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Muscle & Bone Zone

The Chiropractic Profession

By Tye LeDuc

September 2006

I would like to take the opportunity in the next few issues to educate the readers of Montana Woman on the chiropractic profession. There is far too much information to condense in one article so this will be the first in a short series regarding this health profession.

Chiropractic has been practiced for many years. Daniel David Palmer founded Chiropractic in 1895. He started the first Chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa in 1897. Manual manipulation to the skeletal structure was not new at this time; the first Osteopathy school had been founded in Missouri in 1892. There is also evidence that manual joint mobilization had been practiced for centuries prior to the inception of Chiropractic and Osteopathy in America. These therapies arose from “bone setting” techniques practiced by both medical and non-medical practitioners. Writings by Hippocrates mention these techniques.

Chiropractic has continued to grow since its inception. Currently Chiropractic is established in 70 countries. The educational requirements have also become much more stringent over time. 90 undergraduate credits are required in various schools prior to entrance. Schools such as Northwestern and National University will only accept students with a bachelor’s degree. 10 semesters must be completed in order to obtain a doctorate in Chiropractic.

Many areas of the medical field are covered in the curriculum including radiology, cardiology, pathology, physiology, obstetrics, geriatrics, pediatrics and neurology to name a few. Roughly 400 lab hours are required which include blood draw, histology and urinalysis. The total number of hours required of a chiropractic student is similar to that of a medical student. A chiropractic student attends 4,822 clock hours and a medical student attends 4,667 clock hours. Chiropractic students have significantly more anatomy and physiology, but many fewer hours in public health. Chiropractic and medical students use the same textbooks as well. National board examinations are required prior to licensure in the united states as well.

Chiropractors are primary care physicians and must be well versed in all aspects of health care. They do so much more than just spinal and extremity adjustments! The expanded curriculum assists the Chiropractic physician in establishing a diagnosis or determining if a referral is appropriate for the patient.

This is a very brief synopsis of the history and education of the chiropractic profession, if the readers of Montana Woman would like more information I recommend reading The Chiropractic Profession by David Chapman-Smith. Next issue: The technique, physiology and various studies will be reviewed to further the readers understanding of the many aspects of Chiropractic.

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