What do Orthopedic Surgeons Think of Chiropractors?


We are living in an advanced medically developed era where we have the luxury to discuss such a topic as Difference Between Orthopedic and Chiropractor care. We should feel blessed as medical science has made many discoveries that support our well-being. We are now at a stage where we can possibly argue about different medical specialties and how they deal with a particular issue.

Chiropractor vs Orthopedic Doctor: Choosing the Right Specialist for Musculoskeletal Issues
Chiropractor vs Orthopedic Doctor: Choosing the Right Specialist for Musculoskeletal Issues

Chiropractor vs Orthopedic: A Broader Prospective

To be honest Chiropractors and Orthopedic doctors are two distinctive medical specialists that work on the same musculoskeletal system. It is a bit obvious when two different specialists work on the same body systems their patients, work areas might overlap and collide sometimes. Just to give you a heads up an Orthopedic doctor or surgeon is a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) who deals with a wide range of musculoskeletal issues. A Chiropractor specializes to deal in neuromuscular disorders with spine health being the major area of concern.

What do Orthopedic Surgeons Think of Chiropractors

The study based on this is totally based on opinions which can vary widely. One important thing to note is that the medical community which includes Orthopedic surgeons prefers evidence-based treatments.

What do Orthopedic Surgeons Think of Chiropractors
What do Orthopedic Surgeons Think of Chiropractors

1. Positive Opinions About Chiropractors

When we break down the opinions of Chiropractors practicing as healthcare experts. Many Orthopedic surgeons believe they are helpful and act as complementary healthcare providers who can help patients manage many non-surgical musculoskeletal issues.

  • They are even appreciated for their focus on spinal issues and the different manual techniques they employ to treat them.

2. Being Skeptical About Chiropractors

  • Some Orthopedic surgeons are a little skeptical about Chiropractor practices as they feel they are not standardized. This can happen as there is a difference in training and regulation between a medical professional and a Chiropractor.
  • Some remain skeptical about spinal adjustments and manipulations, if this activity is not done correctly can result in injuries or exacerbate existing conditions.

Must Read: what do doctors think of chiropractors

Difference Between Orthopedic Doctor and Chiropractor

Both these medical specialists cure patients with musculoskeletal disorders. We can broadly differentiate them on the basis of area of concern. Orthopedic doctors or surgeons deal with almost every possible musculoskeletal issue while a Chiropractor focuses on spine-related issues.

Difference Between Orthopedic Doctor and Chiropractor
Difference Between Orthopedic Doctor and Chiropractor

We can further differentiate them on the basis of their education, training, and scope.

1. Difference on the basis of education and training

  • An Orthopedic doctor or surgeon is a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO). The formal medical school education is generally four years which is to be followed by a residency program that helps them specialize the Orthopedic surgery. They are well-trained to deal with any musculoskeletal issues that may require surgical and non-surgical intervention.
  • Chiropractor holds a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree. Once they complete their undergraduate studies, they need to earn a degree after four years of dedicated courses in an accredited chiropractic school.

2. Difference on the basis of the scope of work

  • An Orthopedic doctor has to deal with many musculoskeletal issues. They specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of those issues. These conditions involve bones, ligaments, tendons, joints, muscles, and nerves. Orthopedic surgeons are well-trained for surgical interventions.
  • Being a Chiropractor, you need to focus on spinal issues, diagnosing, treating, and managing the neuromuscular disorders. Chiropractors use different manual adjustments to correctly interpret the spinal misalignments

3. Difference on the basis of approach towards an issue

  • Orthopedic doctors diagnose the problem and pursue the treatment based on physical therapies, injections, and surgical interventions. Joint replacement surgeries, fractures, and spinal surgeries are common conditions dealt with by them.
  • Chiropractors use techniques like spinal adjustments and manipulations. They also believe in therapies like massages, different exercises, and nutritional counseling for pursuing the treatment.

4. Different conditions treated by both

  • Orthopedic surgeons deal with a wide range of issues related to the musculoskeletal system like joint disorders, fractures, sports injuries, and degenerative disorders.
  • Back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint issues are generally handled by a Chiropractor.

