What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic HistorySubluxation

Chiropractic is the science, art, and philosophy of neuromuscular integration which focuses on the spine and the central nervous system. A Doctor of Chiropractic, or chiropractor, is concerned with human health and disease processes. Chiropractors pay special attention to the physiological and biochemical aspects. This includes structural, spinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, emotional and environmental relationships and how they interact and integrate into the patient as a whole.

Chiropractic Education

The Chiropractor uses techniques and procedures received in their training in chiropractic colleges. Doctor of Chiropractic receive an advance degree and are officially titled ad Doctor of Chiropractic or DC. How does this training compare to other health professions. Initially most states require chiropractors to receive a 4-year undergraduate degree usually a BS Bachelors of Science as well as receiving their Doctor of Chiropractic. This is comparable to the requirements in most states for Medical Doctors or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and this is true in Pennsylvanian. It is also required that a Doctor of Chiropractic pass a 4-part national exam that is administered over 4-3-day weekends over a 3-year period. This National exam process is ended in the final Part that is a 2 Day Practical hands-on exam and not just a paper multiple choice exam. In addition, in PA a chiropractor Who wants to practice adjunctive procedures, physical therapy, must sit for an additional national board exam. This chart is the actual course work required to receive the degree and how it compares with other health professions.

Chiropractic School

Class Hours

Medical School



































Total hours


Other Required Subjects where they differ.

Spinal Adjustment


Manipulation Extremities


Advanced Radiology

General Surgery



This information was compiled from a review of the curriculum catalogs of 22 medical schools and 11 chiropractic colleges and updates from the national health federation bulletin: http://www.bodyframe.com/page/page/1157600.htm

As can be seen it is highly comparable to the training received by many medical doctors in the United States. It is in the philosophy in which the two differ and this can be seen in the slight differences in curriculum. The chiropractor spends more time in honing their evaluation skills and their shills in imaging evaluation.

Chiropractic Philosophy

The chiropractic philosophy on health and disease emphasizes two fundamental concepts. The structure and health of the body influences how the body functions and its ability to heal. The mind-body relationship, and how it communicates with universal intelligence, is instrumental in maintaining health and in the healing processes. Chiropractic is based on the premise that the power that created the body can heal the body. This is Hi lighted by the fact that all healing comes from within all that any health care professional can do is provide the right environment for healing. Healing happens at the cellular level and as health care professionals we cannot will any individual cell to heal we can only give it what it needs to heal. Doctors don’t heal a broken bone they splint it, so it heals correctly.

The Science

The practice and procedures which may be employed by Doctor of Chiropractic are based on the academic and clinical training received in and through accredited chiropractic colleges and include, but are not limited to, the use of current diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These procedures include the adjustment of the articulations and adjacent tissues of the human body, particularly of the spinal column. Included is the treatment of inter-segmental aberrations for alleviation of related functional disorders.

Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or invasive surgery. Due regard shall be given to the fact that state laws, as well as the nation’s antitrust laws, may allow Doctor of Chiropractic to utilize ancillary health care procedures commonly referred to as adjunctive procedures.

The Art

The detection and treatment of the vertebral subluxation through the delivery of the chiropractic adjustment comprises the art of chiropractic.

The detection and removal of the subluxation is not a matter of using a set of simple tests. Mastering the ability to effectively identify vertebral subluxations takes years of study, practice and observation. Only a chiropractor has the years of training designed to accomplish this. The adjustment is a procedure requiring many years of training and practice to improve and develop these skills. In fact, learning to successfully adjust the spine and other joints of the extremities is one of the more complicated tasks the chiropractic student must overcome.

Learning to properly assess and adjust the spine and extremities safely and effectively, is an extremely refined art and should only be performed by a chiropractor. This is the art of chiropractic.


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