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Chiropractic Care: What is It and is It Right for Me?

Chiropractic care is commonly used to treat neck and back pain. But what exactly is a chiropractor and how do they treat their patients? Let’s take a closer look at the chiropractic treatment method.

What is Chiropractic Care? Should I see a Chiropractor? Is a Chiropractor a Doctor?

What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a licensed healthcare professional who treats individuals through physical manipulation of the spine and musculoskeletal system.1 The treatment method used by chiropractors is called chiropractic.

Chiropractic is considered an alternate form of medical treatment commonly used to treat individuals with back and neck pain, but can also be used to treat other problems (ie:headaches).

Is a Chiropractor a Doctor?

It is not necessary for a chiropractor to have a medical degree. However, they are licensed medical practitioners. To obtain a chiropractic license, individuals must complete specific educational and training requirements which vary by state.

For example, in New York State, chiropractors are required to obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree by an accredited chiropractic college.2 In addition to 6 years college, New York requires individuals to pass written hands on exams to receive their chiropractic license.

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractic treatment often involves multiple visits to the chiropractor.5

A first visit with a chiropractor typically includes a medical history review and examination. In addition, when first visiting a chiropractor, he or she may request that you undergo testing such as x-rays to rule out bone fractures and/or to determine the best treatment methods.3,4

Follow up visits to the chiropractor will often include a combination of one or more of the following treatment methods2:

  • Manual joint adjustments using controlled, sudden force
  • Electrical muscle stimulation
  • Heat therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Recommendations for exercise, diet or other lifestyle practices

Chiropractic Benefits

Benefits of chiropractic care can include relief from3:

  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Acute back or neck pain (ie: from a repetitive motion injury)
  • Chronic headaches
  • Fibromyalgia

Does Chiropractic Care Work?

“Chiropractic is rooted in mystical concepts”6 that go back to the late 19th century. The skepticism about chiropractic techniques began as a result of the mythical and extraordinary claims made by the founding father D.D. Palmer.6

Over a century later, the debate over chiropractic care continues. Many scientific studies have attempted to prove or disprove the efficacy of chiropractic care.

In 2007 a doctor from the United Kingdom (Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRCPEd) performed a critical review of chiropractic. In his article, he summarized the results of many studies in order to form a hypothesis on chiropractic care. He concluded that, although many claims are made regarding the benefits of chiropractic care, the majority of these claims have not been scientifically substantiated except for that of back pain relief. Studies have shown that chiropractic care can be as effective as other forms of treatment for back pain relief.

Should I Go See a Chiropractor?

So what is the bottom of line, should you go see a chiropractor?

If you’re suffering from back pain you may benefit from seeing a chiropractor. However, it’s not recommended for certain individuals (ie: those taking blood thinning medication, individuals with spinal compression)3. Therefore, it’s best to consult with your doctor prior to visiting a chiropractor.

If you’re suffering from back pain and want to consult with a doctor, contact us to schedule an appointment at our Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls or Plattsburgh, NY office. Dr. Herzog, Dr. Keshmiri, Dr. Amin or Dr. Dooley can work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chiropractor
  2. http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/chiro/chirobroch.htm
  3. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/chiropractic-pain-relief#1
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/are-chiropractors-doctors#what-to-expect
  5. https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Why-Choose-Chiropractic/Chiropractic-Frequently-Asked-Questions
*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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