What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
The proper title for a Doctor of Chiropractic is “Doctor” as they are considered physicians under Medicare and in the overwhelming majority of states. The professional credentials abbreviation “D.C.” means Doctor of Chiropractic. ACA also advocates in its Policies on Public Health that DC’s may be referred to as (chiropractic) physicians as well.
As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of Chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.
Scope of Practice
Doctors of chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed.
In addition, the State of Oregon allows chiropractors to practice obstetrics, perform minor surgery, and perform venipuncture (blood draw) within their scope of practice. Chiropractic education in Oregon incorporates training in all these fields, but obstetrics and minor surgery require additional hours of specialized training beyond those provided within the standard course of education.