A doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (D.C.) focuses on the relationship between the body's main structures – the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves – and the patient's health. Chiropractors believe that health can be improved and preserved by making adjustments to these structures, particularly to the spinal column. They use modern techniques to examine and diagnose conditions. Once a diagnosis is reached, the chiropractor may use one of many techniques to treat the problem, including dietary guidance and manipulation of the spine and musculature. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, although they do refer patients for these services if they are medically indicated.
Chiropractic has become a well-recognized and highly respected health care field. Chiropractic services are covered by health insurance, including Medicare, and chiropractors are bound by the same regulations and ethics as medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy.
Most patients seek chiropractic care for back pain, neck pain and joint problems. However, many patients choose a chiropractor as their primary care doctor, because they prefer treatment plans that do not rely on medication or surgery.
Because of the emphasis on holistic health care, chiropractic is associated with the field of complementary and alternative medicine.