The primary difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractic is that one is best for an emergency problem and the other is best for chronic problems. Orthopedic surgeons are fantastic if you’ve been in a major car accident and you broke your femur or pelvis in numerous places. They are excellent at resetting and pinning bones together so that they heal properly. Whereas chiropractors thrive at improving issues that are caused by minor to moderate trauma as well as chronic problems. Chronic problems like degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, bulging discs, herniated discs, mild to moderate scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, loss of or reverse curve in the neck, sciatica, etc.
The ideology of chiropractic is to correct the cause of the problem through noninvasive, safe and natural means. Chiropractic does not do surgery because cutting a patient open, extracting their vertebral disc and screwing their vertebra together is highly invasive, dangerous, unnecessary and often ineffective at eliminating chronic symptoms. Instead, chiropractors use high speed, low force thrusts, called adjustments or chiropractic manipulative therapy. Chiropractic adjustments mobilize and reposition the bones and joints (mostly in the spine) back towards normal. The adjustment by itself is great at improving proper mobility and reducing localized inflammation. When combined with spinal remodeling traction and isometric stabilization therapies, chiropractic can make objective changes to the structure of the spine. These changes are seen and monitored via digital mensuration of the spine on x-ray.
The difference in education between an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor is not much different than that of an orthopedic surgeon and a medical doctor. Medical doctors and chiropractors both have a four-year undergraduate and a four-year graduate degree. One focuses more on drugs and surgery and the other on chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and physical therapy. Both are very similar in the foundation sciences.
A surgeon must complete additional training in the way of an internship and residency while in the workplace to become an orthopedic surgeon. Keep in mind that this additional training does not make the orthopedic surgeon more knowledgeable about the spine, anatomy or diagnosis. The surgical internship and residency focus on the skill of surgery. During this time surgeons learn how to perform surgery in the same way that a chiropractor has an internship during their graduate education learning how to adjust. The internship for an orthopedic surgeon is longer and more arduous. This does necessarily not make surgery more effective, just more complicated.
For more on the differences between low back surgery or neck surgery compared to chiropractic click HERE.
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