A licensed chiropractor is a trained medical practitioner and can be considered a chiropractic doctor or physician. However, a chiropractor does not receive the same training as a medical doctor.


A chiropractor treats patients with musculoskeletal problems, most often treating spinal conditions or injuries. Chiropractors stress the importance of spinal and skeletal health on overall physical health.


The requirements for licensure vary by state, and chiropractors can practice only in the state where they have been licensed. Most states require completion of a 4-year program at a chiropractic college and a test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Graduates are awarded the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic.

Additional Training

Postdoctoral training is also possible for chiropractors who want to further specialize in such fields as neurology, rehabilitation, or pediatrics.


Chiropractic became a formal type of health care in the 1890s, when D. D. Palmer began his first clinic. Chiropractic is still considered an alternative form of medicine.


Chiropractic has a long history of being viewed suspiciously by the medical establishment. However, It is a popular form of alternative health care because it eschews medication or surgery in its application.