of chiropractic, the clinical portion of the study is extremely rigorous and demanding. They complete a minimum of one year of residency in which they handle actual patient care.
A Doctor of Chiropractic is educated in a nationally accredited 4-year doctoral program and has a minimum of 4,200 classrooms, clinical, and lab hours to complete. The average program is equal to that of an MD or Osteopathic physician. They must pass a board exam governed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and then apply for licensure in the state they wish to practice in.
A Doctor of Chiropractic can diagnose and treat patients within their scope of practice, but they do not prescribe medicine. In many areas, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition, and public health, they receive more intensive education than their MD counterparts.
#2: NUTRITION One of the basic tenets behind chiropractic is the belief that the body has the innate power to heal itself from within. In keeping with this philosophy, nutrition plays a huge part in the overall health and wellness of any patient. A chiropractic physician receives substantial training in nutrition, with many chiropractors obtaining additional training and education in nutrition, dietetics, and the nutritional management of disease. Most M.D.s receive little education in these spheres and are encouraged to prescribe medication rather than get to the root cause of discomfort or disease.
Due to the poor nature of the average diet, many D.C.s have incorporated nutrition into the core of their practice and treat nutritional deficiencies in relation to musculoskeletal disorders, but also may treat obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, thyroid issues, digestive problems other chronic disease states linked to nutrient deficiencies.
#3: THEY ADJUST MORE THAN BACKS!
This one may be surprising, as most people assume that because spinal manipulation is at the core of chiropractic, they only deal with backs, back pain, and back disorders. Not true! Chiropractic medicine focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and how they affect the rest of the body. In addition to spinal manipulation (commonly referred to as a back adjustment), almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted. The joints of the hands and feet, knees, elbows, and even the jaw can be adjusted. Any joint can be misaligned and over time can decrease the life of the joint and increase normal wear and tear. Adjustments of other joints can provide immediate relief to a misaligned or fixated joint, provide needed nutrients to the joint and flush out toxins. In addition to muscular and joint issues, chiropractic can help with headaches, depression, weight management, infertility, and many other disorders.
#4: CHIROPRACTIC CARE IS FOR EVERYONE
There is no age limit. Each phase of life brings with it its own set of challenges. At Cincinnati Health Institute we treat all ages, including infants. Many people ask us what the infant adjustment consists of. Birth is one of the most traumatic experiences a human can go through; while babies are suited to survive this, spinal misalignment is common and treatable. Things such as acid reflux, colic, irritability, sleep problems, and growth issues can be resolved through chiropractic. An infant adjustment is nothing to fear, as the amount of pressure required is only strong enough to press on a tomato without breaking the skin -- not hard at all! The benefits are many, but make sure to find someone that treats infants regularly to get the most out of chiropractic.
In the elderly, chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial; it can increase mobility, prevent degeneration of joints, increase energy and decrease pain. Chiropractic care is becoming extremely popular among the elderly, as the use of multiple medications can sometimes be avoided and the effectiveness of chiropractic care is often far superior to the use of pharmaceuticals.