FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
1. What kind of doctor should
I see for treatment of my whiplash injuries?
doctor to treat whiplash injuries depends on
the nature of your injuries, and could include
an orthopedist, or a neurosurgeon to name a few. It is very
important to seek treatment from a doctor who understands the complexities
of whiplash injuries and who knows how to treat the condition properly. All
too often patients are told that they only need to take pain medications
for a short period of time and their symptoms will go away on their
own. Often this is not the case, and, unfortunately, the
patient does not get proper care right after their injury, when
the right treatment is most critical.
A chiropractic physician is the best option for treatment of
acute or chronic whiplash trauma. The chiropractic approach appropriately addresses the
damage that occurs to the tissues, and is more likely to result in a good outcome. A
qualified chiropractic doctor will refer you to any specialists that may be
2. How are Doctors of Chiropractic licensed?
Graduates of a college of chiropractic from any of the 16 chiropractic
colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education must
take a licensing examination in all 50 States. There are 50 different
legislative bodies involved in the licensing process of chiropractic
physicians, creating a variety of testing and licensing procedures
and a variation in scope of practice from State to State.
3. What subjects does a chiropractic physician study?
chiropractic physicians (like MD's) take national board exams? State
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), established
in 1963, functions similarly to the National Board of Medical Examiners
(NBME). Part I of the NBCE covers the basic sciences and may be
taken after the first year of chiropractic college education. Part
II covers clinical sciences and is administered when a student
is in his/her senior year of chiropractic college. Part III is
a written clinical competency examination that requires an examinee
to have passed Part I and be within 8 months of graduation (if
taken while still in school). The optional NBCE Physiotherapy Examination
may be taken following the completion of 120 hours of physiotherapy
All States, except five, require passing scores on all or part
of the NBCE tests as well as on one State-administered test. The
content and format of the State-administered examinations vary
considerably. Approximately one in three States require one State-administered
evaluation. This may involve written questions regarding State
regulations and statutes, an interview, or a practical examination
covering diagnostic and management procedures.
Doctors of Chiropractic considered primary health care providers?
Yes, chiropractic physicians’ practices include several characteristics
considered to be consistent with a primary care role. They are
directly accessed by patients, frequently coordinate care with
other providers, may obtain special studies, develop continuing
relationships with patients, and emphasize prevention strategies,
especially related to injury prevention. Chiropractic is licensed
and regulated in every State, and within these legal boundaries
individual practitioners may practice as they wish. Providing care
for musculoskeletal conditions using manipulation as a primary
intervention is within the legal scope of chiropractic practice
in all 50 States. The legal right to use other procedures including
modalities, myofascial work, acupuncture, and nutritional therapy
varies from State to State.
the Council on Chiropractic Education recognized by the U.S.
Federal recognition of the Council on chiropractic Education (CCE)
as the accrediting body for chiropractic colleges in 1974 was a
landmark event in the history of chiropractic education. The CCE
regulates pre-professional requirements for admission to chiropractic
colleges as well as educational requirements for graduation from
Chiropractic covered by Medicare and/or private
insurance or Workers' compensation?
The Federal Medicare program has provided chiropractic benefits
since 1972. The Medicare chiropractic benefit allows for 12 visits
annually and covers manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor.
More than 80 percent of American workers in conventional insurance
plans, preferred provider organizations, and point-of-service plans
now have health insurance that covers at least part of the cost
of chiropractic care . Overall, 75 percent of workers receive chiropractic
coverage under their plan. Automobile insurance and some types
of homeowners' insurance typically incorporate Personal injury
protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This form of insurance, in
most States, permits chiropractors access to reimbursement on par
with all other providers. Chiropractic physicians are explicitly
recognized by regulation or statute as "attending providers" (i.e.,
providers whom workers may access directly and who can oversee
management of the case) in the workers' compensation systems of
39 States and the District of Columbia.
8. Why is spinal manipulation
In a 1996 study by Woodward et. al., published in the journal “Injury,” Chiropractic
treatment was able to help relieve the pain for 93% of patients
with chronic whiplash injuries. Chronic whiplash injuries are notoriously
resistant to any form of treatment, making their conclusions particularly
significant in the field of whiplash treatment. Guidelines published
by the Federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR)
concluded that spinal manipulation was one of only three treatments
for acute low back pain for which there was at least moderate research-based
evidence of effectiveness. In addition, patients seeking care for
back pain from chiropractic physicians tend to be more satisfied
than patients treated by medical doctors.
9. Why don't chiropractors use drugs? Surgery?
All States currently exclude prescribing drugs and performing
major surgery from chiropractic practice. This is because chiropractic
was developed to be a drug-less healing art, and one of its objectives
is to help patients avoid unnecessary drugs, if possible. Chiropractic
is noninvasive, and emphasizes the patient's inherent recuperative
abilities, also recognizing the dynamics between lifestyle and
a return to health.