The American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists (ABCO) defines chiropractic orthopedics, in part, as "the branch of chiropractic medicine that includes the continued acquisition of knowledge relative to both normal functions and diseases of the body as they relate to the bones, joints, capsules, discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, their complete neurological components, referred organ systems and contiguous tissues." A chiropractic orthopedist treats musculoskeletal problems without using drugs or surgery. Of course, all chiropractors are specialists in treating the musculoskeletal system. However, a chiropractor who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists (DABCO) or who is a Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO) has more extensive training in the subject than other chiropractors. A board certified chiropractic orthopedic specialist is committed to extensive ongoing education in the treatment and management of a wide array of orthopedic conditions that may require the use of advanced techniques. DABCO/DACO specialists can treat acute problems such as sports injuries and occupational injuries, as well as chronic musculoskeletal problems like arthritis, fibromyalgia and scoliosis. A chiropractic orthopedist has specialized knowledge of the muscles, bones, cartilage, joints, tendons, ligaments, other connective tissue and nerve structures. A DABCO/DACO specialist is trained in ordering and interpreting advanced diagnostics such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), DEXA scanning, diagnostic ultrasound and nuclear medicine studies to determine the nature of your problem and how it can best be treated. He or she may use a number of different non-invasive techniques to return a patient to wellness, including manual manipulation, physiologic therapeutics such as massage, nutrition, joint supports, infrared, electric muscle stimulation, orthotics, corrective devices, therapeutic exercise and other rehabilitative protocols. To become certified as a DABCO/DACO specialist, a Doctor of Chiropractic must complete a three- to four-year post-graduate training program and pass a rigorous written and clinical exam. He or she must also meet continuing education requirements in chiropractic orthopedics in order to qualify for periodic recertification every few years. It is common for DABCO/DACO specialists to treat joint, nerve and muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, back, elbows, wrists and knees. If you or someone you care about has been suffering from a musculoskeletal problem, a DABCO/DACO specialist may be able to treat the problem in a way that avoids the risks associated with drugs and surgery. To learn more, please call or visit our office!