I am not a chiropractor

June 7, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

That is correct I am not a chiropractor. I am a veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission (ACCC) of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).

So why do I bring this up? Well, it seems that thugsugly feels that I can not use the word chiropractic because I am not a chiropractor. Although he is correct I am not a chiropractor as I do not have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and I do have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) so I am a veterinarian, I disagree that I can not use the word chiropractic for describing what it is that I do.

Now some of you might say why even bother with this guy (maybe gal) with the time of day let alone go through the process of creating a blog post rebuttal? Well despite his/her prepubescent ethnically stereotypical name indicating a lack of cooth and intelligence, he/she made me think about it. Why can I use the word chiropractic? I’m really not a chiropractor so why can I use it? So I did what every extremely intelligent human being with access to a computer and the internet does…I Googled it!

Definitions –

  • Google – The diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, esp. those of the spinal column.
  • medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/chiropractic – Chiropractic is from Greek words meaning done by hand. It is grounded in the principle that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is correctly aligned
  • medterms.com –  A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous system coordinates all of the body’s functions, and that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function. Chiropractic employs manipulation and adjustment of body structures, such as the spinal column, so that pressure on nerves coming from the spinal cord due to displacement (subluxation) of a vertebral body may be relieved.

From these definitions I would say this is exactly what I do, but I was not fully convinced so I went directly to the source to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)  and read what they had to say. Their definition –

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Hmmm – interesting. I do participate in a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Lets delve a little deeper –

Chiropractic Philosophy from the ACA –

As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

I believe exactly almost word for word this philosophy of healthcare applying it to animals. Looking further –

Scope of Practice from the ACA –

Doctors of chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed.

With the exception of headaches (although I am sure I do treat them, not sure how to diagnose them in animals though), I treat on a regular basis all these maladies.

So using the ACA’s definitions (THE authority on use of the word chiropractic) the treatments, manipulations, and philosophy I am using is referred to as chiropractic.

Lastly lets look at what BJ Palmer one of the founder’s of modern day chiropractic care had to say about adjusting animals in 1944 from his lecture  “It is as Simple as That” – – “In the early days of chiropractic, we maintained a veterinarian hospital where we adjusted the vertebral subluxations of sick cows, horses, cats, dogs, etc. We did this to prove to ourselves that the Chiropractic principle and practice did apply. Even today, occasionally, somebody brings us a valuable pedigreed pet to adjust.”

According to the AVCA, the ACA, and the founder of chiropractic, BJ Palmer, what and how I treat animals is using chiropractic, so I am going to continue to use the word. Thank you thugsugly for the opportunity to research the use of the word and validate my profession of animal chiropractic.