Chiropractic Neurologist vs Chiropractor: What is The Difference?

Nov 16, 2023
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Difference Between a Chiropractic Neurologist and a Chiropractor

Imagine stepping into the world of chiropractic care, where you encounter two distinct paths.

On one side, you have the chiropractor, a specialist who focuses on spinal adjustments and musculoskeletal issues.

On the other side, you have the chiropractic neurologist, a practitioner who delves deeper into the intricate connection between the nervous system and the spine.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating differences between these two professions and shed light on their unique areas of expertise.

Key Takeaways

  • Chiropractic neurologists specialize in neurological conditions, while chiropractors focus on musculoskeletal health.
  • Chiropractic neurologists use techniques like functional neurology, neuro rehabilitation, and neuro feedback, while chiropractors primarily focus on spinal adjustments, joint manipulations, therapeutic exercises, and lifestyle counseling.
  • Chiropractic neurologists treat disorders of the nervous system such as migraines, vertigo, movement disorders, and neuropathy, while chiropractors primarily treat musculoskeletal conditions including back pain, neck pain, and sports injuries.
  • Both professionals bring unique expertise and treatment options to their respective fields, using their specialized knowledge and techniques to treat a wide range of conditions.

Education and Training Requirements

To become a chiropractor, you’ll need to complete a minimum of seven years of education and training. This includes completing a bachelor’s degree, followed by a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited chiropractic college.

During your education, you’ll study subjects such as anatomy, physiology, chiropractic techniques, and patient care.

Additionally, you’ll also need to pass licensing exams to become a licensed chiropractor.

Chiropractic neurology is a specialized scope of chiropractic, which will entail more training outside of the chiropractic curriculum. To become a chiropractic neurologist, you must become board-certified with the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.

Scope of Practice

You may be wondering what exactly a chiropractic neurologist and a chiropractor can do in their respective scope of practice. Here are four key aspects to consider:

Chiropractic Neurologist:

  • Performs thorough neurological examinations
  • Utilizes specialized techniques to address neurological conditions
  • Implements rehabilitative exercises for brain and nervous system function
  • Works closely with other healthcare providers to provide comprehensive care


  • Focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions
  • Uses spinal adjustments and manipulations to restore joint function
  • Provides recommendations for exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications
  • Offers non-invasive treatment options for pain management and overall wellness

Both professionals play unique roles in the healthcare field, with the chiropractic neurologist specializing in neurological conditions and the chiropractor focusing on musculoskeletal health and chronic pain.

Areas of Specialization

Specializing in different areas of healthcare, chiropractic neurologists focus on neurological conditions while chiropractors specialize in musculoskeletal health.

Chiropractic neurologists undergo additional training in neurology, enabling them to diagnose and treat conditions such as migraines, vertigo, and neuropathy.

On the other hand, chiropractors primarily focus on the spine, joints, and muscles to alleviate pain and improve mobility, utilizing chiropractic adjustments. They commonly treat conditions like back pain, neck pain, and sports injuries with rehabilitation.

Both professionals have unique areas of specialization within the field of chiropractic care.

Treatment Techniques and Modalities

One of the key differences between chiropractic neurologists and chiropractors is the range of treatment techniques and modalities they utilize.

Chiropractic neurologists employ a variety of specialized techniques, such as functional neurology, neurorehabilitation, and neurofeedback, to address neurological conditions and enhance brain function.

On the other hand, chiropractors primarily focus on spinal adjustments, joint manipulations, therapeutic exercises, dry needling, and lifestyle counseling to promote overall wellness and alleviate musculoskeletal issues.

These distinct approaches highlight the unique expertise and treatment options each practitioner brings to their respective fields.

Conditions Treated by Each Profession

Chiropractic neurologists and chiropractors each treat a wide range of conditions using their specialized knowledge and techniques.

Chiropractic neurologists primarily focus on disorders of the nervous system, such as migraines, vertigo, and neuropathy. They use non-invasive therapies and exercises to improve brain function and alleviate symptoms.

On the other hand, chiropractors primarily treat musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and sports injuries. They use spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapies, and rehabilitative exercises to restore proper movement and function to the body.


So, in conclusion, while both chiropractic neurologists and chiropractors focus on the musculoskeletal system, they have distinct differences in terms of education, scope of practice, and areas of specialization.

Chiropractic neurologists undergo extensive postgraduate training in neurology, allowing them to diagnose and treat neurological conditions.

On the other hand, chiropractors primarily focus on the function of the spine and use various techniques to provide relief from musculoskeletal pain.

It’s like comparing apples and oranges – both are fruits, but they offer unique flavors and benefits.