Are Chiropractors doctors? This is a question that has been put into newspapers and online forums in recent years. The short answer is yes, but not medical doctors. Chiropractors are trained as Chiropractic Doctors, in the same way a Dentist is a Doctor but not a trained Medical Doctor. This is also the same for TCM doctors or PhD graduates. All of these examples are Doctors trained in different specialities.
Read on to find out more about the type of doctor Chiropractors are, the training they undertake and when you should see a Chiropractic Doctor.
Author: I was always interested in biology and wanted to do something to help people. I looked at Dentistry, Medicine and Chiropractic. As a teenager I met a Chiropractor and noticed how happy she was. And how happy and healthy her patients were. This experience, coupled with the preventative, no drug approach of Chiropractic, influenced me to apply to study as a Chiropractic Doctor.
What are the qualifications? are Chiropractors doctors trained in medicine?
Chiropractic is an accredited profession. To qualify as a Chiropractor requires 4 to 5 years of full time training at university/college. During this time there is extensive education about anatomy, physiology, psychology, diseases, pharmacology and much more. Chiropractors are required to fulfill intern hours with established Chiropractors before graduation. In some institutions, including UK, the Chiropractic students are also required to observe other professions, including GP clinics and hospital wards.
In most countries the laws require formal training to state you are a Chiropractor. If a person claims they are a Chiropractor, but has no qualifications, it is illegal and they can be arrested. This is the same as for Medical Doctors and Dentists.
In terms of class hours, the training to be a medical doctor and Chiropractor is quite similar. However, this does not take into account the time spent interning, which is a longer process for medical doctors.
Chiropractors do not prescribe medicine, treating the body using natural alternatives. Therefore the training is different to a medical doctor.
Once all exams are passed (80+ exams at AECC, UK!) and intern requirements are complete, the students graduate as a Doctor of Chiropractic. After graduation there are different requirements depending on the country. In USA they must complete National Board Chiropractic Examinations. In UK there must have a background check and register with the GCC (General Chiropractic Council). The Chiropractor may also register with an additional Chiropractic board, such as UCA (United Chiropractic Association) or ICA (International Chiropractor Association).
Chiropractors are also required by law to obtain professional insurance. Chiropractic insurance is one of the most cost effective in healthcare, due to the low number of errors and side effects.
Are Chiropractors doctors in Singapore?
In Singapore there is no legislature to maintain the law of Chiropractic. However, all foreigners are required to be a member of an accrediting association in their home country or country they studied in to obtain and keep a Work Pass.
For example, our doctor, Dr Shaan, has been registered with GCC in UK for the past 6 years.
Anybody who is a Singaporean or PR can claim they practice Chiropractic techniques. Therefore it is important to ensure your Chiropractic Doctor has valid qualifications from a reputable college.
What are Chiropractors qualified to do?
Chiropractors are qualified to conduct a medical history and perform physical tests to assess a patient. These physical tests may include orthopaedic tests, postural analysis and nerve scans. Chiropractors are trained to take medical tests, such as:
- Vital signs – pulse, blood pressure etc.
- Systems routines – tests for the digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory system
- Cranial nerve exams
- Send for blood work (dependent on the country)
Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to take x-rays of the whole body, not just the spine. Outside of Singapore most have their own x-ray facilities in their clinics. MRI’s, CT and Ultrasound scans are routinely sent for, when needed.
Chiropractic doctors use a range of tests to find the accurate diagnosis for patients
What else should I look out for in a Chiropractic Doctor?
Before consulting with a Chiropractic doctor you should do some research to ensure they have some of the following traits (for more information Read This Article)
A mentioned above, Chiropractors go through rigorous training, however ensure they are properly trained with a Masters or Doctorate of Chiropractic from a reputable Instiution and registered with the Alliance of Chiropractic.
Try to find a specialist rather than a generalist that sees all kinds of problems. Similar to medicine, there as specialises, who take extra time and training to focus on particular patients or conditions; such as Upper Cervical analysis and techniques or working with children This will result in finding the right person to help you effectively and efficiently.
3. Get X-rays
A thorough medical history and physical assessment will establish 90% of if/how to help you. However, x-rays will help to determine the last 10%. X-rays will let the doctor know:
- If you are safe for treatment – old injuries or congenital changes may be a contraindiction to care
- Your condition – how long the problem has been there and how long it will take to fix
- How to treat you – everyone’s anatomy is unique and must be treated with accuracy
4. They shouldn’t always perform treatments
If a treatment is always needed, something is always wrong. If a dentist pulled out a tooth at every visit, they’re missing something in the case. The same is for Chiropractic.
It is important to be regularly checked (like getting a dental check), but treatment should only be when needed. The less often treatment is needed, the healthier the body. The healthier the body, the fewer the symptoms, the stronger the person, the better the quality of life.
