Chiropractic medicine is based on the relationship between the body's proper structure
and optimal function. A central part of chiropractic medicine is the belief that the
body can heal itself if given the right support. The word chiropractic comes from
the Greek words cheir and praxis. This means hand and practice. The words refer to
treatment done by the hands (hands-on therapy).
By moving the spine with their hands or various manipulation tools, chiropractors
believe they can make a person's health better without surgery or medicine. They can
find problems through physical exam and X-rays. Chiropractors may do lab tests, imaging
tests, and other tests. Some also offer nutrition advice and complementary medicine. Some
chiropractors also give patients exercises to do at home.
Treatment may involve lying on your stomach on a special table. The chiropractor uses
his or her hands and elbows to realign the spine.
Chiropractic treatments may help relieve lower back pain, muscle pain, and other bone
Chiropractic training is not equal to the training that licensed medical doctors receive,
although it is extensive and highly focused on the proper structure of the body. Doctors
of chiropractic medicine have had at least 3 years of college, with an emphasis on
biology or basic sciences. They also have a minimum of 4 years of training at an accredited