Different Types of Chiropractors

Different Types of Chiropractors sitting together

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating various musculoskeletal conditions, primarily through manual adjustments of the curved spine. While the core philosophy of chiropractic care remains consistent, different types of chiropractors bring unique skills and techniques to the table. In this blog post, we will explore the various types of chiropractors, the services they offer, and how they can benefit your health and well-being.

What Are the Two Main Types of Chiropractors?

Chiropractic care has become an increasingly popular alternative therapy for addressing various musculoskeletal issues.

While chiropractors share a common focus on improving the body’s natural healing abilities, they can be categorized into two main types: traditional chiropractors and functional chiropractors.

Let’s explore the key differences between these two types of chiropractors and how they approach patient care.

What Are the Two Main Types of Chiropractors?

Traditional Chiropractors

Traditional chiropractors are the more conventional of the two types, adhering closely to the fundamental principles of chiropractic care.

1. Spinal Alignment Focus

Traditional chiropractors primarily concentrate on spinal adjustments. They believe that misaligned vertebrae can interfere with the nervous system’s function, leading to a variety of health issues like kyphosis.

By applying manual manipulation techniques, traditional chiropractors aim to restore proper spinal alignment and alleviate pain or discomfort.

2. Symptom-Centric Approach

Traditional chiropractors often focus on symptom relief. They aim to address the immediate concerns of patients, such as trapezius pain, neck pain, or headaches.

Their treatments are typically shorter in duration and may not encompass a broader approach to overall wellness.

3. Limited Scope of Practice

Traditional chiropractors may restrict their practice to chiropractic adjustments and related therapies, such as massage or electric therapy.

They may not provide additional services related to nutrition, exercise, or lifestyle modification.

Functional Chiropractors

Functional chiropractors, on the other hand, take a more holistic approach to chiropractic care, emphasizing overall health and wellness.

1. Comprehensive Evaluation

Functional chiropractors start with a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s overall health, including lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise habits.

They aim to identify the root causes of health issues rather than merely treating symptoms.

2. Personalized Treatment Plans

Functional chiropractors develop personalized treatment plans that encompass a wide range of therapies, including chiropractic adjustments, nutritional counseling, physical therapy, and more.

These plans are tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

3. Long-Term Wellness Focus

Functional chiropractors emphasize long-term wellness. They work with patients to improve their overall health and prevent future issues. This approach may involve lifestyle changes and ongoing care, rather than quick fixes.

When choosing a chiropractor, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and goals for care. Whether you prefer immediate relief or a comprehensive wellness plan, both types of chiropractors can play a valuable role in your healthcare journey.

Other Types of Chiropractors

Other Types of Chiropractors

While traditional and functional chiropractors are the two main categories, the field of chiropractic care has evolved to encompass various specialized practices that cater to diverse patient needs.

These other types of chiropractors often combine elements from both traditional and functional approaches while adding unique aspects to their practice.

Let’s explore some of these specialized chiropractic disciplines:

Mixed Chiropractors

Mixed chiropractors, also known as “mixers,” combine traditional chiropractic techniques with other complementary therapies.

They may use modalities like massage, red light therapy, and acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of their treatments.

Mixed chiropractors take a more holistic approach to patient care, addressing not only spinal health but also overall well-being.

Services provided by mixed chiropractors include:

  • Spinal adjustments: Similar to traditional chiropractors, but often combined with other therapies.
  • Additional modalities: Techniques like massage, acupuncture, or physical therapy to address specific health issues.
  • Health coaching: Guidance on lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise tailored to the individual needs of the patient.

Wellness Chiropractors

Wellness chiropractors are dedicated to promoting long-term health and wellness. They focus on preventative care and education, encouraging patients to take an active role in their health.

These chiropractors provide a wide range of services designed to improve overall well-being, not just alleviate pain or discomfort.

Services provided by wellness chiropractors include:

  • Spinal adjustments: As a foundation for overall health.
  • Lifestyle coaching: Guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and healthy habits.
  • Preventative care: Regular check-ups to detect and address potential issues before they become serious.
  • Rehabilitation: Programs to help patients recover from car accident injuries and improve strength and flexibility.

Sports Chiropractors

Sports chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries related to sports and physical activity.

They work closely with athletes to optimize performance and prevent injuries.

Sports chiropractors are often part of sports medicine teams, working with other healthcare professionals to ensure athletes are in their best physical condition.

Services provided by sports chiropractors include:

  • Injury assessment and treatment: Focused on sports-related injuries, such as tennis elbow and runners knee.
  • Performance enhancement: Techniques to improve an athlete’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility.
  • Rehabilitation: Programs to help athletes recover from muscle knots and return to their sport safely.

Pediatric Chiropractors

Pediatric Chiropractor

Pediatric chiropractors specialize in caring for infants, children, and teenagers. They focus on the unique needs of young patients, offering gentle and non-invasive treatments.