Find a practitioner who has reviews and experience with the problem you need helped. Hear from other patients about their stories and how their lives have improved.
Are Chiropractors doctors fees expensive?
Despite common belief, Chiropractic doctors are much more affordable compared to a medical practitioner handling similar cases.
For example, take a problem like sinus blockage or inner ear problems. According to DoctorxDentist, a visit to an ENT at a private hospital would cost up to $200 and a single scope could cost $500, with subsequent scopes costing up to $200 each. In contrast, a Chiropractic examination costs $50-$150 and treatments are up to $150 (typically under $100 per visit if a plan is established).
Aren’t more Chiropractic treatments needed?
Yes, more than one visit is needed. This is because Chiropractic techniques are much less invasive than medical techniques, with extremely low risk of error.. This is also more realistic for your body, as many conditions develop over time so need time to heal.
Insurance companies cover Chiropractic because they know it is a cost-effective alternative to expensive medical care and helps to prevent problems.
A study from 2007 of 70,000 people over a 7 year period, showed patients that attended a Chiropractor had 60% lower medical fees. This is significantly lower given the high percentage of effectiveness for Chiropractic treatments and the satisfaction rate of patients (at 80% it is one of the highest among practitioners).
IS IT SAFE?
Chiropractic treatment is one of the safest forms of any treatment with a risk of injury at 5,000,000 to 1. To compare, Ibuprofen (one of the safest drugs available) has a risk of 50,000 to 1, that’s 100x times more risk! When examining the research, any cases of Chiropractic injury are due to poor history taking and physical tests, or by an unqualified practitioner claiming their work to be Chiropractic. Many of the publicised articles about “Injury by Chiropractor” are sensationalised, but miss out key facts, such as a recent article from BBC, despite the Doctor having been cleared by a professional board 6 months before publication.
This is NOT to insult medicine. Medicine is a VITAL part of our healthcare system. When there is an emergency or a crisis, medical intervention should be the first choice. Medicine and medical procedures have saved untold millions of lives. Medical care is best when a crisis is also late stage, such as a disease which has maturely developed, like cancer.
However, due to medicine having to focus on such serious, life-threatening conditions, there are “lifestyle affecting” conditions which are better handled by other practitioners. Headaches, back pain, vertigo, migraines, neck pain, whiplash or tingling into the arms. These are better dealt with by a holistic practitioner who will help analyse how some lifestyle choices have contributed to the symptoms, such as text-neck and excessive sitting.
By practitioners working together it frees up each speciality to do its best work, giving patients the fastest solution
The best results are achieved when different specialities work together to the same goal by focusing on their particular area of expertise. Think of a person with cancer. They need to see an oncologist for treatment, but they should also see a:
- Surgeon if removal is required
- Haematologist if the blood is involved
- Nutritionist for a healthy diet to fight the disease
- Physiotherapist to keep active and prevent the body getting weak
- Chiropractor for a healthy nerve system to control the immune response
- Psychologist to deal with the stress that may follow
Chiropractic specialises in improving neural integrity in the nerve system by improving the bio-mechanical structure of the spine. You are ALWAYS better off with a healthy nerve system than without one.
Are Chiropractors Doctors? Yes!
Are Chiropractors Doctors that are trained in medicine? No!
A Chiropractor is a Chiropractic Doctor, the same way a Dentist is a Dental Doctor. Neither are Medical Doctors, but both are highly trained professionals which can help your health issues related to their specialities.
A professional Chiropractor will work alongside other health professional to give the patient the best care possible. At Vitality Chiropractic we regularly work with ENT’s, Dentists, Physiotherapists, Surgeons, TCM and masseurs to put the care of patients first.
At Vitality Chiropractic, we are nerve system specialists. We are Singapore’s first Upper Cervical Specific centre, focusing on problems in the upper neck affecting the brainstem. These problems may manifest symptoms such as:
- Migraines & Headache
- Vertigo & Dizziness
- Neck & Arm Pain
- Neurological Conditions
We are the only centre in Singapore to use medical-grade computed-infrared thermography technology and bio-mechanical x-rays to accurately diagnose our patients, guiding them to faster solutions for their more difficult health problems. We are the first in South East Asia to practice our treatment technique, with patients spending longer in our centre per visit.
If you have been thinking about see a Chiropractor, feel free to message us and we will refer you to the right colleague if our centre isn’t the right fit for you.
Since 2013, Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Shaan Rai helped patients achieve greater health, relocating to Singapore in 2016 and founding Vitality Chiropractic Centres. He has an impressive track record in providing relief and solutions for people who experience nerve system problems, such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, vertigo or neurological conditions.
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