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Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medication?

Dec 23, 2021

Can Chiropractors Prescribe MedicationIf you’ve ever dealt with pain, whether from a chronic condition or a sudden traumatic injury, relief is the first thing on your mind. Chiropractors are a great option for pain relief, but because our society is reliant on medication, some people are hesitant to visit them when they’re struggling with pain. While chiropractors can’t write prescriptions, visiting a Jonesboro chiropractor can be a more effective option for pain relief, focusing on healing the issue rather than masking symptoms.

The Law and Chiropractors

Prescribing medications is one of the privileges limited to people who have an MD or a DO credential. Though chiropractors undergo rigorous medical training and are considered doctors, they are required to have a Doctor of Chiropractic, rather than the traditional MD that medical doctors will have. This means they cannot perform surgery or write prescriptions for medication.

In the United States, there is one exception to this rule: New Mexico. This state has enacted legislation that allows for a subset of highly trained chiropractors to prescribe medication. These people are known as “advanced chiropractors” and are allowed to prescribe medication based on a strict formula, as long as they meet certain educational requirements set forth in the state.

In Georgia, no chiropractors can do this, and there is no credential known as the advanced chiropractor.

The Goal of Chiropractic

While it may sound like a restriction placed upon chiropractors, the inability to write prescriptions is actually in line with the philosophy behind the practice itself. Chiropractic medicine is considered to be a highly natural form of care, and some even term it alternative. The underlying belief of the practice is that the human body can usually heal itself and that by addressing the root cause of problems, rather than covering symptoms with medication, recovery can be achieved.

In fact, the National Chiropractic Association describes chiropractic care as a “drug-free, non-surgical science” to reiterate these goals. Instead, a series of physical adjustments are used to relieve pain, improve function, and return the spine to alignment so that the central nervous system can function as intended.

Before turning to medical solutions, a chiropractor may recommend home remedies like ice and heat therapy, dietary and exercise changes, and lifestyle adjustments. These solutions paired with regular adjustments and other non-invasive treatment methods are often enough to reduce or eliminate pain without turning to prescription drugs.

Holistic Care

This does not mean that chiropractors are against medication. Some pain is so severe that a person cannot go about their daily life without immediate relief, and it may even be difficult to begin chiropractic care without rest and a reduction of inflammation. Chiropractors may even encourage you to take over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs after an injury to address swelling and eliminate stress caused by pain. The difference is that they will then seek the cause of your pain to begin reversing it.

Chiropractors also often work with other professionals who can prescribe medications. While the goal may be to avoid invasive treatments like surgery, orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons can consult with chiropractors regarding a patient’s condition to determine the best options and outcome. These doctors can prescribe medication as a part of comprehensive treatment plans.

In cases where strong pain medication like opioids is indicated, a chiropractor may also work with pain management specialists to create a plan for the use of these medications. Due to their highly addictive nature, pain management specialists can guide patients on how to effectively manage pain without becoming reliant on these medications. Additionally, drug addiction can raise tolerance exponentially, which may mean that even with an abundance of pain medication, one could still suffer from chronic pain.

One of the principles of chiropractic care is treating the whole body. This may mean that an injury or flare-up of an illness requires medication before the spinal underpinnings can be properly healed.

Integrated Care in Jonesboro

For those seeking pain relief and wanting to know what affects your body’s ability to heal, AICA Jonesboro offers access to a range of options. Our chiropractors will evaluate and diagnose the condition causing you pain before completing a personalized healthcare plan. But in addition to expert chiropractors, AICA Jonesboro is proud to have a range of other professionals on staff. This includes physical therapists and pain management specialists, along with doctors and surgeons who can advise and even prescribe medication. When you visit our office, you will be able to receive a full spectrum of care that aligns with your goals for relief. Contact us today for your first appointment!



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