What is a chiropractor?

Chiropractors are doctors whom specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of biomechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They also take particular interest  in the effects that these biomechanical disorders have on the functioning of the nervous system and general health. In South Africa, chiropractors study for 6 years to achieve their “Dr” title.

Their studies involves several subjects: anatomy, physiology, general and systemic pathology, chemistry, physics, osteology, immunology, diagnostics, clinic chiropractic, auxiliary therapeutics, ethics and jurisprudence, epidemiology, biochemistry, embryology, clinical biomechanics and pharmacology, to name a few.

Chiropractors go through several practical and theoretical examinations to qualify. After they qualify they have to continue learning and achieve several CPD (continued professional development) points each year.

Joint manipulation or spinal adjustments are what chiropractors are most well-known for.

Chiropractors are highly skilled professionals and go through extensive practical training and examinations in order to practice these techniques. An adjustment/manipulation is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust applied to a joint in order to correct joint restriction in movement and thus, improve joint mobility. Adjustments are a safe and effective treatment option when it comes to joint pain and other related conditions. Chiropractors perform adjustment in all segments of the spine, the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers, hip, knee, ankle, foot and toes. In essence, chiropractors treat almost all joints in the body. 

But this isn’t all that makes up a chiropractor.

They are not only “spinal mechanics” or “clicking doctors” but are also trained to identify issues occurring in the human body that are not always related to the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors have the ability to perform physical examinations within other bodily systems such as the eyes, ears, gastrointestinal system, cardiac, respiratory and peripheral vascular system, to name a few. 

Chiropractors assess their patients and take a full case history and physical examination before performing any treatment. They also can offer several other treatment options such as dry needling, sport’s massage, kinesio-taping, shockwave therapy, laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, joint mobilizations, cervical and lumbar distraction and several more.

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