Go to GCA for Chiropractors
Georgia Chiropractic Association
What MD's Should Know
What Medical Doctors Should Know PDF Print E-mail

Several major studies, many conducted by the American Medical Association, have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic in helping people with a host of conditions. There is also evidence that shows combined intervention of adjustment, stabilization, exercise and physician consultation is more effective than medical consultations alone.

Previously medical doctors did not refer patients to chiropractors due to a lack of knowledge. Through research, medical doctors have developed a better understanding of what chiropractors actually do and the benefits they offer patients. Many patients have returned to their medical doctors describing the great results they experienced with chiropractic care.

More and more hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in situations where medical care is necessary in addition to chiropractic care. Standard medical physicians are very influential in referring potential patients to chiropractic.

Chiropractors are licensed healthcare providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, and like medical schools, the curriculum is extremely rigorous. In fact, as part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice.

The biggest difference between medical doctors and chiropractors lies in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines and surgery, whereas chiropractors provide physical solutions adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches and poor posture.

Although medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic use different methods for managing health, combining the two different approaches can optimize the overall health and wellness for the patient. It would be beneficial for medical doctors and chiropractors to work together and establish a referral system because the goal for both practices is to heal and improve the health of their patients.

Typical situations or conditions medical doctors may refer their patients to chiropractors include:

  • Back pain
  • Nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles
  • Stress relief
  • Headaches
  • Physiotherapy
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Preventative tips for carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, osteoporosis and more
  • Pain management and treatment