Chiropractic Information

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We Are Not Back Doctors

from Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic Education

Some people get the mistaken impression that chiropractors are back doctors.  The average person who has never been to a chiropractor probably would not consider visiting the chiropractor unless something was wrong with his or her back.

The chiropractor addresses his attention to the back; however that does not make him a "back doctor."  Otherwise, a physician who dispenses medication to be taken by mouth would be a "mouth doctor" or one who gave injections in the arm would be an "arm doctor."  There is a field of medicine which addresses itself to the back.  It is called orthopedics.  Chiropractors are not orthopedists.  Chiropractors are not even "spine doctors", although our attention is directed solely to the spine.  If we must categorize the chiropractor we would have to say that he is a "health doctor."  Health is really a matter of harmonious function and the nerve system is vital to the coordinated, harmonious function of the entire body.  Interference due to vertebral subluxations disrupts that harmony.  The chiropractor's concern is to eliminate the interference.  It just so happens that the only place that nerve interference can occur is at the level of teh vertebral column and it just so happens that the vertebral column is anatomically located in the back.  If the vertebral column were located in the big toe that is where the chiropractor would work.  In fact, part of the vertebral column is in the neck and that is why we work there.  That does not make us "neck doctors."  I almost wish the spine was located in another part of the anatomy.  It would cause a lot less confusion.  However, I am sure the Master Designer knew a lot better where to put it than I.  Part of the confusion undoubtedly occurs because people with back problems get better under chiropractic care.  But then, people with headaches, arthritis, ulcers, kidney problems, sinus trouble, asthma, allergies, colitis and just about any other condition you can think of also get better.  That is not because we are "back doctors" or because we cure any of the above conditions.  It is because we are doctors of health and once health is restored, the body has the ability to function better and most of the time heal itself.

There is nothing wrong with being a "back doctor", however, chiropractic is so much more.  It is a means by which millions of people can experience health when they otherwise would not.

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