For many people, when they think of doctors, their mind goes to medical doctors, leading them to wonder why chiropractors call themselves doctors if they don’t have medical degrees. While medical doctors are certainly one type of doctor, and among the most commonly known, they are not the only doctors out there. People who get PhDs are doctors, yet many of them do not practice medicine. Chiropractors call themselves doctors because they are – just not in the way you most commonly think.
How Chiropractors Are Doctors
In order to be a medical doctor, you need an M.D. degree, which chiropractors don’t have. You can’t see a chiropractor for many issues you’d see a medical doctor for because they are not trained in how to treat problems, like broken bones and the like. Chiropractors call themselves doctors because they are doctors of chiropractic care, which refers to the practice of utilizing non-invasive adjustments with your hands in order to correct alignment problems and improve how your body functions.
As you may expect, since chiropractors treat the body, they’re required to have in-depth training in order to lawfully practice. This includes:
- A Bachelor’s degree with a focus on “pre-med” or the sciences, such as biology, kinesiology, exercise science, human biology, anatomy, and more.
- A 4 year healthcare degree from a university or college that is accredited.
- A state license that they need to pass a national board exam in order to obtain.
- Proven competence with working with patients, generally one year.
- Continuing education requirements in order to keep their licenses.
In most states, chiropractors are designated physician-level providers. Many insurances cover chiropractic care, including the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Medicaid, Federal Workers’ Compensation, state worker’s compensation programs, and more.
What Chiropractors Can’t Do
Chiropractors have a bit of a bad reputation due to a few bad apples claiming that chiropractors can provide services they simply aren’t qualified for and that their treatments can help issues that science hasn’t proven. Every field has people like this that can smear the public idea of the profession as a whole, unfortunate as it is. It’s a big part of why people are so skeptical over why chiropractors call themselves doctors and ask if chiropractic care is even legitimate.
Chiropractic care is legitimate, but like everything else out there, it has its limitations. If you run into a chiropractor claiming they can do any of the following things, you’ll know that they’re not legitimate and that you should continue your search to find a qualified chiropractor who is legitimate and honest, who you’ll be able to entrust your care to.
- Prescribe medications. Chiropractic as a whole is a field that is very proud of how its treatments are all natural and non-invasive. Chiropractors will always strive to get to the root of the problem so that you can avoid having to take meds whenever possible. Aside from the nature of the field as a whole, prescription medicine can generally only be prescribed by medical professionals and psychiatrists. While chiropractors are doctors, they’re not medical doctors, so they cannot prescribe medication.
- Conduct surgery. You need extensive, specialized training in order to be a surgeon, which chiropractors don’t have. Just because chiropractors call themselves doctors (because they are), doesn’t mean they can treat every health issue out there. Besides, chiropractic care is focused on non-invasive treatments to restore body functions and assist in rehabilitation and strengthening. Surgery is as invasive as it gets!
- Treat traumatic injuries. There are many injuries that chiropractors can treat, such as whiplash, back pain, hip pain, and more. They cannot help you with fractures or other such traumatic injuries, although they can help you in the rehabilitation process after a medical doctor has done their part.
- Advertise themselves as medical practitioners. This has happened a lot over the course of pandemics in history, which makes the majority of legitimate chiropractors look bad when they’re not. Chiropractic care helps you maintain better overall health, helps you heal faster, and helps you regain strength and mobility – but they cannot claim to be a substitute for medical doctors. When you have chiropractors call themselves doctors, and they’re claiming to be medical doctors, that’s when it simply isn’t true.
What Chiropractors Can Treat
Just because chiropractors can’t treat every problem doesn’t mean that it’s wrong that chiropractors call themselves doctors. They wouldn’t be required to go through such extensive training, be covered by insurances, and be honored as doctors on a state and federal level if they weren’t. Chiropractors can treat a wide array of issues, and many medical doctors will refer you to chiropractors for treatment for ailments such as spinal disk issues and sports injuries and back pain and the like.
In many cases, people find it beneficial to see a chiropractor before they see a medical doctor. This is because since chiropractic care gets to the root of the problem, in many cases, chiropractic care can eliminate the need to take the next step of going to a medical doctor.
Some of the reasons why people see chiropractors are:
- Leg pain
- Hip pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle tension
- Pelvic pain
- Shoulder pain
- Alignment problems, like scoliosis
- Sleep problems
- Helping align the pelvis for birth
- And more
Chiropractors call themselves doctors because they have every right too, with all the specialized knowledge and experience their field necessitates in order to treat people. Elevate Wellness has a team of experienced, legitimate chiropractors who are open and honest with you through every step of your treatment. We’ll get to the root of your problem and utilize non-invasive methods such as adjustments in order to improve your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let’s get started on helping you feel better!