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5 Things You’re Not Supposed To Know About Chiropractors

Blog by Dr. Michael Horowitz | July 27th, 2010

There are a few things that you may not know about D.C.’s, which

surprised us, included the mounting research.


Their education is equal to their medical colleagues … and might be better in some areas.1

This might be difficult to accept,

but chiropractic students spend

markedly more hours in the

classroom than medical students,

especially in the areas of anatomy,

physiology, orthopedics, and

x-ray.2 Of course, their training is

different since “Chiros” concentrate

on muscles, bones, joints, and

nerves. Their education only

touches on medication, emergency

situations, etc. Many are beginning

to think this gives them a better

background in physical rehab.

A study of the curriculum of

North American chiropractic and

medical colleges found “Considerable

commonality exists between

chiropractic and medical programs.

Regarding the basic sciences, these

programs are more similar than

dissimilar.” 2

Even more interesting was a test

given to both chiropractic and

medical students. Chiropractic

students scored higher than

medical students on the musculoskeletal

(bones, joints, and muscles)

portion of the exam, while the

medical students faired slightly

better in other areas.1

In another study, chiropractors

and chiropractic students tested

“significantly higher” in reading

X-Rays when compared with their

medical colleagues in a study at the

University of California Medical



They do more than crunch backs and necks

While chiros are known for

treating back and neck problems

with joint manipulation. Most are

well versed and board certified to

perform physical therapies.* They

are also licensed to function as

primary care physicians.4 Based on

their education many use nutrition

as a form of treatment.


It’s safe

Even though ghost stories of

adjustments gone wrong are

common, the actual risk of injury

from chiropractic treatment is

rare.5 Generally, the malpractice

insurance that doctors have to pay

is based, among other things, on

their field. Chiropractors as a

group pay the less for malpractice

insurance than any other type of

physician. Why? Lawsuits claiming

injuries or negligence are less

common against chiropractors.


By Dennis Bertoli

HEALTH: Top Secret

December 2008 PH&W Magazine 35

In the past there was concern

that there was an increased risk of

stroke could upper neck manipulation

treatments. However a 7-year

study organized by The United

Nations and the World Health

Organization just found that there

is no association with chiropractic

treatment and stroke.6


They took the AMA to court … and won … twice.

For decades chiropractors were

campaigned by the AMA (American

Medical Association) as not

being “real doctors” and met fierce

resistance from medical organizations.

Chiropractors claimed the

AMA was trying to snuff out the

competition with fear tactics and

bogus research. The U.S. Supreme

Court agreed with them in 1987…

and again in 1990. It was found that

the AMA was guilty of illegal

antitrust activities against the

chiropractic profession, ordered an

injunction on their activity, and

forcing them to print the courts

findings in the Journal of the

American Medical Association.


M.D.’s and D.C.’s are working together

It’s becoming more common to

find integrated offices, where M.D.’s,

D.O.’s, and D.C.’s are working

side-by-side. Many medical offices

now try to provide multi-specialty

approaches to treatment. With

natural forms of treatment

becoming more popular, drugless

forms of treatment have become

preferred by many over painmedication.

One survey of 266 medical

students at Georgetown University

revealed more than 75% felt that

alternative medicine techniques

should be included in their

curriculum.7 Chiropractic,

acupuncture, herbal medicine, and

nutritional supplements were the

most desired areas of interest.




The views expressed in this editorial are soley

those of PH&W Magazine and do not reflect the

opinion of any contributing parties or advertisers.

References: (1) Sandefur R, Febbo TA, Rupert RL. Assessment of knowledge of primary care activities in a sample of medical and chiropractic students. J Manipulative

Physiol Ther. 2005 Jun;28(5):336-44. PMID: 15965408. (2) A Comparative Study of Chiropractic and Medical Education Altern Ther Health Med. 1998 (Sep); 4

(5): 64 75 Coulter I, Adams A, Coggan P, Wilkes M, Gonyea M. (3) Taylor JA, Clopton P, Bosch E, Miller KA, Marcelis S. Interpretation of abnormal lumbosacral

spine radiographs. A test comparing students, clinicians, radiology residents, and radiologists in medicine and chiropractic. Spine. 1995 May 15;20(10):1147-53;

discussion 1154. PMID: 7638657. 4 Meeker WC, Haldeman S (2002). “Chiropractic: a profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine” (PDF).

Ann Intern Med 136 (3): 216–27. PMID 11827498, http://www.annals.org/cgi/reprint/136/3/216.pdf.. (5) Thiel HW, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety

of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine. 2007 Oct 1;32(21):2375-8; discussion 2379. PMID: 17906581. 6 Bone and

Joint Decade Task Force. Press Release, “Seven-Year Neck Pain Study Sheds Light on Best Care.” February 2008. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/

February2008/15/c2658.html. 7 Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Jan-Feb; 13(1):30-5. Chaterji R, Tactenberg RE, Amri H, Lumpkin M, Amorosi SB, Haramati A.

Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA. (7) Adequacy of Medical School Education in Musculoskeletal Medicine Journal of Bone and

Joint Surgery 1998 (Oct); 80-A (10): 1421–1427. http://www.chiro.org/ChiroZine/ABSTRACTS/Adequacy.shtml. (8) Educational Deficiencies in Musculoskeletal

Medicine Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2002 (Apr); 84–A (4): 604–608 http://www.chiro.org/ChiroZine/ABSTRACTS/Educational_Deficiencies.shtml. (9) A

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