Chiropractors do so much more than just ‘cracking backs’
Most people are surprised to learn about how long it takes to study to be a Chiropractor,(now it’s 5 years full time at the AECC university college),and the variety of subjects that Chiropractors have to study. Many of the core science subjects studied apply to medics and Chiropractors* (e.g. anatomy /neuro anatomy/physiology /biochemistry/pathology) such that in some teaching university institutions in the world Chiropractic and Medical students study the subjects common to both professions along side each other in the first few years.
However, as you would expect, from the start and as each courses progress, distinct differences in the degrees develops – subjects studied, time studied and depth of knowledge required varies. Some subjects both professions study to varying amounts some are very specific to solely each profession.
Chiropractors are primary health practitioners. This means you can refer yourself directly to see a Chiropractor without any medical referral. So it’s up to the Chiropractor to decide if you have a mechanical, Neurological, Orthopaedic or even a medical problem and then discuss what is the best course of action/ treatment path for you. You can be assured after all their years in training and experience you are in very safe hands. If you have a problem that is unsuitable for Chiropractic treatment or you need more test(s) to confirm or exclude a diagnosis we will refer you back to the GP with a letter explaining our thoughts and rational for more investigations. If its appropriate and they are available we can request some tests privately. However, if a positive test result would mean your treatment/management is then out of our scope of practice then instead we will refer you to your GP and suggest a referral to a local specialist consultant privately.
Reference: * The Chiropractic Profession. By David Chapman-Smith LLB (HONS) PCE , FICC (HON) Secretary-General, World Federation of Chiropractic. Chapter 4, pages 45-56.