Pediatric chiropractors are trained to address issues related to growth and development, as well as common childhood conditions.

Services provided by pediatric chiropractors include:

  • Gentle spinal adjustments: Tailored to the child’s age and specific needs.
  • Treatment of common childhood issues: Such as colic, ear infections, and bedwetting.
  • Developmental assessments: Monitoring a child’s growth and addressing any musculoskeletal issues early.

Geriatric Chiropractors

Geriatric chiropractors focus on the unique healthcare needs of older adults. As we age, our bodies go through various changes, including degenerative conditions and reduced mobility.

Geriatric chiropractors aim to improve the quality of life for seniors by addressing these age-related issues.

Services provided by geriatric chiropractors include:

  • Spinal adjustments: Tailored to the unique needs of older adults.
  • Pain management: Addressing conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Fall prevention: Helping seniors maintain balance and mobility.
  • Mobility enhancement: Improving overall range of motion and physical function.

Holistic Chiropractors

Holistic chiropractors take a comprehensive approach to healthcare, considering the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a patient’s well-being.

They may incorporate alternative therapies such as nutrition, acupuncture, and mindfulness practices into their treatment plans.

Services provided by holistic chiropractors include:

  • Comprehensive assessments: Addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health along with vertigo treatment.
  • Alternative therapies: Such as acupuncture, nutrition counseling, and stress management techniques.
  • Personalized treatment plans: Designed to promote overall balance and well-being.

Benefits of Visiting a Chiropractor

Chiropractic care offers a host of valuable benefits that extend well beyond pain relief.

Here are the key advantages of seeking chiropractic treatment:

  1. Pain Relief: Chiropractic cranial adjustments effectively alleviate pain, including back, neck, and headache pain, without resorting to medication or surgery.
  2. Improved Mobility: Chiropractic care enhances flexibility and range of motion, whether you’re an athlete or simply looking to move more freely.
  3. Enhanced Nervous System Function: Chiropractic adjustments can improve communication between the brain and body by addressing nervous system interference.
  4. Prevention of Future Issues: Regular chiropractic care can help prevent shoulder bursitis and maintain overall wellness.
  5. Non-Invasive Approach: Chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug-free, offering a holistic, natural approach to healthcare.
  6. Personalized Care: Chiropractors tailor treatment plans to individual patient needs, ensuring you receive the care that suits your condition and goals.
  7. Cost-Effective: Chiropractic care can be a cost-effective alternative to surgery or ongoing medication, potentially reducing the need for pricier medical interventions.
  8. Quick Recovery from Injuries: Chiropractic care can speed up the healing process, addressing the root causes of injuries. Patients often report an improved quality of life with reduced pain, increased energy, and overall better health.

Common Conditions Treated by Chiropractors

Common Conditions Treated by Chiropractors

Chiropractors are skilled in treating a range of musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions.

Here are some common issues they can address:

  1. Back and Neck Pain: Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pain from issues like herniated discs, muscle strains, or poor posture.
  2. Headaches and Migraines: Adjustments can reduce tension headaches and migraines.
  3. Sciatica: Chiropractors can relieve pain caused by sciatic nerve compression.
  4. Arthritis: Chiropractic care helps manage arthritis symptoms by improving joint mobility and reducing inflammation.
  5. Sports Injuries: Athletes benefit from chiropractic care for injury recovery and enhanced performance.
  6. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate wrist and hand pain.
  7. Pregnancy Discomfort: Chiropractic care can ease pregnancy-related back pain and sciatica.
  8. Stress and Anxiety: Chiropractic adjustments promote relaxation and well-being.

These are just some of the many conditions chiropractors can address, providing non-invasive, natural alternatives to improve your health and well-being.


1. Can chiropractors help with chronic conditions like arthritis or scoliosis?

Chiropractic care can manage symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis and scoliosis by enhancing joint mobility and spinal alignment.

2. Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?

Yes, pregnancy chiropractors use gentle techniques to ensure safety during pregnancy.

3. Can chiropractors assist with stress and anxiety management?

Chiropractic adjustments can promote relaxation, improve sleep, and enhance overall well-being, potentially reducing stress and anxiety.

4. How much does chiropractic care typically cost?

On average, an initial consultation and adjustment may range from $60 to $200, with subsequent visits typically costing less.

5. Are chiropractors qualified to treat sports-related injuries?

Yes, sports chiropractors are trained to help athletes optimize performance and recover from sports-related injuries.

Bottom Line

Understanding the different types of chiropractors is essential for making informed healthcare decisions. Traditional and functional chiropractors offer unique approaches to spinal health, while specialized chiropractic practices cater to specific patient needs. Whether you seek pain relief, enhanced athletic performance, or holistic wellness, chiropractic care has a lot to offer. If you’re interested in exploring further, read our other blog posts on chiropractic care to discover more about this natural and non-invasive healthcare option. Your journey to improved health and well-being may be just a click away.

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