Also Read: Why Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists

Chiropractors are not Real Doctors

This is an absolutely wrong narrative, calling a medical specialist fake or quack can be disrespectful. A Chiropractor holds a degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) which is a doctoral-level professional degree. They are fully authorized to use the title “doctor” in front of their name based on their education and professional qualifications. Although they are not medical doctors (MDs or Dos).

It is very important to note that the title “Doctor” is a title that can be used by various professionals who hold doctorate-level degrees. Chiropractors are recognized healthcare professionals who can use “Doctor” as a title.


We have tried to clear some arguments based on the heated topic of Chiropractor vs. Orthopedic.  Both are medical facilities that are there to help patients having troubles in the musculoskeletal system. As medical patients, we should feel blessed that the issue can be handled effectively by different specialties. Instead of wasting resources on these kinds of questions, we should invest our energies in understanding the real difference between the two medical facilities, based on that and on a recommendation basis we should opt for either one of them.


Q1. What is the difference between Chiropractor and Orthopedic?

Chiropractors and Orthopedic surgeons are professional healthcare experts who largely deal with musculoskeletal disorders. We can differentiate between them on the basis of their education, training, and area of focus. Orthopedic surgeons deal with a wide range of issues within the system and they are qualified for surgical interventions also. The main focus of Chiropractors is to use manual techniques for spinal manipulation and adjustments, to correct misalignment, and to alleviate pain during a dysfunction.

Q2. Is chiropractic better than surgery?

Whether Chiropractic care is better than surgery will depend on your medical condition and scenarios. These are two different approaches which are mainly dependent on conditions and their severity. Many a time it has to be determined quickly if a surgical intervention is needed or situation can be handled through non-invasive Chiropractic care which is focused on natural healing. Sometimes it is a doctor’s recommendation after evaluating the symptoms, history, and recovery time.

Q3. What does Chiropractor do?

Chiropractors are healthcare specialists that treats musculoskeletal disorders which are mainly related to the spine. They manually adjust and manipulate the spine and other joints to alleviate pain, increase mobility, and promote well-being.

Q4. Is it better to go to the Chiropractor?

It totally depends on your medical condition and preferences. Chiropractors are healthcare experts who deal with musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those related to the spine. Chiropractic care involves manual adjustments of the spine and other joints to reduce pain and improve alignments.

Q5. Is Chiropractic under Physiotherapy?

These two are different healthcare facilities both operating on musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists have their own philosophies, training, and methods to deal with different medical conditions. Under no conditions, they are in the same profession.

Q6. Is Chiropractic more effective than physical therapy?

Chiropractors have a distinctive approach than Physical therapists, it all depends on the patient’s condition, needs, and preferences if we want to compare these healthcare specialties. Both of them work on the different issues of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors focus on issues related to the spine and nervous system while a Physical therapist deals with injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, and also on functional limitations.

Q7. Why do doctors disagree with Chiropractors?

Doctors of medicine and other healthcare experts feel it can be a dangerous practice to manually adjust the spine. The procedure can result in a serious injury which can complicate the situation further. Chiropractor removes pressure from nerves and muscles to allow proper function of other body parts. MDs do not support this practice as they find nothing to support this evidence.

Q8. Should I see an Orthopedic Doctor or Chiropractor for a pinched nerve?

Whether to see an Orthopedic Doctor or Chiropractor for a pinched nerve depends on the complexity of the situation, preferences, and ongoing circumstances. Orthopedic Doctor specializes in musculoskeletal disorders which includes pinched nerves. They can completely assess the situation and develop a treatment plan that can include medication, physical therapies, or surgical intervention. Chiropractic care may come into the picture if the patient is looking for a non-invasive treatment. They can provide spinal adjustments to relieve the pressure in nerves.

Mansi Balodi
Mansi Balodihttps://scriptedsoul.com
My life is always on a run but I try to find time for myself to let my wisdom and knowledge help and guide you. In my blogs, I will try to demystify the complexities of topics and will connect with you with ease of understanding. So let's explore the treasure of the world with words.

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