Medical Doctors versus Chiropractors – What are the Differences

Plano Chiropractor and DoctorsLets explain the basic differences between an MD (Medical Doctor) and a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) so you understand the  role that each type of medical professional plays in maintaining or regaining your optimum health.

Both are fully licensed healthcare providers. They will examine, diagnose and treat patients. Chiropractors usually have trained for more hours in the anatomy of the body while MDs have trained for more hours in physiology. DCs are experts in musculoskeletal health and general wellness. MDs and chiropractors both utilize diagnostic imaging, lab tests, clinical exams and questionnaires in order to diagnose their patient, but the treatment types administered will be different. MDs usually prescribe pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat patients.  Chiropractors normally use a more holistic approach that involves a variety of hands-on treatments along with diet and exercise advice.

Visiting the offices are normally very different experiences. When going to an MD, you will most likely be asked by a nurse or office staff to fill out certain paperwork and provide information about your condition. The doctor will then make an appearance, review the information, and possibly perform a brief clinical examination, and prescribe a treatment. Typically, doctors only take a short amount of time to understand your overall health, and the resulting treatment usually involves drugs and/or different medical procedures.

Chiropractors provide a more personal approach

Patients typically have a more personal relationship with their Chiropractor than with their Medical Doctor.  Chiropractor want to not only learn about your physical symptoms, but your lifestyle as well. Chiropractors will examine you, perform any necessary tests, discuss all of the possible treatment options available, and provide the appropriate manual therapies. Chiropractic treatment methods are usually referred to as “physical medicine”. Treatment may include laser therapy, targeted spinal adjustments, disc decompression, electrical stimulation and hot and cold treatments as well as different structured exercise and stretching programs. Dietary and nutrition recommendations may also be provided.

Generally, musculoskeletal problems are better treated by a chiropractor. However, many chiropractors also develop specialized expertise in other aspects of health as well. Chiropractors will refer you to a Medical Doctor if they feel that diagnosing and treating your condition is beyond their scope of practice.