The position of Chiropractic Medicine in the world
In the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some other European countries – Switzerland, England, Denmark, Belgium, France and Italy – chiropractic ranks third amongst the legally recognised health professions, being the most used complementary medicine after allopathic medicine.
In these countries, the chiropractor is a primary health care professional with a higher level university degree carrying the title of Doctor of Chiropractic, abbreviated to DC.
In the USA, DC’s practice in specialised or multidisciplinary clinics, either private like the Mayo clinic public such as the Government’s NIH (National Institute of Health) centres.
Most of the professionals have degrees in the advanced study of radiology, orthopaedics, neurology or sports medicine.
The position in Spain
In Spain, chiropractic medicine is still not well integrated into the health care or academic systems, a situation that gives rise to the entry of unqualified people into the profession.
It is not rare to find someone who calls themself a chiropractor without having undertaken the required university training.
Chiropractic medicine is often confused with chiropraxic or chiromassage which mostly involves unspecific manipulations with limited therapeutic effect.
Other therapies often confused with chiropractic medicine include Spinology and Atlas Profilax.
Manipulation techniques can only be mastered through practice undertaken during the years at university under the supervision of expert doctors, physiologists and chiropractors.
In addition, a chiropractor would never adjust a vertebra without having had x-rays taken before and after the adjustment.
Radiology is one of the basic components of our university training.
It is important to exercise extreme caution when deciding who we let touch our spine; practitioners who have not received sufficient training can simply ignore the risks that these manipulations can lead to when undertaken inexpertly.
We recommend that you check the qualifications of the practitioner who is going to treat you: a chiropractor in 100% of situations will be able to show you his academic credentials.
On the other hand, in Spain the qualified individuals mentioned above can join the AEQ, the Association of Spanish Chiropractors.
As chiropractors, we hope that this situation will normalise shortly given that, 2 years ago, the first faculty of chiropractic medicine was set up by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Another chiropractic school opened its doors in 2009 in Barcelona.