Skip to content

What’s Chiropractic

Description & Education

Chiropractic Education

A minimum of three years pre-medical college studies is required for acceptance into one of the 16 accredited chiropractic colleges in the US. The Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC) is earned after an additional four years of study. The doctor of chiropractic is educated extensively in anatomy, physiology, pathology and diagnosis. As a primary care physician, the DC is trained to perform a diagnostic evaluation which may include a patient history and examination, clinical laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and evaluation of the spine and musculo-skeletal system. In addition to completing the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) curriculum, all chiropractic physicians must pass parts one, two and three of the National Board Exam and in some cases a state exam. Some chiropractors take additional training and go on to attain chiropractic board certification in various specialties such as radiology, sports medicine, orthopedics and neurology, to name a few. All Chiropractic colleges are regulated and accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. In the State of Virginia, Doctors of Chiropractic are regulated by the Virginia Board of Medicine. The board contains representatives of various health care professions and includes a DC.

Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic Recognition

Chiropractic History

Daniel David Palmer
Daniel David Palmer (1845 - 1913)

While reference to spinal adjustment is found in ancient Greek and Chinese literature, modern-day chiropractic began in 1895 when D.D. Palmer, a longtime student of anatomy and physiology noticed the anatomical connection between spine, nerves and body function. Palmer reasoned that a problem in spine could be the cause bodily illness if the nerves could not communicate with the rest of the body. Palmer theorized that spinal bones could go "out of place” or "subluxate” and interfere with nerve transmission. This could be corrected by an "adjustment”. D.D. Palmer believed that all living beings are endowed with "innate intelligence” which regulates all the body's vital functions as it flows through the nervous system. The primary role of the Chiropractor, Palmer believed, was not to treat conditions but to remove nerve interference caused by subluxations. Then the innate intelligence could perform its role in maintaining health without the need of medication or surgery.

Palmer’s theory was developed at a time when medicine still had few effective drugs, no antibiotics and no standards of education or medical care. Since then, research has shown that while chiropractic treatment is not a "cure all”, the effect of the spine on the nervous system can have significant and wide-ranging effects.

Safety & Efficacy

Jerry Rice, one of the NFL's greatest all-time players who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in August of 2010, shares his chiropractic experience.

Following are short presentations on Neck Pain, Back Pain, and Chiropractic from West Hartford Group, Inc., a think tank that provides information about Chiropractic as a patient-centered, evidence based, non-surgical spine specialist.